SHIATSU SHIN TAI
SPACE, MOTION, LIFE FORCE, RESONANCE
Breathe, Relax, Release, Unwind
- MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT
I began my Shiatsu studies at the British School of Shiatsu-Do, London in 2011 after a long career in the civil service. I practise Shiatsu and Shin Tai and I am a Shiatsu Society UK registered teacher.
What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is an ancient form of physical and therapeutic bodywork that supports and strengthens the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself. Techniques include comfortable pressure, stretching and structural manipulations to balance the flow of energy (Chi or Ki) in the body.
What is Shiatsu Shin Tai?
Shiatsu Shin Tai is a powerful healing touch therapy that was developed by Saul Goodman more than 40 years ago.
Shin Tai expands on traditional Shiatsu and is based on a system of diagnosis and techniques that focuses on two primary meridians: Governing Vessel and Conception Vessel.
Treatments include meridian work, fascial unwinding, cranio-sacral techniques, Central Channel release and chakra work to clear meningeal stress and deeply held stress patterns in the body, and soft tissue structural adjustments to correct specific misalignments in the hips, sacrum and spine. Shin Tai work touches on a very deep level, giving the body the space to recover motion and activate the receiver’s own life force and vitality.
Proprioceptive exercises form a key part of Shin Tai practice: these involve a specific type of movement and focus that activates the proprioceptive system (part of the nervous system) and expands one’s perception of space and time, sense of alignment physically, mentally, and emotionally and develops our Inner Guidance System.
When we take the time to find our own alignment, we become more able to support our clients in finding their alignment. We learn to wait, notice and observe how we are and give ourselves the space and time to come back to our centre.
My journey of discovery with Shiatsu
I come from a diplomatic background with an MA in Politics from the University of Glasgow and a career in the foreign service as a researcher and information officer for more than 20 years.
While I liked my job, I would often come home feeling stressed and unable to relax, with a tight neck and shoulders from sitting at a desk for 8-9 hours a day. Poor lifestyle choices were affecting my digestion too and emotional tension was building up. I felt stuck both physically and emotionally. It wasn't until I went through an emotional crisis: lacking self-esteem and self-worth; feeling stuck in the past; and not having the willpower to move forward that I began to search for a more meaningful way to be. My body felt that it needed "movement" and expression. I joined an acting class. Improvisation showed me a way to be in touch with deep emotion and gave me the courage to express this. I saw that this was connected to my own wish for healing through meditation and receiving Shiatsu.
One autumn, I attended a voice workshop run by Bill Palmer, the founder of Movement Shiatsu. It was a powerful experience learning to find my real voice in a space that was honest, respectful, generous, open and authentic. I knew at once that a Shiatsu environment was where I wanted to be.
I contacted the British School of Shiatsu-Do (BSS-Do) in London and enrolled in the diploma course in 2011 where I learned Classical and Zen Shiatsu, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Five Elements Theory of Diagnosis, and Shin Tai. I gained my Practitioner Diploma (Dip BSS) and MrSS (Member of the Professional Register of the Shiatsu Society UK) in 2014. Since then, I have continued my studies in Shin Tai. I have been lucky to work with Saul Goodman and Lynn Goodman in the USA and teachers from BSS-Do to develop my learning of Shin Tai.
In 2022, under the mentorship of Adam Hellinger FwSS and Elaine Liechti FwSS, I became a Shiatsu Society UK registered teacher.
I have a particular interest in and experience of working with grief, fear, anxiety, depression, insomnia, emotional distress, back pain, arthritis, joint problems, osteoporosis, sciatica and digestive issues.
I have worked as a volunteer Shiatsu practitioner for a charity in London supporting clients living with HIV and Aids, and at a health centre in an area with a high level of poverty and unemployment in Edinburgh.
In the 1990s, I provided telephone counselling for two London charities: London Friend (supporting the LGBTI community) and London Rape Crisis Centre.
Shiatsu Is The Therapy of the Future
Shiatsu touches something fundamental in us: deeply held memories and experiences which the mind alone cannot understand. A client once said to me: "Shiatsu touches the places that have been forgotten". How we feel in our bodies can tell us a lot about what is really going on with us. We often accept pain and injury, almost get used to it and see it is normal, until we realise that it doesn't have to be this way.
Shiatsu is a lifelong journey of self-discovery and self-development because this therapy works on many levels: spiritual, mental, physical and emotional.
Keeping an open mind and being aware of how I am during a treatment and seeing everything like a beginner is always a good way to start a Shiatsu treatment. The body's own capacity to heal is immense. Possibilities remain open.
"When you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything."
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind Beginner's Mind
"Work with intention and connect with attention."
Saul Goodman, Shintai International
MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT
BENEFITS OF TREATMENT
Relieves tension and stress
Helps aid sleep
Pain relief (headache, neck, shoulders, lower back, knees)
Improved joint mobility (neck, back, hips, knees)
Structural alignment (hips, sacrum)
Improved digestion and glandular function
Enhanced immune function
Regulation of menstrual cycle
Improved energy and vitality
Regaining willpower, creativity and life force
Long term benefits and preventative care
"Shiatsu sessions with Dawn are a gentle and delicate path into self-healing and real listening of the body."
"This is the best medicine. My knees feel so much better."
"I feel lighter. Some weight has been taken off - less tension in my head. Feeling less stressed and more centred and at peace. I also like the rhythm in which you work."
"I really enjoyed the treatment. Now I remember what it was I wanted from the treatment. It was to give something back to my body because I carry a heavy bag and this affects my lower back."
"I always feel the positive effects of shiatsu. I have come a long way from when the pain in my knees was very bad (ie I could hardly walk) a long time ago. Now I feel relaxed. I feel like I have had a period of meditation. I feel there is equilibrium."
"Shiatsu is brilliant for restoring energy and balance, physically and emotionally. Dawn worked with me to ensure that, at age 50, I was able to run a happy, healthy and successful London marathon. I am convinced that Dawn's sensitive perception of what is needed in ongoing shiatsu work made a key contribution to enjoying the race. Shiatsu seems to me like a meeting point between acupressure and deep tissue massage; it brings real improvements in health, wellbeing and relaxation. It all feels benevolent."
"My breathing feels less laboured. I also feel more settled. I feel grounded yet energised. It's nice to feel cared for."
"I feel more alive. I also feel more positive. I feel so much better. Something has changed. I feel like I am standing up more straight."
Testimonials from previous clients
"We are delighted to have such a highly regarded therapist voluntering for us."
Alex H, Volunteer Development Worker, The Cara Trust
"Dawn was very approachable and that made me feel very much at ease. I was asked about my health in general which gave me the impression that I was being considered as a whole person with different aspects to me and not just one massageable mass. She asked for permission to find out about my health, so it never felt intrusive. I trust Dawn as a professional."
C, The Cara Trust
"I received one of the best therapies I have had."
P, The Cara Trust
"I felt really energised after the treatment from Dawn and I managed to walk for 10km the following day."
M, The Cara Trust
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM
A SHIATSU TREATMENT
Treatments are carried out on a body cushion and futon at floor level. You will remain fully clothed (ideally wear loose and comfortable clothing eg. long-sleeved t-shirt, jogging trousers and socks).
The initial session is 60-75 minutes including a few minutes' consultation to get to know you (including questions about your general health, medical history). Follow-up sessions (60 minutes) can be arranged according to your requirements.
I work in Portobello, Edinburgh EH15. (Bus numbers include: 21, 26, 42, 45, 49 and X26). Please contact me for the exact address location.
Treatment sessions cost £65.
Cancellations made with less than 24 hours' notice are charged the full fee.