Bring in the new year - Yoga & health magazine's Introduction to shiatsu contains very important pointers that will help you learn the art of Shiatsu effectively; it also presents some important 'do's and don'ts' to consider when giving a Shiatsu treatment.

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Therefore it is strongly recommended that you read it carefully before proceeding to Part One.



Energy in the hands

This simple exercise is helpful in developing awareness of your own Ki and increasing the effectiveness of your treatments. It can be used before giving Shiatsu or self-treatment.
Sit or stand with the spine straight, and the body relaxed. Pay particular attention to the shoulders; if they feel tense, follow the corresponding self-treatment sequence below. Then rub the hands together, with the fingers pointing upwards at the level of your face, and the whole of each hand making contact with the other, right down to the wrist. Do this for about 20 or 30 seconds, then separate the hands and hold them parallel to each other, about six inches apart. Do you feel any kind of sensation in them? Rubbing the hands together in this way stimulates Ki, which is often experienced as a sense of tingling, like an electrical charge, or sometimes like magnetic attraction or repulsion, or even like an almost solid ball of energy between the hands. Experiment by varying the distance between the hands, or moving them so that one passes the other, still with that space between, and observe the sensations. Closing the eyes can help. You may not feel these sensations at first, but if you practise the exercise you soon will. Even if the sensations are not apparent at first the Ki is still there, so it will still enhance your subsequent treatment.

Rubbing the hands together stimulates Ki flow through them. You can feel the enhanced Ki as you move the hands together and apart, or pass one across the other. A variation on rubbing the hands together, which some people find more effective, is simply to shake them vigorously for about half a minute, still with the shoulders relaxed, and-with the wrists floppy. Then try moving the hands relative to one another.

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