Bring in the new year - Yoga & health magazine's Introduction to shiatsu contains very important pointers that will help you learn the art of Shiatsu effectively; it also presents some important 'do's and don'ts' to consider when giving a Shiatsu treatment.
Therefore it is strongly recommended that you read it carefully before proceeding to Part One.
- Yin and Yang
- THE ABDOMEN TREATMENT
- Leg Pressure Points
- Preparing for a Shiatsu Session
- The Five Elements
- Shoulder pressure points
- THE STEP-BY-STEP SEQUENCE
- The origins of Shiatsu
- How to find the points
- POINTS TO REMEMBER
- How much pressure to use
- Choosing a school or practitioner
- Shoulders Treatment
- Vital organs
- Energy channels
- TREATING THE INDIVIDUAL
- DEVELOPING YOUR TECHNIQUE
- Energy in the hands
- Hara and breathing
- SELF-DEVELOPMENT EXERCISES
- Back of body treatment
- Front of leg pressure points
- Toe Treatment
- Kyo and Jitsu
- Increasing your sensitivity
- Governing Vessel
- Forehead Massage
There are many treatments which can help to improve the quality of your skin. Some state-of-the-art technology is great for tackling skin affected by the sun.
The face is a good place to finish a Shiatsu treatment; the lighter work is very pleasant after the strong stretches and deep point work on the rest of the body, some of which will inevitably have been uncomfortable.
The head contains the central focus for the nervous system, as well as the main sensory apparatus - the eyes, ears and nose - plus the entry points for food and air. We are very preoccupied with appearance in the West, so there are many related issues that Shiatsu work on the face helps to treat.
The preoccupation with the face and its appearance is not entirely misplaced. As all holistic therapies now recognize, and oriental medicine has long realized: the part reflects the whole, and the outside reflects the inside. So the face reflects what is going on not only emotionally, but also physically, and in every other aspect of our being. Facial diagnosis is a science in itself, used by many Shiatsu practitioners. Pay attntion to the face while treating the rest of the body, to get an idea of the effects of your work.
About this sequence
The sequence here is a systematic procedure for treatment of points all over the face and on to the head. Go over everything three times. The points are treated symmetrically with both hands at once, unless otherwise stated. Points on the face relate to many different organs and parts of the body, so a comprehensive treatment of the face will benefit the whole system.
1. Kneeling behind your partner's head, as you did for work on the chest and neck, apply pressure with the two middle fingers along the lower edge of the cheek-bone. Start just in front of the lower part of ear and follow the ledge of bone in towards the nose. Press in under the bone.
Make sure that your fingernails are cut short and have no sharp edges when carrying out this treatment. In the treatment of the face, you will no longer be leaning in with the whole body weight or keeping the arms straight. Because of the close work, it is necessary instead to use muscular effort in the arms, hands and fingers.
Cheek-bone pressure points
The lines of treatment are around the base of the cheek-bone. Press at intervals of approximately a thumb's width.
Benefits: these points are especially helpful for sinus congestion, but also relate to the large intestine and stomach.
2. Apply pressure with the thumbs on the two points that lie in the hollows near the lower corners of the nostrils. Ask your partner to breathe in and take a breath yourself at the same time. As you breathe out together, press in strongly and repeat twice more, on each out-breath. The fingers can lie under the chin to keep the hands steady while you are locating the points.
3. Bring your hands down to the chin. With the thumbs on the front of the chin, press in under the jaw-bone with the tips of the first and second fingers. Proceed from the centre outwards, along the underside of the jaw, at intervals of a thumb's width, until you reach the ear.
4. Turn the head to one side. With the index finger of one hand, press into the point which lies in the hollow underneath the earlobe. This point is very tender in some people, so be aware of your partner's reaction. Turn the head the other way and repeat.
5. With one thumb on top of the other at the centre of the forehead, and anchoring your fingers around the sides of the head, apply pressure in a line, starting between the eyebrows and continuing onto the top of the head.
6. Again, anchoring your fingers around the sides of your partner's head, position your thumbs at the inner ends of the eyebrows. Apply thumb pressure in two lines straight up from the eyebrows, continuing with your thumbs at this spacing, up on to the top of the head.
Forehead pressure points
Work the lines of treatment for steps 5 and 6 at intervals of one thumb width.
Benefits: helpful to the bladder; helps release headache and tension in the front of the head, as well as calming the mind.
CAUTION: Omit both these steps in cases of high blood pressure or epilepsy.
7. Apply thumb pressure to the point just below the centre of the nose, and to the point below the centre of the mouth, in the hollow at the roots of the teeth. Remember to apply all the pressures three times on the out-breaths. Support the head with your passive hand
8. Steadying your hands against your partner's head, with the tips of the first and second fingers, apply pressure all around the mouth. Search for the points at the roots of the teeth about 2-3 centimetres (1 inch) out from the lips.
Mouth pressure points
Work around the line of treatment for step 8 (left) at intervals of approximately one thumb width, as usual.
Benefits: particularly helpful to the stomach and large intestine, also stimulate salivation, appetite and digestion.
9. Treat the ears by squeezing, pulling and stretching, the whole way around and all over the outer ear. This can be done firmly and comprehensively, and feels surprisingly pleasant. The ear is another 'model' of the body, containing a large number of treatment points that cover the whole system.
10. Strongly pinch the eyebrows, from the inner to the outer edges. This can be very relaxing, especially for tired eyes; it also helps to relieve stress or tension. Make sure your fingernails are not too long for this, and be careful to avoid putting pressure on the eyelids. Repeat this three times in total.
11. Massage the forehead by stroking across it, using the length of your thumbs laid down on the forehead. Start above the eyebrows at the inside end, and draw the thumbs out towards the temples. Repeat this several times, pressing strongly at first and finishing with lighter strokes.
12. Massage the temples, with the tips of the first and second fingers, in a circular motion, pressing strongly at first and finishing with a very light action.
13. Finally, grasp tufts of your partner's hair, and tug them gently towards you. Start in the front, at the centre of the forehead, and work around the hairline as far as you can, towards the back of the head. Then work around again in concentric circles, a little further in each time, so that you are treating the whole scalp, finishing at the crown - the point where a line drawn up from the ears would intersect with a line from the nose. This gives a pleasant conclusion to the treatment of the head, and draws your partner's energy upwards.
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