Following the results of the poll, the organizing team decided not to let the corona confusion stop the Congress. In these profound times of Covid-19 and ‘social distancing’, we find it is even more important for shiatsu therapists to meet, inspire and touch each other. Both literally and figuratively speaking.

28 July 2020

Change in the online planning

We have promised to organize an exclusive online event for the international shiatsu community. “Unique in design, shape, and scale in Europe: 3 days of interactive content, with over 30 expert shiatsu trainers”, we said. We were full of fire and ambition, but not really sure if we could deliver all that. Organizing the physical congress during corona times is already a challenge that takes lots of energy.

Then Cliff Andrews and his New Energy Work-team (NEW), our ESC webinar partner, stepped up. They offered to organize an online event on a global scale, in October. Talking about ambition! Since we’re happy to serve our audience in the best possible way we gladly accepted the offer. Trainers who are unable to come to Amsterdam will now be asked to show up at the “ISCO”, the NEW name for the online event. And you will be free to participate. More information can be found here on the ISCO website.

Does this mean that there will be no online presence of the Congress itself, you’re asking?
Due to the corona measures, we will need to have video registration in our (large) venues to allow everyone in the room a proper view. From there it seems to be a small step towards putting up a live online stream, so people at home could enjoy the congress too. But hey, maybe we are ahead of the train again, so, let’s take one step at a time. It would be great, that’s for sure. We will inform you once we are ready and have more information at hand.

14 July 2020


We are grateful these trainers are coming to Amsterdam to spread their knowledge and experience:

  • Alice Whieldon
  • Bill Palmer and Teresa Hadland
  • Chris McAlister
  • Dan Keown
  • David Ventura Ardanuy
  • Egon Wiersink
  • Gill Hall
  • Jaana Siltasalmi
  • Joyce Vlaarkamp
  • Jürgen Westhoff
  • Karin Kalbantner-Wernicke
  • Maartje Huibers
  • Nick Pole
  • Norbert Grote Beverborg
  • Marja van Vliet
  • Martine Busch
  • Mike Mandl
  • Patrizia Stefanini
  • Philippe Vandenbeele
  • Rita Griesche
  • Sasaki Sensei
  • Suzanne Yates
  • Tamsin Grainger
  • Vera Carbaat
  • Yan Schroen
  • Zita Sieber

To their and our regret these trainers are not able to be part of the ESC in September. This is due to governmental policy, quarantines, financial or personal issues.

  • Alan Nash
  • Barbara Dudman
  • Carola Beresford-Cooke
  • Cliff Andrews
  • Galit Shaviv
  • Karine Favresse
  • Nicola Ley Pooley
  • Michel Odoul
  • Maria Gryllaki
  • Shiatsu Research Network

They will be invited to the online shiatsu congress in October, see below.

28 June 2020

ESC 2020 Amsterdam

The situation is quite uncertain for the presenters based in the UK. This due to the UK government’s policies regarding COVID-19.
We are in close contact with all of them.
Unfortunately Nicola Ley (Pooley) is not able to participate. The rest of the UK presenters are willing to attend, but must wait for the quarantine restrictions to loosen. This will become clearer in the coming weeks.

ESC 2020 Online 

During the congress, we will organize an exclusive event for the international online shiatsu community: ESC 2020 Online.

Unique in design, shape, and scale in Europe: it will be 3 days of interactive content, with over 30 expert shiatsu trainers. And there will be more. You are invited to join the online congress. In a few weeks time you will be invited via a special newsletter and via this website. 

Unfortunately Barbara Dudman has decided not to participate online as her workshop is not appropriate for an online presentation.

.27 June 2020

‘The greater the doubt, the greater the awakening, the smaller the doubt, the smaller the awakening. No doubt, no awakening.’ 

C.C. Chang – ‘The Practice of Zen’

Text: Betty Croll, organiser ESC 2020

Dear Shiatsu lover,

Last week I came across this quote from C.C. Chang and it struck me at once! For me, life is about waking up: waking to ideas, to understanding, to feelings, meanings and so on…

Right now – when uncertainty is the only certainty – perhaps we’re being offered the opportunity to become more aware and more awake?

Since March, doubt has been all around us – Covid 19 has us in its grip and in a global lock down. Now 3 months later, everything is relaxing but doubt still dominates the picture.

We, the ESC 2020 organising team, also had our doubts: Can we possibly go ahead with the congress, and if so, how? Is it responsible to bring people together from all over Europe? Can we use the different locations in a safe and responsible way? Are we even able to organise a conference of this size with the continually changing rules – which are often vague and open to interpretation? Can this still be the congress we envisaged 2.5 years ago? All sorts of questions and so many doubts…

When used properly, doubt can broaden our horizons and unveil our eyes to truths, often obscured by prejudice and belief. When you reach complete certainty, you close down the possibilities for further awakening!

We thought long and hard about cancelling or postponing, but somewhere deep inside was a feeling that we should go ahead. It feels so important now to be led by trust rather than by fear – to strengthen our emotional and social togetherness and connection, despite the current constraints…

More than 85% of you – our teachers and visitors – have told us that you do still want to come and join us if possible, so we’re not alone in our feelings. It is with this wonderful spirit of support and positivity that we’re going ahead and organising the congress.

We’ll assiduously follow all the government guidelines and take all possible safety measures and precautions, with ventilated locations, physical distancing, hand washing etc.

For those who sadly can’t make it here, we’re organising the ESC Online. This will include webinar workshops, exercises, qigong, breakout rooms for group discussions, music, cooking and live stream from Amsterdam.

Doubt is still here of course – nothing is ever certain. But we have great faith in the future, in each other and in the Shiatsu community – there’s no doubt about that!

Love, Betty

24 June 2020

Meanwhile in Amsterdam

21 June 2020

Good news! Covid measures in the Netherlands have been further relaxed. For our congress this means no maximum number of participants. However, we still have to respect a distance of 1.5 metres between the working spaces of each shiatsu pair. This means luxurious shiatsu spots in amazing places like here and here.

20 June 2020

Result of the poll in newsletter of May:

  Respondents with a ticket
I will be physically present in Amsterdam, when the regulations allow it 174 (45%) 119 (65%)
When ‘Amsterdam’ is physically not feasible, I will join the event online 42 (11%) 11 (6%)
These days I prefer online anyway 66 (17%) 8 (4%)
I would rather wait for the next event 88 (22%) 37 (20%)
I am not interested anymore 18 (5%) 8 (4%)

17 June 2020

Dear Shiatsu lover, 

Thank you so much for your wonderful expressions of enthusiasm and support in these strange times! We’re delighted to learn that – if there are no travel or quarantine restrictions in September – most of you are still very happy and willing to come and join us in Amsterdam. This is exactly the positive energy we were hoping for and we’ll continue to need in the coming months 

You’ll be pleased to hear that more than 80% of the presenters are also happy and willing to come to Amsterdam!

In this writing we explain how we think the ESC 2020 can proceed, although of course, we are all fully aware that this is dependent on future government decisions. 

ESC Amsterdam 

As the rules and regulations in the Netherlands from September onwards are not clear, for now, we just have to anticipate, based on what we know today, which is: 

  • We are allowed to give Shiatsu, with or without face masks (depending on the wishes of both parties) 
  • 50 people maximum are allowed to be in one space if they can be distanced from each other by 1.metres 
  • Preferably we should not change partners during the sessions 
  • Wash hands, clean space after the sessions etc. 

Due to Covid regulations the following presenters are not able to come: 

We are working on adjusting the program to the new rules and the trainers that are not able to come.

ESC Online 

The ESC Online event will take place in the same weekend (4, 5, 6 September) and we promise it will be an exciting live event with lots of different activities, much to learn about shiatsu off course, possibilities to meet new as well as old shiatsu friends, meeting top shiatsu teachers, chats, polls, interaction, exercises, Chigong. You will also be able to join the opening- and closing sessions through a live connection with Amsterdam. 

We are confident that ESC Online will appeal to lots of Shiatsu lovers, who can’t make to Amsterdam in person. 

Tickets: Please keep an eye on this page in case you would like to change your ESC Amsterdam ticket into an ESC Online ticket. This ticket-swap is a logistical challenge and we’ll let you know when we’re ready to accommodate you. 

We don’t know what the world will look like in September. But what we feel is a positive vibe full of new possibilities. We are happy to share the Shiatsu Ki with the broadest possible international community – thank you. 

ESC2020 team