I write this sat in my garden in a T-shirt for perhaps the first time this year, welcoming the warm rays of the sun onto my pale skin, and delighting in the signs of new life around me; the buds on the bushes, and the daffodils bright in the afternoon sun. It feels like its been a long time coming this year (2013). I know I am not alone in having struggled with the long cold winter and its effects on my engagement and outlook on life.
Can you notice the difference in how you feel on a warm sunny spring day? The expansion within? The sense of wanting to reach out in to the world, rather than contract inwards and away from it? The feeling of being able to look to the future and begin planning things with excitement and energy, rather than dread and gloom? This is the time of new beginnings and is a potent time in our cycle. In Shiatsu it is represented by the 'Wood' energy, and is something we can tap into and utilise at anytime you may feel like you need a bit more of that in your life!
I have decided to harness this new found energy to start a blog, sharing with you some thoughts and insights as the year progresses. I hope to bring you some understanding of where we are coming from in shiatsu, this strange Japanese word for what we do! I hope you will join me and enjoy some of the offerings I have!
Wood energy is part of the 'Five Element' system, used in China for thousands of years. It was developed by observation of the human condition; how we are in health and balance- and how we are when we are not! It became apparent that we have responses like the one described above to the different seasons of the year and the varying states of nature, as well as activity in our day to day life. These subtle yet profound reactions are all clues to our ever changing state. When out of balance, we can use this system to explore and respond to that, using the touch of Shiatsu. We can help the body re-align its natural desires for flow and connection with that which is going on around us in nature. An example of that is when we feel stuck in our life, indecisive, or frustrated, this is often an expression that the wood energy is struggling, and shiatsu can be a great way to re-engage and enliven that energy, releasing that "stuckness" and connecting us to our ability to be flexible, adaptable and in the flow again
Stretching is a great thing to do when feeling stuck, or at any time; and particularly in spring! Awakening your muscles through stretch also awakens that part of us which likes to plan, to have a vision and get things going! Side stretching can also help in decision-making too! So why not get along to that yoga class you've been thinking about all through the cold, dark winter andhaven't quite got round to joining?
Or keep your eye on here for my post about the Makka-ho Stretches - a series of simple stretches I sometimes share with my clients. They can stretch, enliven and activate all of the meridians we work with in Shiatsu.
So go on... stand up right now and see how it feels to stretch out! You know you want to!
Author: Hannah Currant
Hannah is a Shiatsu and EFT Practitioner based in Bristol.
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