In the Iokai Shiatsu training programme we work on each other but also on ourselves. Doing the exercises as well as practising on each other will make you feel more balanced. Not only does this improve your ability to give a Shiatsu treatment, you will also find your own health and wellbeing improving.
During the whole training programme we pay a lot of attention to ourselves in the form of:
Do-In is inextricably linked to Shiatsu. It includes several exercises aimed at achieving a free flow of Ki (life energy) and activating Ki. In Do-In we stretch meridians with the support of our breathing and we massage ourselves as well as our fellow students. Through Do-In you ensure that your own energy increases and you learn to experience what Ki is and how it manifests itself in your body. As a part of Do-In we often use Meridian stretching exercises. (see below).
Meridian stretching exercises
This is an extensive series of exercises that have been developed by Masunaga Sensei to activate the Ki in specific meridians and improve the flow of it.
By doing Ki training you will learn to experience the Ki flow in your own body. These are exercises that strengthen your own balance and body coordination. In Shiatsu the concept of ‘hara’ takes a central position. Hara is the natural centre of your body and your energy. In Ki training we have various exercises to strengthen this natural centre and let you feel what it is and what it does.
Qigong is a century-old Chinese movement art that stimulates the circulation of inner energy through exercises that coordinate both movement and breathing. For the sake of convenience you can think of them as the ‘basic exercises’ of the better known Tai Chi. The exercises focus on learning how to feel energy and how to let it flow. We work with exercises from both the still and the dynamic styles. The Ba Duan Jin (“8 silken movements” or “8 section brocade”) are taught as a complete series during the Basic Year.
During the training weekends we start with a Japanese form of meditation, Zazen (“seated meditation”) every morning. Zazen meditation is a form of meditation that is closely connected to Shiatsu. Sitting with undivided attention, conscious of your breathing and posture. Through meditation we enhance a certain form of consciousness and concentration that are characteristic of Iokai Shiatsu.