Hand Crafted Medicine: a shiatsu practitioner's perspective on the channels and points
With Guest: Winter Jade
As practitioners we all work with a mix of theory, clinical sensibilities developed through years of practice, and the immediate moment of encounter with our patients. What we feel with our hands can deeply help to inform our treatments and ground our mental models into the physicality of the present moment.
Our colleagues on the shiatsu side of the house have a bit of an advantage in connecting and working with the channels and points in a sensate way, as they spend much more of their time in physical contact with their patients.
Listen in to this conversation with a shiatsu practitioner whose practice has been steeped in decades of clinical work as we explore the differences between intention and attention, working with the sensing of the hands along with the ideas of the mind, and the important difference between maps and compasses.
In this conversation we discuss:
- Background and influences
- Chakras, cosmology and development
- The channels and points from the perspective of sensing
- Using the channels instead of using the points
- The profound sensitivity of the human hand
- Clinical of abdominal diagnosis
- Health is part of the expression of who a person is
- The artificial boundary between physical and mental, but if someone comes in with a knee problem, be sure to help the knee!
- How you can’t treat what you don’t understand
- Viewing emotions through the five yin organs, and it might not be as simple as you thought
- Intention and attention
Medicine is a gifted inheritance we develop over the course of our lives.
My real passion in life comes not only from the work I do — which I have been doing for over 40 years now — but the way one comes to regard life and the world as a result of doing this work. I see Asian Medicine as a medicine of relationships. There are so many: the Yin/Yang fusion of opposites; the nature-based and familial correlations of the 5 Elements; the shared locations of different categories of channels; just to name a few. The extensive foundational medical and philosophical concepts in the knowledge base are presented from a completely different cultural sensibility, which has been so stimulating to me.
That said, I absolutely love being in the room with my clients because those teachings are all up for reassembly and redefinition in each client/patient you treat in clinical practice. You must be constantly questioning and reassessing your every assumption to make sure you are applying your knowledge and experience in the most appropriate way for that particular person at that particular time. You are always learning — both by your successes and by your mistakes. I like being a perpetual student!
Equally, I love teaching. At this stage of my life I have a pressing desire, almost a compulsion, to pass along what I have learned about healing from my extraordinary teachers — those who leaned toward more of a shamanic orientation: Shinmei Akinobu Kishi; Grandmother River; Gregory Antyuhin; and others. These are the people who taught me that I am the instrument — not my modality; not my knowledge; not even my hands — but my self. I find it so energizing, so motivating, so engaging to strive toward that goal. And it is such a satisfying pursuit to try to make myself become an instrument of health, balance and harmony for another. That’s what I would like to pass on.
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I’ve heard it said that for something to be heard — it takes someone to speak and another to listen.
Acupuncturist, Podcast Host
I've always been more drawn to questions than answers. And the practice of medicine seems to more lively when infused with a sense of curiosity and inquiry. It's been delight and honor to be able to discuss our medicine with so many thoughtful and skilled practitioners.