Yoga, Movement Facilitator, Shiatsu Therapist, CYT, EST.
After struggling with health issues, and noting a lack of long-term efficacy in many prescriptive western remedies, Ian first began exploring options for self-care in 2004. Seeing the necessity of a lifelong commitment to personal wellness and wanting to share this understanding with others, he began to develop the means to assist his friends and neighbours in cultivating and maintaining their own sense of balance. These days, that neighbourhood extends to all corners of the city of Toronto – and with the introduction of online classes and destination retreats, now reaches worldwide.
Shiatsu: Skilled and Thoughtful Hands
In the 13 years that I have been practicing shiatsu therapy, I am often asked how I first became interested in it. Like much of my life, getting there was a fascinating journey…
In the early 00s, I was living and working in Southeast Asia – specifically, The Philippines, and more specifically, in the southern city of Davao.
At that time, I was employed as a personal trainer at my friend’s father’s company, tasked with helping his largely deskbound middle and upper management with their fitness regimens. The closest gym to the office was in a nearby hotel, and it was there that I discovered I could avail myself of both classic and shiatsu massage to help with my own post-workout aches.
While I enjoyed both, I quickly gravitated toward shiatsu. The thumb and hand pressure felt like it penetrated deeper than the kneading technique of traditional massage, and there was a whole-body thoroughness that typically left me in a head-to-toe state of deep relaxation.
But what really caught my attention with shiatsu was the varying ability of the people who worked on me. Early on, it was apparent that the therapists employed by the hotel had all attended the same school: the sequences used were pretty much identical to one another, as was the depth of pressure and timing. But there were a couple of practitioners who seemed to have the ability to sense what I needed and where it was needed. Deeper here, lighter there. Applying pressure and then holding – sometimes gentle and warming and quite often into a mild discomfort in the moment that soon led to a feeling of release and relief. The residual effects of these treatments – diminished tension, improved mood, and better sleep – could often be felt for days afterward.
When I finally enrolled in shiatsu school, I carried the memory of those skilled and thoughtful hands into my training. In the years since I graduated, I have been honing my own version of these hands, so that I can provide you, my clientele, with an exceptional experience when you come in for treatment.