Auto Shiatsu – Kurétaké Style

The majority of us walk around suffering with pains in our backs, feeling tired and vaguely out of touch with ourselves, we can’t even find 5 minutes to take a break and relax. We are always giving; giving to our jobs, our families etc; and because we never stop we don’t really know how we are, we are always on the go. Our relaxation at the end of the day, perhaps alcohol and/or cigarettes and…. the next morning, how do we feel, great to be alive or reaching in the cabinet for those headache pills? 

We only notice our bodies when they trouble us; “ouch my foot, my head”, or feeling our shoulders to relieve the tension so we can carry on ….. creating yet more tension. Ummm, behold the old person unable to walk without a frame, stuck in front of the telly, behold the diminution of our lives because we didn’t take the time and trouble to look after ourselves when we were young, always telling ourselves “there’s no time”. Well there is no time and no time like the present to change all of that! 

Here are some simple techniques that if you practice regularly each day they will make an amazing difference to your life and for only half an hour, you can also adapt them, do them first thing in the morning or to suit your schedule, do them at home or by your desk, create a group in your work place have fun and work together.


Good health for always

 1.   Working on the reflex points of your feet.

Sitting on your knees cross one foot on top of the other and place your weigh on that foot. You can rock your body backwards to place more weight against the foot. You can also move the position of that foot to access different reflex points on the sole.Image

 2.   Working on the hips and calf muscles

Lying on your back with knees bent, place one leg on top of the knee, the calf muscles, and slowly press the muscle into the knee, moving the leg up and down to access the whole muscle. At the same time you can lift your hips off the floor to open your hips and gently stretch your lumber (small of your back), you can also lift your head off the floor to stretch your neck and upper back.

 3.   De-contracting the calf muscles and working on the bladder meridian

Kneeling, with your body erect place your hand behind you and place your thumb on the back of your calf muscle. Moving your hand gently towards your ankle, gently press your thumb into the calf muscle and repeat several times. You may feel some pain so be gentle and hold the pressure from 3 to 7 seconds, breathing while you do this deeply into your abdomen.Image

 4.   Working on the stomach meridian

Sitting on the floor, knees bent feet on the floor in front of you. Place your thumb just below your knee and to the outside of your leg, the tibia, gently press. As in 2 above move your thumb towards your ankle and repeat several times. To increase the pressure, open the elbows out to the side and the thumb will penetrate more deeply. Good for relieving indigestion.

 5.   Relieving tension along the meridians for the liver, spleen and kidneys.

Sitting openly crossed legged, taking hold of your wrist, place your forearm towards the top of your leg and gently press and roll your forearm along your leg towards your knee and repeat several times. Change sides, Right arm to right leg and left arm to left leg.

 6.   Working on the lungs and large intestine

Place the point of your thumb on top of the Venus Mount, just below your thumb. Pivot around your thumb so that the pads  of your fingers rest in the space between your thumb and the back of your hand. You will find a natural space where your fingers fit in nicely. Gently open and close your elbow to penetrate your fingers into that space and to press your thumb more firmly into the Venus Mount.

 7.   Working on the energetic pathways of the body (Three heaters) and the pericardium. 

Standing or sitting bring your arms in front of you and elbows out to the side. Bring your right hand on top of your left forearm (FA), and grasp just below the elbow and the back of your forearm is facing away from you, so your thumb is on the inside and the fingers on the inside. Place your thumb on the central inside of the FA and the fingers holding the outer edge of the FA. Move the hand towards the wrist, gently lifting the elbow to increase the pressure, repeat for other side.Image

 8.         Large Intestine and Heart

Exactly the same position as in 8 but moving your fingers to the top of your arm and the thumb down to the inside outer edge of the FA.

 9.   Working on increasing the flexibility of the hips and   wrists. Two postures.

Find a wall and stand 90° to that wall. At arms length place your hand against the wall, fingers facing down, wrist is bent at 90° and push weight against wrist and maintain pressure. 

Now move body slightly away from the wall and keeping arm straight, flex hips towards the wall, bending the body towards the wall. 

To work the wrist and shoulder a bit more, bend elbow and push your arm straight to push your hips inwards against the arm, repeat several times. Repeat other side

 10.   Working on the hips, thighs and ankles

This is akin to a simple warrior pose in Yoga. 

Bending forward place both hands on the floor just in front of your body. Place right foot between hands with knee bent and stretch left foot backwards straight, resting on the toes. Lift up body and hands so that arms stay relaxed by your sides and press your left heel towards the floor to open up hips and thigh. Repeat other side.


About Yoga - Sunyata

I have been very fortunate to have trained with some of the best teachers in their fields. In the UK I learnt Yoga under Cheryl Sayers in Cambridge and later with Sivananda in France. Cheryl was an authentic experienced Hatha Yoga teacher who hadbeen taught by her father in India from the age of 7, she became my spiritual teacher. I learnt Reiki and Indian Head Massage with Chris Cuzons, renowned Natural Therapy Teacher in East Anglia. I studied psychotherapy with the Central School for Counselling Training and I practiced for a while in the Chatteris Doctor’s Surgery in Cambridgeshire and here I championed the introduction of holistic therapies in the local Primary Health Care Trust with the aid of Help the Aged. Latterly I was a connsellor in France in my clinic there and provideing a telephone service as well. I am again studying Mindfulness based Psychotherapy with Karuna Institute Devon at post Masters level. I was lucky to go France and learn Traditional Yang style Tai Chi with Anya Meot, Philippe Pastor and Master Tung in Toulouse and Paris. I learnt and practiced Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine with Daniel Menini in Toulouse and I opened my own practice in France in the small canton town of Aurignac in the Haute Garonne. I went to Japan to continue my studies in Chinese Medicine with Masanori Okamoto in the Tokyo Therapeutic School. Latterly in Ireland, I have undertaken continued professional development with Eddie Dowd in the College of Oriental Medicine. As a teacher of meditation I studied with the Western Buddhist Order in Cambridge, Shambhala in Toulouse France and Tibetan Buddhist mindfulness in London and Ireland. I studied Mediumship at the Arthur Findlay College. My studies do not stop here.
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