SHEN- Specific Human Energy Nexus Physioemotional Release Therapy. Developed by Richard Pavek whose background was in Gestalt work, electronics, chemistry, aeronautics.


Shiatsu-A Japanese healing modality similar to Chinese acupressure utilizing a Japanese
healing philosophy of ki (life energy). Shiatsu literally means "finger pressure". This form of acupressure is a combination of many different techniques including pressing, hooking, sweeping, shaking, rotating, grasping, vibrating, patting, plucking, lifting, pinching, rolling, brushing, and sometimes walking barefoot on the patients back, legs, and feet. It is applied with comfortable pressure to all parts of the body with thumbs, palms, and elbows where the body is gently stretched to loosen joints and muscles. Shiatsu treatments promote good health by strengthening the body and stimulating its self-healing abilities. It is traditionally performed on the floor with the client comfortably lying on a futon with both client and patient dressed comfortably in a kimono (Japanese robe). Shiatsu is considered a special kind of  dance between giver and receiver where a unique rapport develops between the practitioner and client because shiatsu relies on the simple but powerful experience of touch to awaken the client's own self-healing powers. This "touch communication" between practitioner and client is foundational to all healing methods. When the independence of ki is restored to a free flowing state throughout the body, it touches the physical, emotional, and spiritual sensitivity of the person, and the natural healing flow is restored.

Shiatsu is a Japanese hand healing method effective for stress, locomotive and internal disorders. In Oriental Medicine, all disorders are seen as the result of an imbalance of the distribution of life force in the body. The practitioner supports and empathizes with the receiver's inner drive to recover, balances the life force in the meridians and creates a warm understanding through touch and pressure, thus promoting self-healing. The client is fully clothed to receive Shiatsu.

Key Benefits

As in Chinese medicine, Japanese medicine recognizes a life energy – called ki in Japanese rather than the Chinese qi – that flows through all living beings. Ki flows throughout the entire body along 12 main channels, called meridians, each associated with a particular organ. As it flows throughout the body, ki may become excessive or weak in certain areas. Practitioners can build up weak ki or release excess ki by stimulating hundreds of points called tsubos, which are located along the meridians.

The practitioner generally uses her knuckles, palms, elbows, or even feet to apply pressure to the points, and the pressure may be light or deep, depending on the desired affect. Shiatsu pressure is generally applied for three to five seconds.

Shiatsu practitioners use a couple of different techniques. Some focus on certain tsubos, while others take a more general approach, using pressure all over the body to stimulate balanced flow of ki throughout the meridians.


There isn’t much scientific research specifically on shiatsu, but it is believed that findings on acupressure, acupuncture, and massage are relevant to this therapy as well. Practitioners believe that shiatsu is effective as a general tonic to enhance health and as a treatment that stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself in cases of specific illness.

Although shiatsu can be very helpful in alleviating some of the discomforts of pregnancy, especially morning sickness, pregnant women should not use shiatsu without the advice of a health care practitioner. Pressure on certain points has shown to cause uterine contractions and may lead to miscarriage.

Shiatsu should also be avoided if you have a heart condition, after a heavy meal or exertion, in cases of acute infection, or on points where there is a bruise, open wound, mole, wart, or varicose vein.


Somatics- Developed by Thomas Hanna building on his work with Moshe Feldenkrais.  Sensory motor amnesia is the memory loss of muscles groups due to habitual movement patterns. We lose awareness and feeling in such areas.  The goal of Somatics is to reawaken them through the use of movement and awareness.
Book resources:
Somatics: Reawakening the Minds Control of Movement, Flexibility and Health by Thomas Hanna
Web resources:
Hanna Somatics


Soft Tissue Release- Stuart Taws- Sports injury technique developed by Stuart Taws while working with the British Athletic Team.  Uses techniques to break up chronic scar tissue adhesions and followed up with specific stretches that involve 3 different levels.
Web resources:
Stuart Taws Method- Soft tissue release techniques workshops and training videos


Soma Neuromuscular Integration- Developed by Bill Williams, one of Ida Rolf's first students, in 1978. Combines structural integration with psychological therapy to realign the body, mind, spirit.
Web resources:
Soma Institute


Sports Massage- Massage applied to serious athletes for training, injury prevention, rehab, pre and post event strategies.  You have to know what you are doing to work with athletes as their life depends on their bodies.  Working too deep before an event may leave them weak and unable to  compete.  They work themselves to exhaustion and do it all over the next day.

Sports Massage is a highly specialized form of massage therapy. It begins with careful study of the movements involved in sports activity. Then the muscle and joint movements are analyzed. Finally, deep tissue strokes, muscle massage, release points, and joint movements are designed to correct harmful movement patterns and prevent tissue damage during exercise. Sports Massage consists of specific components designed to reduce injuries, alleviate inflammation, and provide warm-up for amateur and professional athletes before, after, and within their training regimes. It is tailored to the specific needs of an athlete's sport.injuries

When is the best time to have a sports massage?
Sports massage is used both before and after competition. Pre-event massage is best 15-45 minutes before the event. Good results can still be obtained 1 to 2 hours before the event. Post-event massage is best 15 minutes to two hours after event. The purpose is to calm the nervous system, relaxing the athlete from the effects of the event. Research shows that this type of massage promotes rapid removal of metabolic wastes and is more effective than rest in recovery from muscle fatigue.

Is sports massage beneficial during training?
Massage during training is the most beneficial form of massage for the athlete. Most athletes incorporate massage into their training schedule. Massage is considered a regular and valuable part of the training process.

Does sports massage aid in the recovery from injury?
Massage therapy greatly reduces the effects of soft tissue injury. When combined with other forms of manual medicine such as physical therapy techniques, it will decrease the amount of time to heal from an injury.

Key Benefits

  • Reduces the chance of injuries
  • Alleviates inflammation
  • Reduces lactic acid build-up in muscle
  • Reduces muscle stiffness
  • Improves flexibility
  • Injuries heal more quickly


Stone Therapy - see Hot Rock Therapy


Strain Counter strain- Developed by Lawrence Jones, DO.  The work focuses on joint dysfunction and treatment of such problems by passively putting the joint into its position of greatest comfort.  The malfunctioning muscle is shortened by placing a mild strain (stretching) to its antagonists.  His tenderpoints are located in the deeper muscle, tendon and ligament structures.


Structural Integration- Originally developed by Ida Rolf.  Other therapies have used her work as a basis of their programs and combined it with other techniques.  10 session series of treatments to balance and align the body with the gravitational field.
Web resources:
Body Synergy Institute- Matthew and Ellen Cohen: Matthew studied with Ida Rolf, Judith Aston, Feldenkrais, Bioenergetics and Gestalt (to name a few). Ellen has a background in dance and movement :Continuum
Guild for Structural Integration
Hellerwork- Developed by Joseph Heller, combines bodywork with Voice Dialogue (a form of verbal therapy from Hal Stone)
Institute for Integrative Bodytherapies- Laurence Kaufman's work
Institute of Psychophysical Integration
International Center for Release and Integration: Postural Integration- Jack Painter's work.
Myopractic Muscle Therapy-  Robert Petteway.
The Rolf Institute
Zentherapy®   - William 'Dub' Leigh's work; from his experiences with Rolfing, Feldenkrais and Zen training.  Articles:  Feldenkrais by Dub Leigh ,  Zen Bodytherapy by Sula Thomas- Forero,  Interview with Dub


Swedish Massage- A collection of techniques designed for relaxation, using massage oils to reduce friction.  Many of the therapeutic effects include increased circulation, increased flexibility, removal of lactic acid and toxins, relaxes nervous system, and stimulates the skin.  Techniques can be modified to treat injuries and muscular related problems.

Clinical Massage Certification - Clinical Massage Transcript - Traditional Chinese Medicine Degree - Traditional Chinese Medicine Transcript
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