Resonance Pt 1: Body as Tuning Fork
In addition to the standard descriptions of how shiatsu and Shin tai work with the body's energy, there are other somewhat visual descriptions that I've heard and experienced of the effects of shiatsu, and bodywork in general.
One of these visuals was put forth by my Shin tai teacher, Saul Goodman. He spoke of health as 'resonance', as in the body's ability to vibrate and hum freely without interference, and in turn, harmonize with the environment at large.
Think about it. When we come across a person or an idea that excites us (or 'makes our heart sing', as a friend is fond of saying) we say we resonate with them. It's like, they are vibrating at a certain frequency, which we are receptive to, and then we vibrate at the same rate, resulting in a feeling of being 'in sync' with them.
So, to take this into the realm of bodywork, picture a tuning fork. Or a guitar string. When properly tuned, pulled to the right tautness, or free of interference, they vibrate... creating a clear tone that sends waves out into the air, and will cause other receptive objects (for example, an eardrum, or another tuning fork) to vibrate in response. But when something is preventing the free vibration of these instruments, there is flat, distorted, or even absence of tone.
Saul says there is growing research and evidence to suggest that the human body can vibrate much like a tuning fork...that every living thing has a measurable tone (even the earth, which is a very, VERY low octave G). One company, called Biosonics, and I'm sure there's more, works with healing the body using a variety of tuning forks.
In the work that I do, especially the Shin tai, we play with the idea that the clearest physical indication of resonance in the body is the free movement of the breath through the body, as illustrated by the spine. While postponing some of the depth of this topic for later posts, suffice it to say that the intention of Shin tai is to release hindrances (physical or emotional) to the free vibration of the spine ... all of its physical and energetic components. In this way, breath fills the body more fully, resulting in greater freedom of movement and fuller expansion of life expression in the receiver.