The European Shiatsu School

Our Unique Approach

At ESS we are especially passionate about:

1) A profound understanding of Chinese Medicine : We are passionate about teaching the foundations of Chinese Medicine (Yin/Yang, 5 Elements, Channel and Organ functions and pathologies etc) to a level that is unique amongst the various Shiatsu schools

2) Experiential Learning : We are passionate about teaching the theories of Chinese Medicine, not just , but in a way that will makes sense to you through your own direct experience

3) Clinically Effective Shiatsu : A large proportion of our (3rd / final year) curriculum is dedicated to applied learning. This takes the form of hands on, clinical experience during our student clinic days as well as focusing on the skills you will need/needed/nescessary to deal with commonly presenting problems, such as pain (frozen shoulder ; migranes ; menstruation pain etc) ; digestive disorders ; anxiety ; insomnia etc

ad 1) Profound understanding of Chinese médicine
All too often the théories of Chinese Medicine are seen as having only limited relevance to Shiatsu. Many schools use theories (e.g. Zen Shiatsu) they believe are / see as more suitable to the modern shiatsu student. At ESS, however, we believe / are convinced that most contempory theories applied to shiatsu are in fact based on the original théories of Chinese médicine.
Through our many years of teaching experience we have seen that (it is / throurgh the study) by studying these origins (of all these theories) we can actually make our understanding of (all of these theories) them come to life in a way that is most easily be applied to our hands on work.
We believe that by teaching the classical concepts directly to our students they will find it very easy to understand most of those contemporary approaches to Shiatsu (and that includes especially the teachings of Shizuto Masunaga, founder of ‘ZEN SHIATSU’)
This way you will also have a wealth of resources at your fingertips as you will understand / be able to access (and apply to your bodywork) the knowledge presented in many Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture texts / textbooks
{Also should you want to study some other approaches to Shiatsu after you have completed your Shiatsu Diploma, again, we are convinced, you will be able to integrate those much quicker from having understood the classics of Chinese Medicine.}
Likewise, should you want to go on to study Acupuncture or Chinese Herbal Médicine, having studied at ESS, you should be able to reduce your studies by up to 1 to 2 years. This will save you a lot of time and course fées and probably would mean you will have done your Shiatsu training for free !

Ad 2) Experiential Learning :
We are passionate to teach you in a way that your understandings of Chinese Médicine comes predominantly through your own direct expérience rather than just pure intellectual effort.
Every class typically starts with some form of movement experiment (thourgh sometimes stillness and subtle inner movement), where we exploration how different parts of our bodies relate to various physical functions as well as emotional and mental aspects of our lives. Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong play an inportant role within this.
During and after thèse expériments we talk about our expériences and start to relate them to the théories of Chinese Medicine. You will soon realize that through these direct expériences you have understood many concepts of Chinese médicine. For example, why the channels present themselves in certain parts of the body and why they relate to certain of our physical/emotional/mental/spiritual capacities.
We believe that this approach to understanding Chinese Medicine is particularly well suited to the Shiatsu student whose practice is based primarly on touch.
With a practice that is based on touch, the shiatsu practitioner is enriching their understanding of a persons energetics from what they can feel and experience in the body.

Ad 3) Clinically effective Shiatsu

At ESS whilst we aknowledge the profound importance of working with the most subtle aspects of our disease, we also see that this is not the whole picture. We need often techniques that can really work for real life patients (and this is often a combination of acute hands on approaches and subtle energy work)
We teach a wide range of Shiatsu skills and techniques from quite physical and strong to the more subtle, holding and connecting techniques.
We believe foremost in teaching you the skills neccessary to deal with commonly presenting problems that you will most likely see in your clinic, such as pain of all sorts (from back to shoulder pain to Migraines and headaches to period related problems) ; digestive disorders ; emotional and stress related problems; insomnia, etc.
We are happy to say that the list of what can be succesfully treated or at least ameliorated with good Shiatsu is long !
All our teachers (link) draw from a rich expérience of treating people, seeing what works and what doesn’t and this is what we aspire / wish to pass down to you.

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