Jual opened the door wearing therapist white and I charged through in corporate black, briskly introduced myself and apologised for being late – the traffic was this, my meeting was that. I quickly changed into my yoga pants and tank and gratefully flopped down on the futon on the floor – arms and legs spread like a starfish. I willed my heart to slow down.
After a series of medical history questions and enquiry into present state of life and work, Jual put down her clipboard and we both fell silent. Quietly, with eyes closed, Jual began to softly palpate my stomach – the hara (the body’s energy center in Chinese Medicine) – and jot down a note or two as she continued to ‘read’ my body and come to her diagnosis. I closed my eyes too and let myself drift as she began her gentle manipulations with soft pressure. She used fingers, elbows or knees on specific spots or meridian lines along my body. It was not a time for questions but quiet release into an hour of calm and tranquility.
That was the beginning of a fifteen-year relationship that only ended when I left Canada and moved to Greece.I had discovered Shiatsu some years before and since that time, Shiatsu has been a mainstay of my life and, decades later, I attribute my health and wellbeing to both Shiatsu’s therapeutic and preventive health benefits.
When I moved to Greece, my mission was to find a registered Shiatsu practitioner to keep up regular treatments. My good fortune was to find Antigoni Tseggeli right here on our island of Aegina. Antigoni is a skilled practitioner and sees clients in Athens as well as Aegina. She is now president of the Hellenic Shiatsu Society and is dedicated to teaching and her own continuing professional development. As president, she is enthusiastic to bring internationally eminent instructors to Greece and organises CPD (Continuous Professional Development) for the members of HSS. Antigoni believes that practitioners with a high level of Shiatsu skill and experience along with a well-informed public about the therapy and its benefits can create a safe environment and a trustful relationship between client and qualified practitioner.
The aim of Shiatsu is to stimulate and support the processes of natural self-healing, wellbeing and personal growth, and to maintain health through balancing the energetic system of an individual. The method uses the application of pressure and of energetic and physical touch to the body’s energy channels and points in order to balance the circulation of the body’s energy known as Qi or Chi. The wellbeing of a person as a unity of Body Mind and Spirit depends on the harmonic flow of this energy. Shiatsu treatment is a form of communication through Touch based on techniques of energetic (Qi-chi) evaluation and bodywork manipulations. Each person is unique and each session responds to the present need of the client with the view to long-term health goals.