Thursday, 11 October 2012

stress and shiatsu

Do you get stressed ever?  Do you know anyone else who gets stressed?  When I get stressed, I can feel  like I have too much to do (which I may have).  I may feel  that I can’t make good decisions, or don’t have time to inform myself properly in order to make good decisions.  I may feel tension infusing my body, and affecting my weaker areas – down along my arms, up my neck, along my legs (mm, well, quite a lot of me).  I may feel a kind of buzzing in my head.  How about you?  Signs of stress may include physical symptoms like body tension, including tense shoulders – we have the expression ‘her shoulders were up by her ears’.  Other symptoms may include headache and sleeplessness and irritability. 

I remember attending a business course many years ago, and the trainer said that the ‘one thing you can say about shiatsu is that it relieves stress’.  Presently, I am having some coaching for my business, and my coach is emphatic that I need to find a niche.  I have decided to focus presently on stress because there is such a lot of it about – there are reports of high incidence of stress, people absent from work as a result, and money lost by businesses, countries and individuals as a result.
Stress is important – and reducing stress crucial to all our success.

Shiatsu treatment works physically on the body, and so stimulating muscles, skin, nerves, bone.  For muscles, it seems plausible that by holding the middle of a taut muscle, say the trapezius which runs between neck and shoulders, the areas of muscle imbetween that are working over-hard may get a chance to relax.  There is an acupressure point in this spot, which we use in shiatsu treatment, and is considered good for releasing pain in head and shoulders.
Shiatsu treatment also stimulates nerves.  There are energy lines running through the body, and the acupressure points follow these.  Each side of the spine, runs the so-called Bladder meridian (part of the Water Element) – these points are really important for all aspects of the body.  Physiologically this is also where nerves insert into the spine and spinal cord.  My sense is that nerves need to be stimulated, and sometimes this doesn’t happen so imbalance occurs.  I suggest that this work can enhance a sense of physical, and thus emotional and mental self.

Feeling stressed can also generate a feeling of having lost our way, or not knowing where to go for support.  A touch therapy like shiatsu allows the body to feel more present, and may enhance a feeling of being supported, and knowing where to find support.
There is quite a lot in the press at the moment about stress – I saw a full page article in the Guardian recently (Wednesday 3rd October, Time to talk about workplace stress by Debbie Andalo) where the problem of stress was discussed.  The writer reported running a workshop for stress, but said it had to be badged Keep your Edge in order for a high attendance.  So, stress can result in poor performance at work as well as home.  Keeping on top of things is more achievable if we feel relaxed and comfortable on all levels.

What do you think?  What are your experiences of stress, and how have you managed them?  Have you tried shiatsu?  Did it help?
please post comments on this blog.  I'd love to hear from you.

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