Shiatsu Promotes Stroke Recovery
On Monday April 11, 2011 my good friend returned from a winter vacation in Uruguay. I went to the airport to meet his plane and was surprised to meet his brother Luis for the first time. During the course of that day I learned that 6 years ago Luis had suffered a Stroke which affected the left side of his body- specifically his left arm and left leg. We spoke much about all the efforts he had always made to recover his health and finally he asked me if I could give him a Shiatsu treatment just to see if anything was possible with Shiatsu.
On Wednesday June 8th he received his first Shiatsu treatment in my home. He was so impressed with that treatment that he asked me if I could offer him once-a-week Shiatsu treatments. I agreed. As I write this article on March 23, 2011, 10 months have passed with close to 40 treatments. At the time of his stroke he was offered Physiotherapy treatments, but never felt that these treatments did much for him. In fact he got the impression from his medical advisors that not much could happen…IT IS WHAT IT IS. Read the rest of this entry »
Students of the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo will be doing field work on Sunday January 22, 2012 at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center in Toronto. This festive event is part of the celebration of the traditional Japanese New Year. There will be many booths and great food and entertainment for all to enjoy.
The Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo is organizing a SHIATSU BOOTH this year. The booth will have massage tables and chairs for everyone to enjoy. Please bring your families and friends to enjoy this fantastic festival and to experience the goodness of traditional Japanese Shiatsu.
Date: Sunday January 22, 2012
Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 6 Garamond Court, Toronto
Admission: Adults $7.00, Seniors/Child $4.00, Toddlers-Free
Admission (with J.C.C.C. Family $12.00 membership): Adults $5.00, Seniors/Child $4.00, Toddlers – Free
Shiatsu Treatments: Chair Shiatsu 15 min. $10.00, Table Shiatsu 20 min. $15.00
In the month of December, our students visited Scotiabank’s Head Office as part of their fieldwork program. On a chilly afternoon, five of our students offered Chair Shiatsu Massage to over 40 employees, just before their annual Christmas Party.
The employees could not believe how great Chair Shiatsu Massage could be.
Some of them had heard of Shiatsu, but had never personally experienced a Shiatsu treatment. After their treatments were completed, each employee actually felt more relaxed in their neck, shoulders and back areas. They commented that the treatments were not just “fluff” and that there was a noticeable physical difference after the Shiatsu treatments. Read the rest of this entry »
How about being really selfish, and decide to do something great for your health!!
How about booking a Shiatsu Massage in Toronto. O.K. maybe you’ve never had a massage before. Maybe you’ve never heard about Shiatsu either. Come on!! This is Toronto. People are risk-takers here. People break new ground all the time. People grow. People choose to move forward, rather than stay the way they are. Come on!!
Our Shiatsu students and professionals are well-trained. Check out our website. The Toronto Shiatsu School which trains our students; the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo, is registered with the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (Ontario) as a Private Career College. O.K. O.K. so we are a legitimate school, with proper training, but you’ve never received a Shiatsu Treatment in your life. Come On!! Go to our website www.shiatsuacademy.com and check us out. Read many of the articles posted on our blog. Be informed. Read the rest of this entry »
Here at the Shiatsu Academy, prospective clients are sometimes confused when asked what type of Shiatsu Massage Therapy they are looking to receive.
At our clinics, we offer three options for those seeking a therapeutic massage.
An interested client has the option of receiving Shiatsu Massage Therapy on a massage chair, a massage table or on a floor mat, which is the more traditional method for conducting Shiatsu Massage.
When requesting a therapeutic massage session, a client should keep a few things in mind.
• How much time is available at their disposal?
• Does the client have any physical limitations that would prevent them from taking any of the positions required for the session?
• Does the client have any special areas of the body that needs to be addressed?
• What can the client’s budget afford?
by Ross Oakes
Shiatsu is considered an alternative medicine meaning that it has not been cleared by the clinical trial system and formally recognized by government bodies like Health Canada and the FDA. This means if someone has problems that shiatsu can treat and asks their own doctor or another physician if they should try shiatsu (or another unrecognized treatment like acupuncture, aromatherapy, feldenkrais, etc.) the doctor will not mention it or even will oppose it Therefore in many instances, it is up to an individual to try shiatsu on their own, sometimes flying in the face of “established medicine” to “take a chance” on shiatsu or some other alternative medicines. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ross Oakes
There is a story in the Christian Holy Writings that is used to teach young people about how valuable their faith is and the costs involved in developing and nurturing it. It is about a merchant who searches for fine pearls and when he finds a pearl of great price, he sells all that he has and buys it. The idea is that the cost of sustaining one’s faith is worth it in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ross Oakes
Sometimes I feel like I’m working in a wilderness, trying to run a shiatsu school and support a shiatsu clinic in Toronto, to help our students develop their skills. It’s like a wilderness because so few people know what a positive difference shiatsu can make to someone’s health. Traditional Namikoshi shiatsu was recognized by the Ministry of Japan in 1955-56 and acknowledged by the World Health Organization in 2004 as traditional medicine. So shiatsu is known in the Orient but its benefits are virtually unknown in North America. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ross Oakes
Starting out to become a shiatsu practitioner at the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo could never be easier or more enjoyable. The Introduction Course, designed by Principal Ross Oakes, provides a quick, easy passage to becoming a shiatsu practitioner with healing hands. The course is six weeks long, but only two weeks are spent in lectures. The rest of the time is spent to allow the new student a chance to explore the school and discover what shiatsu is all about.
In the first two lecture classes, the student is given a quick history of shiatsu, particularly its development by its founder, Tokujiro Namikoshi, and the creation of the Academy by its founder, Kensen Saito. Then the student is given the opportunity to sit in on any courses that are currently active at the school and where they get the chance to see the kind of things that are taught at the Academy and meet active students and members of the staff. Finally, the new students are given a few perks. The Academy gives them three complimentary shiatsu treatments so they can directly feel the type of shiatsu they will learn to give.
The cost of this great course is only $120, of which $20 is for the Academy’s history book, “Shiatsu-Doh”, written by the Academy founder, Kensen Saito. Course dates are as follows:
November 2 – December 7, 2011
January 11 – February 15, 2012
March 7 – April 11, 2012
May 2 – June 6, 2012
July 4 – August 8, 2012
September 5 – October 10, 2012
November 7 – December 12, 2012
We hope you will want learn the art of healing hands that you can practice on yourself and others. Come to the Introductory Course and see what shiatsu is all about!
by Joanne Latimer
At my wits’ end from serial sneezing, I decided to try Shiatsu Masters in Toronto. “It’s no quick fix,” warned Ross Oakes, who works at the affiliated Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo. “But the results speak for themselves.” Ross should know. He’s an ex-sneezer we met in an earlier post on my blog, Sinus Sister.
Arriving at the Broadview Street clinic, a sweetie named Mari ushered me into a cozy treatment room with a brick fireplace . There was a futon-cum-wrestling mat on the ground, and absolutely no clutter.
“I’m from Japan, but I didn’t know much about Shiatsu!” laughed Mari, her eyes twinkling. “I started here as receptionist. When I saw the look on everyone’s face after a treatment, I knew it worked and started my training.”
Mari arranged my limbs into the beginning position: lying on your side, bottom arm extended, top leg draped over and bent at the knee—the way pregnant women sleep. With the faint sound of rain outside, I was ready to doze off when she began pressing her thumbs into my neck and throat. It’s an odd sensation, but not unpleasant. Then she worked methodically down the entire body, leading with her two thumbs. Sometimes the pressure was a bit painful, but it was for the greater good. No pain, no gain. Mari asked me to tell her when to ease up (She isn’t into the pain-gain theory). An hour later, I was reborn, loosey goosey. Did I feel it in my sinuses? YES! When Mari did my head massage and stretch, I felt a pop and an easing of pressure. Was it miraculous? No, but I suspect the bigger impact will be long term, from a stimulated immune system. Ross is right, there’s no quick fix. If you’re also a sneezer or get frequent colds, please check out my blog, Sinus Sister and join my quest to breathe easy.
By Anton Komar
There’s nothing more relaxing and beneficial to your health than a well performed Shiatsu treatment delivered by a skilled Shiatsupractor, but did you know that it is possible to do a shiatsu treatment on yourself! The students at the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo learn how as part of their Shiatsu Practitioner program. You can also learn!
by Victor Sydney
As an enrolled student in the 2200 hr. program of the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo, I have had the opportunity to compose a profile of my fellow students. Regardless of their various career paths and educational backgrounds, all of us fit a common profile.
Individuals involved in “Health Care” know what Shiatsu is, just as they know about other modalities such as: Yoga, Registered Massage Therapy, Reiki, Reflexology, Feldenkrais, Osteopathy, Tai Chi Chuan, Aromatheraphy and Touch for Health. However, the majority of the general public who are not involved in the health care movement do not know about, nor do they understand anything about Shiatsu.
For over 25 years I struggled with Hay Fever Allergies every Autumn. None of the medications or shots ever really worked effectively for me. As a dynamic high school teacher and later as a Chaplain I was always sick for 4-6 weeks just when I returned to work after a 2 month summer vacation. My energy levels were very low, my body was a mess, I couldn’t sleep well at night…my ribs were sore from sneezing and on bad days I felt that my whole body was under attack. However, when I discovered Shiatsu and especially Namikoshi Shiatsu my situation changed dramatically. With regular Shiatsu treatments over a period of 5 years and an amazing nasal rinse with lukewarm water and dissolved sea salt- I finally defeated hay fever for good. Every year when this allergy season begins I get hit with all the symptoms for 48 hours. Then my immune system kicks in strongly and I am free of serious symptoms completely. The odd sneeze and once in a while a runny nose at times is nothing to me when I remember how sick I was every single day, morning, afternoon and evening with no possible escape and nowhere to hide. Shiatsu treatments saved me from a terrible seasonal nightmare!
by Ross Oakes
One of the really great benefits that I have experienced since I tried shiatsu treatments is that the severity of colds and the flu has been reduced. I remember when a cold would virtually immobilize me for nearly three weeks, and also how vulnerable I was to any “bug” like a cold or the flu that turned up in my area. Once a fellow employee caught a virus, I knew my days were numbered before I would catch it as well. I hoped that by eating the right foods, doing the right exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle would be enough to ward off the rampaging viruses, but it seemed I would always succumb, and I always hated the amount of pills and medications I would have to take to recover. Read the rest of this entry »
by Joe Figliola
He was in his early 50’s, the Lead Custodian for a large Mississauga High school when he began to receive regular shiatsu treatments in his life. At the time he packed 280 lbs. on a 5-10 frame. He believed that he would go through the rest of his life at the same weight, but after 2 ½ years at once a week treatments, he dropped over 40 pounds and continues to go down pound by pound. All the therapist asked of him was that he would work with him to control how much he ate per sitting. His hope was to get back to 200 pounds, the weight of his early 20s. The only variables in his life which accounted for his weight loss were regular shiatsu treatments and a concerted effort to watch how much he ate. He came to believe that in some way Shiatsu had accelerated his metabolic rate which over time has slowly meant a steady weight loss. His therapist remembers the special moment in the treatments when he was able to actually touch his spine which before had been covered with tissue. He remembers swollen areas in his body disappearing over time. He remembers when his pudgy fingers began to lose the extra tissue. He remembers when his calves began to lose tissue. His therapist was the first to notice many things which only lately were apparent to family and friends. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ross Oakes
Many people resort to the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo to find relief from a long list of ailments. When people come to the clinics for whatever reasons, our practitioners use a hands-on approach to the problems. Shiatsu is a therapy that uses its thumbs, fingers, and palms to assess a client’s problems and then relieve them. A practitioner’s hands are a shiatsu therapist’s “eyes” that find a problem and resolve it. After the end of a treatment, or after a few days, a client is asked if they noticed any difference. A positive response means that a shiatsu practitioner has done their work well, and that a client has been relieved of pain and suffering or at least is on the way to being restored to full health. More treatments may be required. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ross Oakes
Several years ago, I got very sick near the end of the summer. I sneezed often, had a constant runny nose, sore, itchy eyes, headaches, and a sore throat. When I was diagnosed, I found out that I had hay fever and I had to go through six weeks of misery before cold weather finally arrived to relieve my symptoms. I was hoping that this would be just a one-year occurrence, but each new summer found me going through the same miserable problem.
by Donna MacDonald
I am someone who enjoys walking. Daily walks are my therapy and I recently found myself unable to even walk even a short distance. My sister referred me to Shiatsu Masters in Toronto. I had the privilege of meeting Kensen who is a master therapist.
After a 45 minute treatment I was able to walk home and within 3 days my leg was back to normal. I was so impressed that I started receiving treatments on a monthly basis. I feel as if I have discovered the Fountain of Youth. I am 62 years old and feel as if I am 40.
I can honestly say that my health has seen a dramatic improvement since I began Shiatsu treatments.
It is as if my entire system has learned how to breathe deeply and is undergoing a healing process.
My energy level has increased significantly. I am sleeping more soundly and thus wake up energized instead of sleep deprived.
My leg injury was a blessing in disguise because it led me to Shiatsu Masters and their healing touch. I only wish I had discovered Shiatsu years ago.
by Ross Oakes
Did you know that most of the top actors in North America employ health professionals to help them maintain high physical and mental conditioning so that they can push themselves to excellence on the stage? In almost every area where high performance is expected, people turn to health professionals like Shiatsu Therapists. A stage actor who may have to give up to seven shows a week is no exception. An exhausting performance can make an actor’s body feel tired and run down and therefore some kind of rejuvenation is needed so that a similar performance can be given the following day. The actor has to be firing on all cylinders, both mentally and physically. show after show, especially if the performer has a leading role and has to take center stage most of the time. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ross Oakes
Sometimes during recreational and sports activities, injuries can occur. A shiatsu treatment is one way of speeding up recovery. A full-body shiatsu treatment is an excellent choice for rehabilitation because it doesn’t just focus on the injured area but extends to cover the overall functioning of the entire body. A good shiatsu treatment realigns and rebalances the whole body while giving special attention to an injury. Some of the athletes we have treated told us how much shiatsu helped them to return to full health much faster than the remedies they were previously taking. In 1973, the founder of Namikoshi Shiatsu, Tokujiro Namikoshi gave therapy treatments to Muhammed Ali.
In 1988, the founder of the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo, Kensen Saito, accompanied the Canadian Olympic team to Seoul, Korea and treated many of them so that they could compete more effectively. Shiatsu can limber up the key areas of an athlete’s body beforehand, so that when a competition starts, an athlete is ready to give their best performance. Shiatsu can be part of any athlete’s daily training, so that they are ready to compete and recover quickly once the competition is over.
So if you play sports and want to get a better performance, check out what shiatsu can do for you.
by Ross Oakes
In today’s workplace most white collar workers (and some blue ones) have to work with computers, sometimes many hours at a time. These seem like undemanding physical jobs, but over time subtle changes can occur. Long periods in front of a computer can lead to stiff necks, tired eyes, and other muscles “locked” into set positions. Many people with these problems turn to shiatsu for help to loosen locked muscles and get the blood flowing again to provide energy once more.
Shiatsu can bring relief to computer overwork. It can prevent long term problems from occurring. It is a great insurance policy to have around. Many of our clients express the relief they feel from a shiatsu treatment after long days staring at a computer screen. A shiatsu treatment recharges their bodies so they can face the grind of the next day completely refreshed and be at their productive best. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ross Oakes
A painter/landscaper was consistently getting sore and tired muscles from his job and turned to shiatsu for relief. He booked a full-body floor shiatsu treatment at the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo’s professional clinic on Broadview Avenue in Toronto. Immediately during the treatment, he felt the tired stiffness he was burdened with loosening its grip. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from his body and next day he could not believe the overall ease and flexibility present in his muscles. He realized that he was on to something and now he books an appointment every two weeks and wonders how he lasted this long without those amazing shiatsu treatments. Now he has nothing to fear from occupational stiffness because he knows shiatsu treatments will release his tired muscles from their stiffness.
by Steve Thompson
One common ailment that many people have in this age of the information revolution is a stiff neck that is often caused by the type of occupation that they work at each day or sometimes even an inherited condition. This condition, known as cervical dystonia or spasmodic torticollis, is characterised by the neck muscles contracting involuntarily, causing abnormal movements and awkward posture of the head and neck. The movements may be sustained (“tonic”), jerky (“clonic”), or a combination. Spasms in the muscles or pinched nerves in the neck can result in considerable pain and discomfort. Cervical dystonia may be primary or secondary. This condition may cause mild or severe pain.
by Ted Piliouras
I am a second year student here at the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo and I must say that it’s been an extremely rewarding experience. The knowledge that Master Kensen Saito possesses is truly invaluable. Kensen sensei and the entire faculty at the school have given me great insight into the workings of the body and how to help facilitate healing through the art of Shiatsu. Every day with the help of my teachers, my knowledge and abilities are increasing, and this is starting to show itself in the treatments that I am giving in the student clinic. Just a few days ago I was treating a regular client that comes in to help manage some of the symptoms associated with her medical condition. She was diagnosed about 8 years ago with a condition called cervical dystonia. Read the rest of this entry »
by Steve Vetricek
Since joining classes at the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo, I have felt very comfortable with this instructor-led college program. Our Anatomy and Physiology instructor David Sugarman is incredible. With his 20 years of teaching experience, he explains the course in a simple and easy-to-follow manner. The curriculum is designed to teach us exactly what we need to know in order to become the best Shiatsu therapists that we can be. His passion for teaching make the classroom and learning a great place to be on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
by Sherri Noble
My experience with the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo was positive right from the start. As soon as I arrived I felt this was the place for me. Ross, our principal, was very helpful with information and support even before the classroom time started. I liked being able to pay by installments, and to choose from a variety of courses that are offered on both a part-time and full-time basis.
By Ross Oakes
I remember the “November Blahs Party” in the staffroom at Philip Pocock Catholic High School in Mississauga in 1992. Every member of our staff who attended won a prize which had been donated by neighbouring community businesses. My prize was a 15 minute shiatsu treatment at a nearby Chinese Center in Mississauga. That was the beginning of a long and memorable journey for me into the very heart of Namikoshi Shiatsu in Toronto. That treatment led to an eight year regular student status at a local Chinese clinic. Subsequently, after reading a fascinating article in the Toronto Star about Kensen Saito, his clinic, and his Shiatsu School, the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo, I entered another phase of my journey.
The Taste of the Danforth festival (August 5-7) was a great success for the Academy. Our students did several hundred treatments and gained valuable experience. Hopefully the festival will get our students many new permanent clients, and increase interest in the school as well. We are looking forward to next year’s festival.
By Ellen Ashton-Haiste
When Lenore Zann walked into Kensen Saito’s shiatsu therapy clinic some 30 years ago, she describes it as a “karmic moment.”
The award –winning actor/writer/producer, now an NDP MLA for the Nova Scotia riding of Truro-Bible Hill, was then an aspiring young performer, fresh from her first big break in a play about Marilyn Monroe, a personality she has reprised several times including her own one-woman show in New York. Read the rest of this entry »