Shiatsu Found Me

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Shiatsu found me back in the fall of 2015. I just returned from a three week trip to China.  I didn’t know much about shiatsu. All I knew was that a two-and-a-half year training was starting in less than a month at the yoga studio I just started going to. It caught my attention.

I read the flyer at the front desk, then I went on the Karuna website to read more. At first, I told myself it was in my 5 year plan. I needed to think it through. I needed to not make any quick decisions, since it was a long and expense commitment. But I knew I had to do this training!

I remember being at my aunt’s house in New Hampshire. It was a crisp fall afternoon. We took a walk around the loop with my two aunts, Shereen, and my mother. I started talking to Shereen, my aunt’s friend, telling her about this shiatsu training.

“Michelle, do you know I am trained to give shiatsu treatments?” Shereen said.

“No,” I replied.

“Yes.” Shereen said. She went on to explain shiatsu through her training and experience.

I kept thinking about that shiatsu training, re-visiting the website, and still had the urge to sign up for this training, which started in less than a month.  The first time I spoke the words aloud, “I’m going to sign up for a 2 ½ year shiatsu training,” was on my usual Sunday morning hike with Carolyn. We were in the middle of the woods when I said it.

“What is Shiatsu?” Carolyn asked.

“To be honest, I’m not sure. But it has something to do with energy, bodywork, and healing. It’s at the yoga studio I just started going to. And I can’t stop thinking about it.”

“Wow.”

“And I’ve decided I am signing up. It starts in less than a month.”

“Wow, you sound so sure about this.”

“I am.”

I was sure. Yet, I started thinking it was a crazy idea, since I was teaching 70 middle schooler and was going to Umass to pursue an advanced degree. “How am I ever going to fit this in?,” my analytical brain was questioning. “But it feels so right,” my heart responded.

I knew I had to do this training! I handed in my application, along with a $300 deposit, on November 7, 2015 after a Saturday morning yoga class. Soon after, I had a phone interview with the instructor. Then came a welcome email with the list of books I was required to purchase. This all happened in a matter of weeks.

On Friday, November 20, 2015, I walked through the studio doors for my very first night of training. There I met my fellow shiatsu practitioner trainees: Jen, Shereen, Julie, Mel, and Angela. We introduced ourselves. We did the Makko Ho meridian stretches. Then we traced the meridians.

The next morning I hiked with Carolyn. We found a beautiful lookout off of our normal Seven Sisters hiking trail where I showed her the Makko Ho stretches. We now call that spot the shiatsu spot.

Shiatsu found me almost two years ago. At this moment, we have completed two out of the three levels. We have eight more weekends until this 500-hour Five Element Shiatsu training ends. I didn’t know much about shiatsu. All I knew was that a two-and-a-half year training was starting in less than a month and I knew I had to do this training!

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