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Living in the 2020’s has brought a whole new set of circumstances into each and every one of our lives. What a year it has been!

Hi, my name is Ann Hocking. I am the Shiatsu Practitioner at Diamond Creek Natural Medicine Centre. There has never been a time when the healing of touch combined with the energetics of a shiatsu treatment has been more needed.  So many of us are now craving human contact and touch – two seemingly simple things that make up our usual “normal”.  Missing that big hug we greet one another with and that radiant smile that invariably brightens our day.  

With my clients, I have noticed that stress, anxiety and agitation levels are higher than they usually are; the inner worlds are somewhat confused and out of balance.  

When our bodies are in stress mode (usually due to a change in the outer world) our cortisol levels rise, causing us to shallow breathe and switch on and overuse our adrenal (fight/flight mode) glands. This can also have the physical effects of increasing heart rate, increasing anxiety levels and our mind starts to wonder seemingly into an unknown spiral of thoughts of its own accord.  The monkey mind is the word the Buddhists use for this. The visual of a monkey swinging from branch to branch is a great visual for the thoughts that randomly pop into our heads and travel on and on down random tangents. The thought that starts at one branch of the tree and swings to the next and the next and the next until it is looped over and over and the original thought has gone so far off track that the mind is now caught in a whole other thought spiral. I feel you all know how this works!

Shiatsu is an excellent tool for assisting with these mind travels. It calms the nervous system, grounds the body energetics and engages the parasympathetic nervous system for deep relaxation. The gentleness and the depth of the touch in a shiatsu treatment bring the client into the present moment, deeply connecting them to themselves and their body.

Clients often speak about feeling “themselves” after a treatment, “lighter” and “more centred”. “Coming home” is another term often used and “relaxed and energised at the same time”.  

Shiatsu is a Japanese massage technique based on Traditional Chinese Medicine principles. I use a massage table and work with clients fully clothed.  Gentle stretches, visualisations, breathing techniques and relaxation techniques may all be utilised in a treatment.  I utilise a holistic health approach which incorporates the body, mind, emotions and subtler energies.  We are all unique, so each shiatsu treatment will be tailored to your individual needs at your appointment time. 

Whilst at home in Stage 4, I have been practising my breathing techniques, doing online breathe classes and really noticing that shallow breathing fight and flight urge that can kick in out of nowhere. A quick breathing technique to practise is the following: Breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 6, and hold for 2. Engaging the abdominal muscles in a wave like motion with this mindful breathing practise has assisted both myself and my clients during this time.

The pause in the breath reminds me of the “being” we are currently in, the forced space we have been gifted, the time out to just be. After all, we are human beings, not human doings.  

Take care. I look forward to seeing and touching you all again very soon. 

Note: Ann is currently available for phone or online consults. When the clinic reopens she will be bouncing to get back to real live shiatsu sessions. To book an appointment with Ann, go to https://www.dcnmc.com.au/shiatsu