How to Work with People Who Have a Serious Illness

How do we work with people who have cancer or another serious illness?  In order to effectively serve those who are coming to us for assistance, it is integral to address this issue.  Reflecting on it regularly will help us give treatments that are effective and safe.  

Before saying anything further, in our viewpoint, we are not curing illness.  Our goal is to stimulate and strengthen the capacity of the receiver to heal themselves.  We provide support by liberating the regenerative functions of the body in order to strengthen the immune system.

Less Change is Better

The main guideline when treating someone who has a cancer diagnosis is to make sure to initiate LESS change and LESS movement at first.  Also, do not begin with work directly at the source of cancer, if there is one (tumors, etc.).  When you treat, use less pressure and stimulation than usual.  For every technique, stop before reaching what you judge to be the limit for that person.  For example, if the receiver can accept a certain amount of pressure, stop before reaching that limit.  If you judge that 3 rounds of a stretch is a good amount, stop at 2.  

Shin Tai treatments initiate deep change in the physical body.  The system will need to have enough strength to excrete the toxins that begin to discharge due to increased circulation through the organs and muscles.  Strong nausea, flushing, dizziness and extreme emotions are signs to pull back and move more slowly during a session.  

Afterwards, it is important to gauge how much change occurred and how well the receiver is processing the releases.  Someone who is already in a compromised state can not necessarily afford to be sick for 2-3 days after treatment.  However, it is important to initiate enough movement so that their system can move back in the direction of health.  We want to balance out their need to change with how much change their body can integrate at one time.

Another point to stress is that if there is strong fear or uncertainty to treat, than do not treat, especially if you are a new practitioner.  Instead, refer the client to a more experienced practitioner, or a more appropriate modality of care.  If there is just a little fear and uncertainly, that can be ok.  On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the strongest, make sure the fear is a 0-2.  Then proceed slowly to see how the receiver handles the session.   If the receiver can handle a small amount of stimulation and release without a healing crisis that seems damaging, continue to slowly increase what you facilitate in treatment. 

There are other indicators to help ascertain whether you can move ahead with treatment.  Is there ample movement (at least Phase I & II motions), meridian flow, and chakra activity?  Is the client supporting the process of transformation through diet, lifestyle choices, and/or therapy?  These things make it more possible to reintegrate the previously compressed energy into the whole system.  We do not want released life force to reinvigorate the same cancer pattern it participated in previously.  Initiating too much movement too quickly can create more illness if there is not adequate space for it to redistribute.  Indications of this could be increase of symptoms, more fatigue, and/or emotional instability that lasts for more than a few days.  Keeping attention to motion in the body during treatment is a key factor in knowing how to proceed.  If motion is introducing with ease back into the system, and the client can integrate the changes, keep proceeding slowly.  


Shiatsu Shin Tai Practitioners are Life Force Recyclers

If someone asks for treatment, they are asking us to be a part of their journey.  We want to deliver assistance if we are able.  Sometimes we might be nervous about it - we don't want that kind of responsibility and would rather let someone else do it.  'But if not now, when?' we can ask ourselves at those moments.  We trained and studied so that we could bring our unique strengths into affecting the life force in not only individuals, but our whole human family and the vitality of the earth.  If we do not bring our influence into play, other influences will prevail, influences that often disturb the flow of chi within us and within our universe.  Shiatsu Shin Tai practitioners can free and amplify the flow of life force in a very beneficial way.  They are trained life force recyclers!  

Cancer is a disease of suppression and friction.  Life force has been suppressed due to physical, environmental, emotional, and/or psychological restriction.  The energy is frustrated, acting out, and struggling to survive.  Also, one part of a person has a deep need to transform, but there is a conditioned aspect that will not allow it.  These two opposing forces create friction in the system.  The energy that wants to change is in direct opposition to forces that are not allowing it to act.  This builds up more and more friction, which then creates a disintegrating reaction that manifests as the deterioration component of cancer.  


Treatments Encourage Cellular Cooperation

Opening up the flow of life force in the body is very important in freeing these restricted energies.  As the information system becomes less distorted by stress compressions, conflicting aspects of a person's psyche become more aligned and begin to function in a more cooperative manner.  This lessens the friction, and thus the deteriorating reaction.  The life force can be recycled back into circulation with care and skill, instead of simply being annihilated with chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.  In other words, instead of 'banishing' or 'punishing' the cancerous cells, we listen to them, give them clear boundaries, and help them to engage again in their surroundings without causing harm.  

In order to understand this dynamic, let's compare it to something more familiar.  Imagine a family involved in a major conflict.  As different members acts out and expresses their viewpoints, there are power struggles, arguing, emotional acting out and combativeness.  Usually there are one or two members who have become destructive and are engaging in abusive or addictive behaviors.  These patterns and behavior have developed over time and usually reflect disfunction in which the whole family has been participating.  

This is similar to what is going on in the body when cancer is active.  Some of the cells are acting destructively because they can not find another way to express themselves, to be themselves.  Chemotherapy or surgery is like removing the member(s) of the family that are the most destructive.  The rest of the family will feel this 'cutting out' of an important and vibrant part of their life.  It will have long term consequences if no effort is made to learn new behaviors, one of them being that the pattern will often begin to express itself again in a slightly altered version.  This method of 'treatment' can save a family from full deterioration until they can get more help.  

Now imagine this family instead getting skilled guidance at communication, emotional awareness and group dynamics.  They gradually learn how to come into more understanding and alignment.  All members participate together in growing towards more functional and life-supporting behaviors.  Shin Tai treatments support this kind of cooperative healing process in the body.  Practitioners survey the body for restricted life force, help it to release and redistribute, and coax the systems of the body into more functional alignments.  And just like psychotherapy, it requires a willingness to try new things, take responsibility, and the cultivation of patience in order to experience the process of transformation and healing.


Your Job is to Pay Attention

Having the skills to facilitate the flow of life force is a big responsibility .  It is very important to be aware and continually check in with oneself on technique, response, physiology, and intuition.  Practitioners are facilitating the flow of life force back into a system that is in a serious crisis.  They can affect the situation deeply and need to be as clear as possible. 

It is important to identify uncertainty, fear and/or insecurity in yourself as a practitioner.  It is normal to have this sometimes at a low level.  It can indicate that you are paying attention, noticing the complexity of the human body, and aware of varied dimensions of healing.  This is different from a deep seated uncertainly or fear regarding proceeding in treatments with a client.  If you have a strong feeling NOT to work with someone, and/or a strong fear that you do not know enough or might hurt them with treatments, then do not treat them.  


As a practitioner, one of your main jobs is to pay attention.  Notice tension.  In yourself, in your client's body.  Notice lack of movement, notice movement as it is recovered.  How does your receiver respond?  How do you respond?  Pay attention.  Your alert yet relaxed attention will serve your receiver and you well.  It will help guide you in your treatments so that you can facilitate the expression of life force, even in complex situations.  The skills you have cultivated for years will serve to enhance a harmonious flow of energy in your clients, yourself and our planetary community.  


To Sum Things Up

Here are some main guidelines when working with people who are very ill:

  • Do less.  Work more slowly.
  • Encourage release, reintegration, cooperation and alignment in the body.
  • Balance the receiver's need for change with their capacity to change.  
  • Pay attention and adjust your methods accordingly.  

We welcome your questions and comments below.