Shiatsu School of Vermont, one of two schools certified in the U.S. to offer Zen-style shiatsu certification, is offering a one-year Certified Practitioner Program starting this September. Participants attend a four-day weekend intensive each month for 12 months, plus a final two-day session, to attain a total of 400 hours of classroom experience. Certification also requires 100 hours of independent online study.
Zen Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing and healing form of bodywork therapy that works on four levels of the body: the muscles and tendons, the internal organs, the emotional landscape and spiritual integration. Shiatsu has the same range of benefits as acupuncture and massage and is achieved entirely through touch. Techniques include abdominal assessment, joint rotations, stretches, rocking, and finger and palm pressure.
Unique to the Zen Shiatsu is the assessment through the Hara, the life energy center, physical center of the body and the essence of the person. The Hara is located in the abdomen and centered around the navel. Zen Shiatsu practitioners use the Hara to assess the condition of the 12 meridians which carry the life energy supporting the necessary life functions on physical and metaphysical levels. This assessment is used to decide upon a specific approach to the client’s treatment.
Shiatsu is done fully clothed on a comfortable mat on the floor or on a massage table. It is a meditative practice which brings healing to both the practitioner (giver) and the client (receiver). Through touch the giver becomes a role model and directs the receiver’s attention and his ability to repair and heal his own body while in a parasympathetic state. The goal is to connect the spirit on all levels, bringing the giver and the receiver into a state of peace and harmony.
The 2018-19 Zen Shiatusu training schedule is as follows: October 5 to 8, November 9 to 12, December 7 to 10, January 4 to 7, February 8 to 11, March 8 to 11, April 5 to 8, May 3 to 6, June 7 to 10, July 5 to 8, August 2 to 5, and September 7 and 8. Class time is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., each day. The sessions are held in Brattleboro, Vermont, a 2½-hour drive from Boston, and students will receive a stipend toward Airbnb housing. Certified massage therapists need only attend three-day weekend intensives, Friday to Sunday, to accumulate 330 hours of classroom experience. Individuals can learn more about the school and register at ShiatsuVT.org.
Shiatsu School of Vermont is located at 24 High St., Brattleboro, VT. For more information, call 802 246-0877 or email ShiatsuVT@gmail.com. By Wendy Fachon, Natural Awakenings Magazine, Boston