Joe Barnwell is a trauma therapist and counsellor providing therapy and counselling services in North Vancouver, BC

cell: 604·649·1126

email: joe@thewellnessfactor.ca

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Shiatsu Therapy

In my psychotherapy practice, working with trauma, I draw on my understanding of energy in the body gained through my practice and study of shiatsu therapy. As a shiatsu therapist, I can see how blocked energy is held in the body and by bringing your awareness to this there can be releases and shifts in the blocked energy as your body is given permission to move. This can happen even without the application of pressure normally used in shiatsu therapy. Sometimes in a counselling session there are small elements of shiatsu technique that can be used when appropriate to support the therapy process. (I also practice shiatsu as a stand-alone therapy, separate from my counselling practice.)

Shiatsu therapy is a form of body/energetic work that was developed in Japan about 150 years ago. My training is in Zen Shiatsu. The originator of this form was Masanaga who also had a psychology background.

Zen shiatsu therapy focuses not only on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the person but also works from an energetic perspective. Zen shiatsu has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory. As acupuncture does, shiatsu utilizes the understanding that there are distinct energy channels (meridians) and particular points throughout the body that are instrumental in maintaining balance and harmony.

In acupuncture needles are inserted to treat the points and conditions. In shiatsu therapy when there are imbalances for the person, treatment of the points and energy channels is accomplished by applying pressure to these points and on these channels. In Zen Shiatsu, a shiatsu therapist applies pressure primarily with thumbs, but also with fingers, palms, elbows, knees and sometimes feet. Stretching is also incorporated into a treatment to enhance the flow of energy through these channels. A formal shiatsu session is done with the recipient laying on a futon. This position allows for a treatment of the whole body. Oils are not used as in western massage. Pressure is applied through cloth so the client wears light clothing.

Shiatsu Therapy for Stress Management:

Shiatsu therapy is a very helpful therapy for stress management among other things. As a shiatsu therapist, my interest is in the emotional and mental wellbeing of my clients, I focus specifically on stress reduction and relaxation. Shiatsu reduces and releases the accumulation of muscle tension, resulting from chronic holding or tension patterns. Some of these patterns are developed from chronic stress and conflict. Chronic muscle tension puts stress and strain on your joints. With the release of muscle tension your joints become more flexible and mobile. The end result is more fluid movement, a more relaxed physical state, and a reduction or elimination of muscle and joint pain.

Shiatsu therapy also facilitates the release of blocked energy accumulated from unexpressed emotion like that which happens in the case of trauma. This also contributes to increased muscle tension in your body. Over time, with regular shiatsu sessions the over-all pattern held in your body lets go. This letting go makes room for more effective responses to stress and emotional expression. What you can expect from shiatsu therapy is an overall trend towards a calmer emotional and mental state and a reduction of physical pain resulting from muscle tension.

If you are interested in using or trying shiatsu therapy as a way to manage stress and find more balance emotionally and mentally, then book an appointment by calling:

Joe Barnwell
Shiatsu and Trauma Therapist

604·649·1126 or joe@thewellnessfactor.ca

Joe Barnwell is a shiatsu therapist, a trauma therapist and counsellor providing therapy and counselling services for Vancouver, North Vancouver and West Vancouver, BC

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