Rx: Shiatsu

"Just what the doctor ordered!"

These were words used in one of my client's testimonials regarding a session with me.

Even though it's a oft-used phrase, the visual of doctors sending people to get shiatsu made me smile. (I'd like to think they were coming of their own free will, rather than being ordered, but you know what I mean.)

There are, I know, some medical professionals who get the benefits and do send their patients to receive bodywork. My colleague hangs on to a scrip he was presented with by a first-time client from his doctor, scrawled in classic barely-legible doctor-ese: "Massage therapy".

But there's still a long way to go.

I bring this up in the wake of a recent talk we hosted at the LHHC.

Sarto Schickel, a Philly based-architect who had some prior experience with Gerson therapy and macrobiotics, talked about how he was able to draw on these philosophies when his wife was suddenly diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer.

And while his insights were not novel, it was re-energizing and affirming to hear his testimony of the positive ways in which conventional and alternative treatments can and should work together, particularly when facing the potential death sentence of cancer.

Sarto outlined his 'Trinity of Natural Healing' ... a protocol for cancer recovery, and really, for living as full and healthy a life no matter what the circumstances. This triangular diagram was broken up into 'nutrition', 'detoxification', and 'mind & spirit' ... all of which surrounded conventional intervention, should that be necessary.

I loved that he placed 'shiatsu' under the nutrition heading (Sarto is a huge fan of shiatsu!), as it is something that you would bring in externally, along with healthy food and water, sunshine and happy meals with family.

It really allowed me to place shiatsu within the larger context of a healthy lifestyle, which I had been trying to do before.

I was also heartened by his affirmations of "living within the natural order", and "living your purpose", as being essential to healing - as these are also areas I am trying to be more deliberate about bringing to my shiatsu practice.

This talk reminded me that as much as I want the medical community to encourage holistic modalities for their patients, I have to take what I do more seriously as well, and be more willing to stand up for its effectiveness and rightful place within a sound healing protocol.

Where do you place shiatsu or other bodywork in the larger context of your personal health care? Do you see it as a luxury, as something to treat yourself to occasionally, as a regular form of nutrition, or somewhere in between? (Please comment using the link at the top of the post..)