Learning Shiatsu Shin Tai via Video - Is it effective?

After almost 40 years of teaching, Saul has begun to offer some online video classes for the first time. Why now?

Shin Tai International launched its online teaching classroom in the spring of 2016, and many bodyworkers have taken advantage of getting some Shiatsu/Shin Tai training in this new way.  There were several factors that led to the creation of this online venture, and we thought it might be interesting for you to read a little about why and how we decided to do it.

After almost 40 years of traveling to teach Shiatsu/Shin Tai, Saul decided to stop. He wanted to spend more time at home to be near family and to delve into certain projects that require deep immersion. Then, the shiatsu school that he used to own and has taught at here in the states for a very long time began transitioning to another location. In the midst of these changes, people kept requesting classes with him and we had to keep saying no :(.  

LIve Class: Shiatsu Techniques of the Masters

LIve Class: Shiatsu Techniques of the Masters

Saul is still teaching some classes here in the states.  And many Shin Tai enthusiasts can go to live classes with other excellent instructors in the US and Europe.  But many of these wanna-be students can not get to where the classes are.  

I love Shin Tai and I love Shin Tai classes, even after attending almost every one Saul has done for over 20 years (I'm Lynn, Saul's wife). I know that this bodywork helps people experience more vitality, balance, and fulfillment. I know many other bodywork practitioners felt the same way. I wanted to find a way that could allow more people to learn shin tai, so that that they could benefit from its unique capacity to invigorate health and consciousness. But we had to find a way that did not involve traveling, and that would allow Saul to spend less time in the classroom and more time delving into the development of new material that has been gestating for awhile. Thus was born the online Shiatsu Shin Tai teaching classroom.  


Can Shiatsu Shin Tai be taught through videos?

The answer is yes.... and no. We had concerns that bodywork could not be taught through videos. That students had to be in a classroom live in order to feel, understand and learn this often challenging and subtle material. We thought that maybe without working with classmates in-person, participants might not be able to learn the unique techniques and evaluation skills that are necessary in order to do shiatsu shin tai. But people kept asking for classes, and Saul did not want to travel anymore..... so..... we decided to try it out.

I have been disappointed that you have not visited Croatia for long time, as I was always inspired by your lectures. As a compensation for not being able to be part of your classes, I have decided to order this video material, and it was not a mistake. I would like to thank you for knowledge which you have been sharing with all of us; it is beyond magnificent to be part of this story.
— Drazen Matosic, Shiatsu Practitioner, Split, Croatia

So far the results have been beyond what we expected. Students who have enrolled in the courses are giving very positive feedback. Many seem to be surprised at how much they are getting from the videos and instructional materials. I myself have been almost shocked at how much I've learned during the countless hours editing all of the films. I simply did not expect that the powerful experience of live classes could transmit through the videos, but it does! And the fact that you can watch the videos over and over is a benefit you do NOT get when you take a class live.  



Let's go over some more of the pros and cons of live and video classes....

Video vs. Live Classes

There are advantages to learning both in-person and through video.  Below are some of the main points that we feel are most important.

Benefits of live classes include:

  • You get the benefit of giving treatments to people of different body types and conditions.

  • You get to experience different practitioners practicing on you, which is a powerful part of learning this work. Without experiencing the effects of the bodywork personally, you can not truly understand how it works.

  • In addition to that, receiving treatments helps your system become clear enough to expand your perceptual abilities so that you can use the techniques and theory in the most effective way.

  • You get live feedback and assistance as you are practicing.

Benefits of online learning include:

  • You get videos and lectures that you can watch again and again.

  • You have the benefit of learning directly from the developer of the work.

  • There are accompanying written materials that are not normally provided in the live classes.

  • Assistance is provided by way of an interactive comments section under each video and a private facebook group that shares experiences and questions.

  • Some people find it easier to focus in their own environment, without the distractions of other students.

Many people are choosing to combine doing the online work while they study with an instructor in-person. It is also common that students who have previously taken live courses enroll in the video modules to supplement their knowledge and skills. Massage and shiatsu therapists that have never studied with Saul are taking advantage of getting some training even though they have not studied Shiatsu Shin Tai with an instructor in-person. Some shin tai instructors and students have taken both live courses and the video modules. It really is a choice of what works for you logistically and what your learning style is. 

We recommend that serious Shin Tai students supplement the online video courses with live courses. To find other Shin Tai instructors, please go to:  http://www.shintaiinternational.com/teachers/.  


What online classes are available?

There are presently 6 online courses available.  Five of them are are shorter modules (equivalent to about a day of classroom work), while the class Shiatsu Techniques of the Masters is equivalent to a 3 day live class.  

Here is a sample from one of the online modules:


 Excerpt from Online Course called "The Spine"


Please click on the links below for detailed information about our instructional video courses:

Now people all over the world can learn some Shin Tai online. These courses are designed to help practitioners build thriving practices, and find more satisfaction and inspiration in their daily work.  If you are interested in learning more about the online classroom, please go to: http://shin-tai-international.teachable.com/course....

Shiatsu Student Shares Energy Work with Community

Shanna Mitchell, a student at the International School of Shiatsu, was invited to share some shiatsu energy exercises with a Philadelphia community program called The Listening School Project.  She sent us the following article and photos/videos about the experience.

The Listening School Project is a part of a larger #ROOTEDinSW program which is a joint effort between Bartram's Garden and  Philadelphia Mural Arts. The project is designed to encourage community connections to art, nature, and each other.  The Listening School has been developed/nurtured under the leadership of Katie Bachler who took the idea to local youth in SW Philly and partnered with them to learn and share through a mobile art station/information booth. As a part of the program, the youth are offered classes and workshops to learn more about connecting with art and nature in the environment around them. 

They take what they learn and go out around the neighborhood to talk and share with people.  They do this by travelling the neighborhood with a cart loaded with info, art supplies and plant samples (mugwort is their favorite).  They talk with people about connecting with nature, using local plants as medicine, creating art... And now Do-In!

In addition, community members are invited to create a piece of art and/or share a story about how nature, art, and other topics curated by Katie and the youth impact their lives.  All of the collected stories will be put together in a culminating compilation which will then be shared with the community. 

It was so great to be invited to spend time with them and share some of the things I've learned from Saul, Lynn and the other awesome folks at the Shiatsu school.  We talked about energy and practiced the bouncing Chi building exercise, Do-In, the proprioceptive floating exercise and the "Ahh" "Suu" & "Mmm" chanting.  Afterwards they made some art reflecting how they experienced the energy in their body.

It was a really great experience for me.  I'm excited for more like it!  Everything was really well received and I think the exercises will be great tools for them to have under their belts.  They had some great feedback seem eager to practice and share what they learned.  I'm excited to check-in with them over the coming weeks to hear about their experiences taking this new information out into the community.  I'll be sure to pass on any updates.


Some videos of the students trying out the exercises:

Shin Tai at the Beginning of Shiatsu Curriculum

From Liz Arundel, Shiatsu Shin Tai Teacher, Scotland Just back from the teacher Training at the BSS in London.  We had such a fabulous time, exchanging Shin Tai treatments, playing with proprioceptive exercises and Qi Gong, showcasing the talented styles of teaching we all have, and sharing gorgeous food.

Thanks to Char Scrivener, Gill Hattersley, and Tracy Krikler for all the organizing.  The School is strong and providing excellent Shiatsu Shin Tai training for future students. So delighted to be back 'home'. Thanks gang!


British School of Shiatsu Teacher Training Shiatsu Shin Tai Cervical Adjustment


Shiatsu Shin Tai Training BSS Jani GolobicBSS Shiatsu Teacher Training

The Primary Information System Takes Primary Placement in Curriculum

Teachers at the British School of Shiatsu in London are gearing up for the beginning of their 2014-15 courses.  For the second year in a row, they are beginning their curriculum with Governing Vessel/Spine and Conception Vessel/Hara classes.  The study of the primary information system of the body (GV/CV) is now the primary part of their shiatsu curriculum.  

It makes so much sense to begin the study of shiatsu with the study of GV/CV!  The British School of Shiatsu is the first shiatsu school to make the core Shin Tai courses the first part of every student's training.  Beginning in autumn of 2013, Char Scrivener and Gill Hattersley, the directors of the school, put  the Governing Vessel/Spine and Conception Vessel/Hara classes before the more traditional shiatsu study.  Reports are that students seemed to thrive with the new curriculum, and that it was a fantastic success.

New Shin Tai School in Slovenia

From Jani Golobic: Hi friends,

I'm happy that I can tell you that we started with a 3 year, 700 hour Shintai/Shiatsu school in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  "We" are Gill, Char and me.  We have 12 students, and I think this is wonderful beginning.  Hurrah!

The curriculum is modeled after the one they have created in England, with Governing Vessel and Conception Vessel being taught before the more traditional shiatsu course.  Shin Tai is really making headway.

Shin Tai in Slovenia

Shiatsu Shin Tai in Slovenia

Teaching Central Channel in Scotland: Feedback

By Liz Arundel Dear Friends,

I wanted to give you some feedback on the first Central Channel course in Scotland and what I learnt from the experience.

We had 2, 3 day weekends 6 weeks apart. This big space between the weekends was due to the room only being available at those times. The students said that it was very helpful having time in between to digest the information and practice and rewrite their notes.

2 students sent me their typed notes by email after the first weekend for me to check for mistakes (there were a few but not many) and then we shared them with the group. They had a good grasp of the info and I think it helped them to type them out.

We had 9 students and 5 teachers on the first weekend! We, the teachers, were all very excited about the course and the students picked up on the significance of it being the first CC in Scotland. I felt very honoured to be teaching this material and the other 4 teachers (Char Scrivener, Kindy Kaur, Rachel Boase, Petra Elliott) all made very valuable contributions to discussions and helped clarify the information. At times it was like a mini teacher training for us all! The benefit of having so many of us in the room was that when they worked in 3s, each group had a teacher with them which they found very helpful for guidance and questions. It also gave the teachers an opportunity to teach their group, just like in Hungary! Seeing their confusion really taught me humility, patience and compassion and reminded me of how I felt when I first started learning this work and right up to the TT!

On the second weekend it was just Kindy, Petra and myself. The group was more confident and less confused this time and more settled and clear themselves from all the work they had received so there as a better flow to the 3 days. Clearly the CC was working! So having 3 of us guiding the class was perfect. Kindy led some of the proprio exercises which the class  really enjoyed. After Stage 5 the class did a short treatment in 2s on their own and that helped their confidence.

Alot of their questions were useful in clarifying information. When I was demonstrating Stage 2 and 3 they didn't come up in the person I was treating but stage 4 appeared so they saw how non linear the process was. So I showed them on the spine where to contact and then reviewed it after the practice session when the stages did come up. With Stage 5 it was right there at the beginning of the demo! There was more phase 3 motion in the second weekend while I demoed and when the class practiced which gave them heart that it was working. Lots more proprio suggestion from givers and priopro sensations from receivers in second weekend too.

After all the writing on the board the first weekend, it was suggested to me to organise a powerpoint presentation of the stages for the second weekend so didn't have to spend so long writing them up. This was a major logistical challenge for me as I'm not great with computers. So I got some help from a friend and I did it, only to find that I didn't have  any powerpoint technology at the centre. So I printed out my powerpoint notes for the class for stages 4-6 (just the basic info) which they said was very helpful and it gave us more time to go into the finer details of stage 5 in particular.

I had an hilarious moment when I was showing on the spine the anatomical difference between C1 and C2 and had turned the spine anteriorly and forgot to turn it over to show the spinous processes on the back but gamely tried to show them the processes on the front. Kindy's face was a picture of horror. When I realised  a few seconds later we had a good laugh! So always good to admit mistakes immediately!!

So I'm trying to organise a review weekend in September so follow up their progress. They all have buddys to practice with and go over the material and notes. I feel it was a great success and can't wait to teach the next one.

I hope all your plans and teaching are going well.  Love and hugs to you all,

Liz (Arundel)