The Healing Process

Treatments Create Change

A person's whole story is in their body. Bodywork gives us one of the best opportunities to listen to someone and understand what they are experiencing, and them to shift parts of their life that are painful. It can transform the health of a person's organs, emotions and life system. Treatments can assist someone in the initiation of changes that will lead to engaging in present time with vibrant health. 

People who come to us for bodywork want to achieve well-being and healing; underneath that is always a desire for joy. One depends on the other. Joy can be difficult to experience without a foundation of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. So clients come see us and tell us about symptoms and conditions they would like to cure, situations that they would like to change. They tell us that they are not happy and would like to be.

If we can go to the client’s system and help restore strength, alignment and resilience, real change will begin to happen in their body and life. What is behind their discomfort and sickness will come to the surface and make itself known. This is not always easy; healing is a double edge sword. As someone gets stronger and healthier, they also come face to face with the situations and behaviors that caused disharmony in the first place. These factors led to compression in the body and over time caused nagging, uncomfortable aches, pains and symptoms.

Photograph by shin tai instructor hermann grobbauer

Photograph by shin tai instructor hermann grobbauer

The more we can perceive and understand different stages of healing, the better we are equipped to handle ourselves and those whom we treat with skill and sensitivity. 

The Healing Process

As a practitioner works with a client over time, there are usually several elements of the treatment that are priorities in creating positive change. Then there are other factors that can supplement those main elements, providing integration or supporting discharge of physical and emotional toxicity. These various elements of treatment shift; sometime there are certain aspects that remain primary for a singular treatment, or over a period of months or even years. Something that could seem secondary for one period of time could take center stage at another period.

At a certain point of this treatment process, there is a border that is crossed where a person begins to connect to what has been underneath their sickness and suffering. Usually they do not want to experience this. Treatments and healing are fine as long as they fit into a convenient timeline and do not not require that business-as-usual life gets interrupted. But when healing requires a cold hard look into behaviors and beliefs that undermine the health, happiness and prosperity that they are seeking, people often start to panic and look for the exits. 

All types of excuses appear, often seemingly coincidental, to push the healing out of a priority position and back out to it’s normal, peripheral status. As a someone realizes that they will have to go through a real revolution of behavior and thought transformation, and an unravelling of conditioning, they miraculously create situations that enable them to cancel sessions so that they can delay making changes and jump back into the ways of life that cause the sickness. They unconsciously sabotage the healing process in which they had previously been quite enthusiastic.


Avoiding the Avoidance

It could be that taking a break from treatments is necessary for someone to have time to discharge and integrate changes. Faster is certainly not always better when it comes to healing. But a 180 degree turn-around from being actively involved in addressing certain behaviors and conditions that have been creating distress, to reengaging in ignoring (and even enhancing) more destructive tendencies is an indication of a usually unconscious decision to avoid addressing the key things which undermine health. 

When you recognize this possibility in a client, it can be invaluable to discuss the healing process in a nonjudgemental way. A bit of encouragement at the right moment can help keep someone on a path towards greater health. Let them know that they are in a period of tremendous opportunity to shift their life direction, and that a little more self-care can go a long way towards promoting healing. This may not be in the form of more treatments, but rather any lifestyle choice/behavior that promotes their well-being. Your sensitive words delivered with compassion can help a client avoid their avoidance, especially when they understand the pattern that may be playing out. 

We all move through this healing process to different degrees. Perhaps you have recognized some of these patterns in yourself, either now or in the past. It is valuable to learn about it so that we can observe it in ourselves and our clients. We do not do this judge, but rather to have the clarity to understand what is occurring. This helps us as practitioners progress into greater health and adeptly guide clients in their journey. The more we can perceive and understand different stages of healing, the better we are equipped to handle ourselves and those whom we treat with skill and sensitivity. 


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Magazine Roller Adjustment: A Shiatsu Shin Tai Structural Technique

The following video was taken during a Shiatsu Shin Tai Structure course given in Doylestown, PA, USA in February of 2015.  Please note that we do NOT recommend doing this technique unless you have received instruction in class first.  This video is meant to be a review and accompaniment to hands-on instruction!

The Magazine Roller Technique

The Magazine Roller Adjustment is a technique sometimes used near the end of a Shin Tai treatment.  It helps to bring more motion and alignment into the upper thoracic region.  A practitioner uses the technique only after there is a good amount of space and motion in the system (regular phase II and/or phase III motions).

To do this technique you will need to get two magazines that are the same size.  Then roll each one tightly into a column.  Using packing tape or duct tape, wrap each one with the tape so that they are covered and secure.

You will need someone else to help you get the tape wrapped around each magazine while it is held in place.  Magazines of about 180-190 pp are usually the right thickness to make rollers that are about 2" in diameter.  Once you have the rollers made, keep them in your treatment room.  They will last throughout your bodywork career;  a very functional, simple, economical tool to perform a very effective technique!

Introduce Motion & Space First

It is better to prepare the body well before doing this technique.  In Shin Tai we create space and motion before any kind of structural work, so that the physical body can integrate changes with ease.  Introducing more alignment in this way has the advantage of partially using the receiver's own inner force to make the adjustment.

Instead of imposing compression from the outside to move the structure, the practitioner first amplifies the receiver's motion and inner force.  Then that is used to help introduce even more motion through a variety of techniques.

When the receiver's body has enough space and motion to use this technique, they need to come into supine position.  The practitioner will slide the magazine rollers underneath the body so that there is a roller on each side of the upper thoracic spinous processes.  The rollers will provide support along each side of the transverse processes that will encourage more alignment during the technique.

The Thrust

Sometimes the thoracic vertebrae will adjust without any actual impulse/thrust at the end of the set-up.  Listen to the tone and range of the cracking sound (if there is any) in order to understand the impact of the adjustment.  The more resonance and range (high to low tones) that you hear, the more complete the adjustment.

Take time after doing the technique to allow the receiver to be still and FEEL into their body.  Watch and observe any increased breath and motion.  Awareness on the part of the receiver and practitioner helps to amplify the effects of the adjustment and allow it to penetrate more deeply through the body.

Important Points to Remember

  1. only use if Phase II & III motions have been present during the session
  2. take out all the slack in the trajectory of force before applying the impulse
  3. have the receiver feel the responses in their body after the technique
  4. as a practitioner, make sure to observe any increased motion from the technique

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