Talking about shiatsu is not a simple thing. Sometimes a creative metaphor might help to get your point across. Join our discussion here.

Let’s dive in. 

Bart:
For me shiatsu is like a paella…
The ingredients and spices are baked in the same pan and release their taste in the rice and become paella. Ingredients can switch between shrimp, chicken or salami. Not one ingredient or herb is necessarily needed, although some paella makers naturally think differently. They agree on the basics: The key ingredient of paella is rice, as touch is for shiatsu. And as a rice dish is not always a paella, not every form of touch turns out to be shiatsu. What makes touch a shiatsu, what ingredients of shiatsu give off their taste in the touch? Is that Ki, loving pressure, a beginner’s mind?

Adeline:
Nice try, Bart, I like your metaphor! I’m a vegetarian though and this metaphor reminds me too much of fish, chicken and rabbit.

For me shiatsu is more like, let me think,… playing the cello. There are the preparations before I start. I choose the music I want to play, put some resin on my bow, choose a quiet spot. It’s like the preparations before the shiatsu treatment starts and the energy has already started shifting. 
Every instrument and cello is different, like every client, body and treatment is different. It’s always surprising what sound and tune will come out.
The best sound comes out if I’m totally aligned and relaxed so my body can resonate together with the cello. Like I said, isn’t it like a shiatsu treatment? The air going in and out of the instrument, vibrating and singing it’s tune.
Air in and out
Alignment
Relaxation
The cello can already resonate even with
out touching it- if you play another instrument in the same room it will start humming by itself!

Karlijn:
Hola, …a vegetarian paella is of course completely fine. Seems fun to try…
I like your cello, Adeline! It hums with my bamboo forest.
The roots – as you may know – are intertwined, making it impossible to explain what comes from where.
Isn’t that also like with the roots of shiatsu?
Are the roots in Japan, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western knowledge about anatomy and physiology or somewhere else?

What is shiatsu?

Such a simple question with many different answers. For one it is acupuncture with hands, for another a therapy that touches the body, calms the mind and heals the spirit.

The Swiss Federation has done a great job giving an accurate picture of Shiatsu in their “Description of Methods”. It has been written with care but contains of 26 pages, which makes it less easy to tell you neighbour, who doesn’t know shiatsu yet.

As soon as we start studying and dive into the experience of shiatsu, it gradually becomes a way of living. The definition is a reflection of a personal development journey of the shiatsu practitioner. It changes colour over the years.

As an organization we are curious about your favourite description of shiatsu, what are the ingredients, or what would be your metaphor?
We would like to invite all of you who have made it to reading to the end of this article to join us in this discussion.

We would love to hear from you so please leave your metaphor and description below! 🙌

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