A Shiatsu Experience
Pekka Kortelainen / Finland

I lay down to the floor on a blanket. I am wearing comfortable loose clothes and socks. She tells me that I don’t have to do anything during next one hour. She might move my body parts, might turn me to one side or another, but I should not help her. I find a nice position for my head, close my eyes and let my weight fall to the floor. She places her hands on my back. This is my first shiatsu session.

I’m hearing the calm quiet music in the background, smelling soft aroma of incense and feeling her hands moving on the backside of my body, going from one place to another with changing but firm quality of touch. Sometimes the hands are faster, rhythmical and strong, sometimes slower and gentle, sometimes almost playful. Sometimes they are just still for a moment. Sometimes I feel only one finger. Sometimes She takes her hands away from my body. Through Her touch I start becoming increasingly aware of my breathing, my body, myself. Soon I notice that I have stopped having thoughts in my mind. My mind is clear of thoughts.

Now Her hands are close to my right knee. Somewhere close to the knee joint her fingers touch lightly and precisely to a small spot of area in my body. Slowly I start feeling as if she  would be putting a needle through my skin and releasing some liquid inside. It hurts. The feeling of needle going through my skin stays for few seconds until it slowly fades away as the hand moves away from the spot. The pain disappears. After the treatment She tells me that the spot is energetically connected to lower back.

One reason I wanted to try shiatsu was my lower back pain. It seems to be the weak point of my body since it keeps coming back almost regularly, especially under stress. Another reason was that I am looking for ways to balance my often unstable emotional life. I am a person who gets easily stressed and worried of a lot of things jumping from one emotional state to another. I often lack some stability. At the beginning of the session She said that during the treatment She will go through different body systems and that could help in problems. When there is no blocks of energy in the body and the energy can flow freely, the bodymind is able to balance itself during daily life. When there is a block, different forms of imbalances appear. My imbalances have been back pain and emotional stress.

Following days after the treatment I definitely felt calmer. I felt less my usual need to keep myself busy with some work or idea. I allowed and enjoyed more of the not-doing. A feeling of spaciousness appeared into the days after the shiatsu. What happened to the back pain, I just forgot it. I don’t know if the problem was still there or not but at least it didn’t seem to bother me in the same way it used to. Today my back is fine, not knowing how much it is because of the shiatsu. Maybe it is not important to know...

Some time ago I used to be quite critical towards alternative medicine. The concepts such as energy body, chi, aura and meridians which I often heard next to the traditions of chinese medicine didn’t really convince me. Some of the ideas often seemed to lack a clear scientific explanation or at least I never heard about them if there was some. How some hands-on bodywork work could make such a major shift in the overall health and well being of the whole person? Today I can just say from my own experience that yes it can make a major shift!

I’m now lying on my back. She turns my head different directions. My head feels light. She places my head to the floor. I have been lying on the floor close to one hour now. She has scanned through my body from tip of the toes and fingers to the top of the head.  I feel Her hands pressing gently below my navel. Slowly Her hands lifts away from my body. She is not touching me anymore. Though I start feeling increasing warmth below my navel as if she would be sending some energy to my body without physical contact. I ask from myself: “Is it real or is it just a result of my own imagination”? I don’t find any answer. Maybe it is not important...

I hear Her steps walking away from the room.  I’m now alone in the room, still lying on my back, blanket underneath me. I slowly open my eyes. My breathing is slow and deep. I feel very very relaxed. No worries, no stress, no tension. I smell the aroma of incense, hear gentle music playing quietly and I see few candles spreading their soft light to the room. I push myself to sitting position. Zuna walks back to the room and offers me a glass of water.
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„Shiatsu with Zuna is an extraordinary experience. It is different from a massage or other kinds of bodywork because Zuna understands the importance of balance and harmony. While calming the muscles and relaxing the tense places in the body through her touch, her knowledge of anatomy and the Ki energy allow her to feel and work with places where trouble is occurring. By balancing and redistributing inner energy, she offers total transformation to clients. The body is not only calmed but also rejuvenated. That is why Zuna’s shiatsu is an exceptional and deep experience.”
Kate Matingly/ ballet teacher and journalist/ Washington 

“I have been getting shiatsu massages since my 4th month of pregnancy. I try to switch off as much as possible during therapy and to focus on myself and the baby. Even though I have no serious problems in my pregnancy, apart from the stress of every day life and work situations, this treatment is great relaxation and energy recharge for me. After treatment, I am leaving relaxed, satisfied and in a good mood. I draw on this feeling for several more days.”
Zuzana Navarová/ economist/ Bratislava

“For me, shiatsu is a way to get in touch with my own body. Its subtleness helps me be aware of deep internal connections in my body. It helps me to achieve the sense of the whole again. It is a method that heals my injuries, physical as well as mental. It is also a way to prevent these injuries. Shiatsu expands my range of movement in my body as well as in my mind. Besides, it helps me release tension, allows me to be here and now, not to judge myself.”
Jana Unmusig / dancer / Germany

„For a long tome, I have not experienced a workshop so full of expertise and knowledge which would run so spontaneously, naturally as if nothing was going on... It is great to be able to feel the energy changes in one’s own body as well as in the body of the other during treatment; and that we can help ourselves and others through love and connection. I would like to hereby thank Zuna for the wonderful time which we were able to spend under her leadership and I am very much looking forward to meeting again at next year’s workshop.
Veronika Rinowski/ dance teacher/ Prague

„I have been attending Zuna’s dance courses for two years and I am going for a third intensive shiatsu course this summer. It is difficult for me to speak separately just about the shiatsu courses because what is beautiful about Zuna’s classes is their totality and the connection of Traditional Chinese Medicine, shiatsu massage and dance movement. After her dance courses, I often have the feeling as if I had been getting a shiatsu massage through movement, and on the contrary, when I am giving shiatsu, my body relaxes, energy begins to flow all over my body and when it is finished, I feel stretched and charged with energy like after a well performed dance training. Thanks to Zuna for her great approach to passing on her knowledge and practical experience.”