Health, be whole

At my practice, I treat a 51 year old woman, mother to a 10 year old daughter. She has been diagnosed with breast cancer which unfortunately has spread to her liver. She has exhausted all avenues of Western medicine. Treatment is targeted only at life extension. She is on chemo and immunotherapy after which Hormonal Replacement Therapy awaits her.
Since hearing her diagnosis, she has touched a place of strength within herself that she hadn’t expected to find. The emotion she experienced most fiercely at the time was defeat, complete devastation. That feeling lasted several days.
Then, she tuned into a deeper place within herself. Here, she feels empowered, experiencing her sickness as a chance to finally come closer to herself. Now, at last, she allows herself to give priority to herself. She is eager, very eager, to take this chance to embrace life on a deeper level. Moments of desperation or fear Practically none.

She believes that she can heal, heal in her way. Thus, letting go of Western standards of cure, accepting that she might not become very old but, when she passes, she will leave this body, this life, in a complete and whole state of being. I bow my head, feeling grateful to be allowed to guide her on this journey.

Text: Maartje Huibers  |  English check: Kate Kuut


What does it mean to be healthy? Health is an experience. It’s the experience of being whole, in harmony, the direct experience of connection with the Life Force. It is the feeling of being alive, with the acceptance of limitation or pain. And of feeling free within this limitation. Sickness is a splitting off from one’s true nature, a state of being scattered in thoughts, emotions and attachments. It offers an opportunity, a chance to create awareness where you separated from being One. It is an opportunity to become whole.


Now, what is our task as Shiatsu practitioner? How should we approach this task in Shiatsu? In the case of this woman with cancer, we should take care of the ‘postnatal’ needs of the client based on our Eastern diagnosis. We should support the physical body from the side effects of the chemo so as to maintain as much vitality as possible. This has enormous value.

At the same time, our focus should also be present at a deeper level of consciousness, that of the spiritual body. We are inviting the client to reconnect with their life potential. Where did they withdraw their life energy? Where did they get scattered, losing themselves in emotions, thoughts, and convictions and so on? Where did they separate from the experience of wholeness?

As a healer, you need to be capable of inviting the specific cosmic intelligence that the receiver has separated from. The intelligence of a meridian system carries specific qualities and features. You can connect with this knowledge by tuning in with your focus, your Mind and your feeling. The healing takes place in the moment that this information awakens, so the receiver can receive it as a warm blanket, nurtured by the specific qualities.

For example, when the root of the separation lies in fears, the focus is on the Kidneys, and Water intelligence. You do this by treating the meridian and the organ but also by being in a state of Water Mind – being still, calm, soft, inviting, calling up the intelligence. You are Water, you become blue, fluid, amorphous. Then, when the Water system is opening, this deep, healing silence and peace that is so characteristic for Water reveals itself and it feels as you are embedded in it. The receiver is nourished by specific Water qualities; for example, will power, inner wisdom and gentleness. He or she can feel deeply safe in this life, in this body and experience his or her right to exist.


It is as our mission as a healer to bring this withdrawing from life, this darkness, back into the light, which demands certain qualities and virtues. You need silence and emptiness, being able to wait so you can be really present in the place of pain. You need to not lose yourself; for example, by doing too much and offering lots of techniques, and talking. This requires courage. A lot of times it is your own fear that is being projected at the crucial moment and this keeps you from sinking deep and truly connecting. Being a healer requires self-realization through the transformation of your own pains and fears. This is a life job which will never be ‘complete’: it is the endless process called Life.


As we have mentioned, the energy of the Kidneys or the Water element offers a tremendous field of potential healing for the client but also for you as a healer.

The Kidneys are the entrance to the depth of life, to the baggage you got from your bloodline to Karma. It reveals the gate to prenatal energy, where the life fire is kept or put to question. Through the Kidneys you are confronted with your deepest fear, of dying, or of living fully. The fear is there where the dark side of life is withdrawn in your subconscious. Through the Kidney energy you can experience your deepest will power, your drive to experience the essence and origin of life.

In the workshop ‘Embodiment of the Organs: Kidneys’ we will bring the Water energy alive through Chi Kung exercises, meditation and mindset and hands-on techniques. We will address the organ as a manifestation of the meridians. Working centrally on the torso gives a very direct experience which is different to working on the meridians, which is more distal. Also, we will connect the organ with the meridian and the Water zones in the body from the psoas muscle to the lower back to the cranium. We will work on our attitude, our mindset, by connecting with Water qualities. This allows the Kidneys to reveal their story, where you have disconnected from their original state and allow them to be realigned in the natural flow. The relationship between the Kidneys and the psoas muscle will be revealed during the workshop….

I invite you to go on this intense journey with me into the depth of life during the ESC congress. It will bring you a higher level of awareness on your journey to self-realization that leads to a higher quality of touch in your treatments as a Shiatsu healer and offers true healing experiences to your clients.


Chi Nei Tsang, Mantak Chia, Destiny Books, Rochester Vermont, ISBN 1594771057

Awaken Healing Light of the Tao, Mantak Chia, Universal Tao Publications, ISBN 09356

Curious about “The embodiment of your organs as your inner family – Water, Kidneys”?
Visit Maartje’s workshop at the European Shiatsu Congress.