Inspired by students

The value of support and sharing ideas

I resisted this idea of sharing aspects of my life with you, but after meeting with my Mistress Mind group (Creating Families in Bristol: I will write about them in another Blog) I was inspired by Eva of Born Bristol to share what my students have been up to .

Inspired by students

I have spent the last couple of weeks with family, taking it easy and hibernating but also catching up on marking students work and I have been excited to hear how they are using it with their clients.  It is always rewarding for me to hear that they are able to use what they have learned during the courses. I have some of my students’ projects on my website and will be adding in some more over the next few weeks.

Midwives using shiatsu in France and Belgium

Sometimes, shiatsu practitioners ask me how effectively midwives and other health professionals are able to integrate shiatsu in their work with the short trainings I offer for them. I continue to be amazed at how effectively they do so. From my midwives’ courses in Belgium, I had some lovely work from Dominique Oppel, an independent midwife who works with sophro-analyse ( a method developed by Claude Imbert in France, of how to connect with and heal womb and early childhood experiences)  and now shiatsu. She has found shiatsu has been useful to anchor the more mental work she does in the body and has produced some amazing changes both in pregnancy as well as labour and postnatally. She wrote about the woman who realised the anger stored in her body was expressing itself through eczema and this cleared rapidly after working with Gall Bladder and she was then able to express her needs more clearly rather than get frustrated. Another woman who had felt tired, anaemic and disconnected from her husband, was able to accept her baby more and feel cocooned and supported by work with Heart Uterus, 3 burners and Penetrating vessel. Other midwives in France used shiatsu to help babies change position and for breastfeeding issues as well as during labour.

Shiatsu practitioners discussing the Penetrating vessel: sea of Blood

Shiatsu practitioners Anne Parisot, France and Julie Deccaroux, French but trained and living in UK, did very different presentations on this vessel. Chinese literature is so vast and I only recently realised why often French and English texts offer different views on similar topics. Many of the French writers draw more from the Korean traditions than from the Chinese.

Anne wrote about the differences between the Yuan Qi  which relates to the Ciel anterior: pre heaven energy: the energy imprinted at the time of conception, our ancestral imprint and the Jing Qi, which is activated after conception and its link with the Triple Heater. Julie wrote about how some authors don’t differentiate between Yuan Qi and Jing Qi and it can be used interchangeably. A huge subject here for discussion! Please contribute your views!

Anne took the image of Lobo from Clarissa Pinkola Estés “ Women who run with wolves” to explain how she sees the Penetrating Vessel. Loba finds the bones of animals, especially wolves and breathes flesh and blood back into their bodies. Anne quoted some lovely work she did with two young cousins whose grandmother died when their parents were young and their parents still carried some unprocessed grief and anxiety. Both young children were having difficulty sleeping because they were extremely anxious. For one child, just one session on the Penetrating Vessel which the mother then used regularly, completely transformed and settled her. She also used it with a woman who had suffered sexual abuse as a child who was not able to connect with her body: again a couple of sessions and the woman was able to come into her body.

Julie talked a lot about the spiritual aspect of the Penetrating Vessel and also about it being expressed through the placenta. She has been inspired to do a course on placenta encapsulation: so I will get her to write about this in a future blog.

Male shiatsu practitioners thinking about men’s role in pregnancy and birth

Sometimes people wonder if men attend my courses and while not many do, it is wonderful when we have their contributions.

Yannis from France wrote about how to integrate men at all stages of pregnancy, birth and postnatally and I will put his project up on the French part of the website soon.  Dave from the UK did an interesting presentation on male couvade. I am hoping he will write a blog on this. He has also kindly written a testimonial on what he gained from the course which will go up on my new website.

Massage therapists giving talks on why it is important to study massage in pregnancy

Sally, who did my course at Neal’s yard in London, wrote about how attending my course transformed her treatments beyond recognition and she gave a talk to massage students in Cornwall about things to look for in a pregnancy massage course and why further training is needed.

Well: I still have so many more but the lovely presentation from Ilona in Amsterdam on how to support the menstrual cycle with shiatsu, will be included in another blog piece. I want to write something about how women’s energy has become suppressed. If you have any thoughts on that, please let me know.





  1. Reading your blog brings back so many good memories of attending your course in Bristol. It gives me new inspiration and ideas. Next week I will have husbands attend for the first time during the pregnancy course I give. I am really looking forward to it.

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