I woke up this morning with some slight feelings of sadness. Nothing major, just a little hint of it. Is that the sign of summer coming to the end? Perhaps. There will be no more days full of sun and water at the shore; cold beer and hot barbecue will have to wait to taste great until July next year. Good bye. Will see you again.

The reign of Fall is coming. Time to clean and reorganize the storage space, make room for winter supplies, think how and what should we accumulate to survive until the spring.

Sure I know, the nearby supermarket will feed me fresh strawberries all year long; there is no more need for storing potatoes in the basement. But the instincts of survival are not changing as fast as the technology progresses. My body and mind are reacting to incoming seasonal change as they have been doing for thousands of years, for every human being in existence.

I like the fall. There is some stillness and steadiness in the air. Bit by bit the summer rush is losing its edges, lush all-overwhelming spring green is growing yellow and red. In Chinese health philosophy the organ Fall is associated with is the lungs, and that leads to many more associations. Connections and boundaries are the first to come to mind. We are all breathing the same air. No matter where we live, no matter what we do, we need the same air to stay alive. The air is the element that connects and treats all of us equally.

Just imagine entering somebody's house. On the first breath you would know, somebody in there smokes. The smoker is saying, ""I'm here, that is my territory, like it or not."" By this they are clearly marking their personal boundaries, unfortunately in the process they are contaminating our commonly held and precious air.

That's an extreme example, but in the fall we may find ourselves more aware of our personal space. The space we physically live in and emotional interactions in relation to others tend toward a more independent attitude. It may happen just because the fall is here, not because there is anything wrong with us. And one more thing we may find ourselves aware of, as I mentioned in the beginning: the little sadness growing from awareness of passing seasons and years. In the daily rush, moments like that can bring new, bigger perspectives to life, making it more meaningful than the grind of production and consuming.

Shiatsu is a method of working with one’s body with the aim of achieving a stage of great health and internal well-being. Well beyond traditional concepts of massage, it offers a high level of personalization as each session works in response to the current stage of a patient’s health to lessen pre-existing ailments and to create a sense of relaxation which is often deeper than one might expect.

Shiatsu practitioners are trained to sense and follow the body’s energy flow. Proceeding slowly and smoothly, a Shiatsu massage therapist explores the body landmarks, sensing tensions and energy blockages and working to release them. This knowledgeable touch helps to create feelings of comfort and relaxation.

Encountering energy blockages, the practitioner will gently, smoothly and patiently work around the obstacles until energy flow is restored in each area.

As this occurs, the rhythm of breathing slows down, random thoughts cease to appear, and a sense of serene, joyful, and meditative bliss begins to take over. The effects last long after the session is over and, if repeated, will gradually improve one’s ability to stay relaxed and better cope with daily stresses.

Shiatsu session are practiced either on the massage table or on a futon on the floor. The receiver of the massage is fully clothed, sometime even wrapped in a light blanket to support the feeling of comfort and safety.

Practice can be hard to pin down

The Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare defines Shiatsu as “a form of manipulation administered by the thumbs, fingers and palms without the use of instruments …to apply pressure to the human skin to correct internal malfunction, promote and maintain health and treat specific diseases.”

As is usually the case with short descriptions, they are somewhat limiting. Behind that definition hides much more. Though a longer definition would also help illuminate the practice, the direct experience is the best way to understand its benefits. There is no such thing as a uniform, one-size-fits-all Shiatsu. Though that makes defining Shiatsu difficult, it is also what creates the value of it as an individualized healing art in response to the needs of each patient. Following general rules of energy flow, the Shiatsu practitioner creates a tailor-made, individual healing session each time.

One day from Shiatsu practice

One person came in for the first time, while the other was a long-term Shiatsu receiver. The first person’s main complaint was a tension in the shoulder and a feeling of being tight and somehow restrained. Her physical body was on the flexible side, with detectable tension indeed only located in the shoulder and neck. As the session proceeded, we ran across a very tight area around the kidney in the lower back. Continuing, we also found tenderness in the upper part of the front of her chest. Stimulating that area brought up a lot of emotion, almost bringing her to tears. It took quite a while to stabilize the emotions, but she left the treatment room with a beautiful, relaxed smile on her face, as many trapped emotions had been released.

The other person had a situation which, a few weeks ago, put a physical strain on her lower back. After two sessions, we had her back strength and comfort restored yet she started to experience a funny feeling in her neck. I had spent most of the session time rebalancing and gently adjusting the lower part of the spinae, putting special attention on her psoas muscles’ tension adjustment. I treated the neck very gently, mainly emitting energy and avoiding stronger physical pressure or stretching. The treatment was successful, she gets back to her life routines.

That is just in one day of the practice proving one more time that Shiatsu could help with broad variety of emotional and physical health issue . Fees / availability

Single 90 min session on the table cost is $95. Sessions are available by appointment only.

Click to make an appointment or call Andrzej 609 742 3140

The Qi Gong lifestyle means to be: peaceful, relaxed and worry-free, yet strong enough to successfully cope with life’s challenges. A Qi Gong practitioner experiences an increase in focus, concentration, short-term memory. One’s physical body and emotional balance also improve with practice.

Balance is the key word to a successful Qi Gong lifestyle.

To be balanced does not mean to be limited, it means knowing there is an effect after every cause. Perfectly illustrated by the Yin/Yang symbol, we will come back to the topic of balance later in the article.

When the gift of life is given to us, it is coming in a package that includes so many elements that together make us human. One of these elements is a lifetime of lasting good health. The majority of us enjoy good health for most of our lives which can cause us to take it for granted.

For every machine, the source of power is critical. Your phone is running well if the battery lasts.

The same is true with our bodies, our battery being inborn Qi energy. Though we have a lot when we are born, it is not inexhaustible. As a life progresses, we are gradually exhausting our energy. Qi Gong offers an understanding of that process and provides methods to slow down the depletion of our internal energy. Compared to a lay person, a Qi Gong practitioner uses their energy in thoughtful way, replenishes it, and the effects can be seen in a person’s physical health, making them appear younger than what one might typically imagine for somebody of a particular age.

Acting on a higher energy level means health, wellbeing, a positive attitude, and intellectual creativity. The list of benefits goes on, and additional details can be found on posts at my website, www.healingtouchhealingmovement.com. To put it simply - you can have the energy to act and live as though you were 10 years younger at the least.

The Yin/Yang symbol is a genius way of explaining life. Balance of centrifugal and gravity forces is what keeps all of the known universe together. That’s why The Earth and Moon are joined together, it’s why the solar system and galaxies exist. On the small, night comes after day and there is a need for rest after activity. I will stop for a while to look at this. Yang in the symbol means action, achievement, effort to achieve and joy of an achievement. We look for that and crave it. In our euphoric moments of success, it is so easy to forget that the Yin element is what the Yang builds to. Yang is success, which is exhaustive, so it turns into Yin – a replenishing of our internal resources. As in finance, Yang is a venture that has been capitalized on, but Yin, or “funding”, is needed to make it a reality. That is clear when talking about finances. The picture however is a bit different when talking about our health.

We take our health for granted. Health is the horse which gets us to success. We provide basic nutrition for it, and it must be ready to carry us on our life journeys. Medicine can provide some of the solutions for its malfunctioning. The horse, in a Yang sense, gets us places. But there is also the Yin element to remember. Yang actions consume the Yin’s ability to support, and our energy, just as an aging horse, is quietly yet constantly diminishing to the point that we can start to feel its absence. So-called midlife crises are moments when we arrive at a warning sign that our Yin energy is depleting adversely. There is not enough to so support your Yang life style is the message our bodies and minds send us. If we ignore it, the bell to replenish our energy will ring more and more. Seeking to fix specific symptoms can only go so far, as they do not address the true reason for such a breakdown - diminishing levels of internal Qi.

That is where Qi Gong comes into play. It addresses the energetic reason directly, raises one’s energy level, and teaches us how not waste our daily energy energy in order to maintain physical and mental balance. With practice, working with our energy benefits us with a positive, youthful attitude, a more resistant immune system, and a stronger, healthier body and mind.

An energetic understanding of our body’s internal dynamics can provide early insight into maintaining a healthy emotional balance – the upsetting of that balance is at the heart of mind or body ailments.

To prevent addiction – a truly intriguing question and one worthy of finding an answer for. One cigarette does not necessarily lead to a smoking habit. The same is true for the occasional drink. Yet for some, the first try of reality-changing substances is the beginning of an addictive path. Our western chemical and technological medicine tries to find the answer, and though they help somewhat, it is mostly on a surface level. The same is true of psychology - helping, but solely on basic emotional grounds. Both methods of treatment enter the game when an addiction already exists, which is already late by energetic healing standards. They are reactions to the effects of addiction often long after the causes of addiction have taken up root in a patient’s body and mind.

The energetic wisdom of Chinese Medicine included in the Qi Gong practice connects our emotions with specific organs of the body to organize our physical and mental health into one system. If we look at the attached diagram, it quickly becomes clear that one emotion influences the others, with these relationships sometimes supporting and sometimes controlling another emotion’s development.

The kidneys of our body are associated with the emotion of fear. As we all have kidneys, we also all have the potential of experiencing this emotion. Fear is in us to warn against dangerous situations and unsound decisions. Most people have a strong enough kidney energy to live comfortably, embracing their fears as their lives progress. Yet not everyone is so lucky. Those who are born with weaker kidney energy are often inclined to give into their fears, often experience them for no apparent reason. Such a person lives on the edge of fear, not realizing what’s going on. Through our net of interconnected emotions, fear affects all other emotions to influence one’s thoughts and actions. We do not have many social outlets nor enough proper education on emotional understanding to allow sharing and exchanging of such information on our internal states. Such a person is left on their own or, even worse, falls prey to social expectation like “Men don’t cry, don’t be a chicken,” and so on. This causes even more damage, causing one to withdraw into our imaginary world where thinking that reaching for chemical substances will solve such internal problems. This is just one example, but imbalanced energy can effect every one of our organs, leading to emotional troubles.

In Qi Gong, we explore the connection between organs and emotions. This offers a possibility for changing the functioning of an organ to change its associated emotion. The liver in Chinese medicine is responsible for tendons, ligaments and muscle strength. The liver is also home to the emotion of anger. Therefore, practicing Qi Gong designed to release tension from one’s physical body will allow for the release of pent-up anger. In a similar way, Qi Gong also provides exercise for every organ, allowing for emotional balance and a feeling of internal integrity.

When something is threatening, we want to hide and hold our breath so that nobody will hear us. When we are about to cry, breathing is fast and shallow. If such a situation happens too often, the body will tense up and remain in that stressed mode of breathing. Over time, this restricts the amount of oxygen we take in, causing the brain to produce more fears, doubts, and uncertainties which further damage our emotional balance. Qi Gong recognizes this process and provides a method of training to restore our original, healthy breathing patterns.

There is yet one more element to be taken under consideration. The mind – the compilation of habits, memories, and thinking patterns which we create in response to social pressures and our external environment. The wisdom of Taoism recognized that mechanism more than two thousand years ago and have created systems of active meditation to face and transform it. These techniques should be included in a person’s Qi Gong practice to achieve internal peace, balance, and maintaining a healthy distance from the stresses of our everyday challenges.

Combined in Qi Gong training are those elements which allow us to smooth out our emotional flow and create a healthy distance from life’s obstacles. The knowledge and experience gained over the course of the training creates authentic self-confidence, willpower, and the courage to act on it. This includes achieving control over one’s internal emotions, external actions, and the elimination of harassing thought loops and nagging worries. A low kidney energy person, for example, will be able to act positively, to not succumb to the flow of external influences, and to keep their internal negativity in check.

The goal of this article is not to provide specific exercise examples, but an insight into why they are. As whole, important to our bodily and mental health. Qi Gong training requires experienced guiding as every person has different energetic dynamics which need to be approached accordingly.

All Content © 2015 Andrzej Leszczynski. All Rights Reserved.