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A center for ancient Japanese shiatsu healing...

Based in New York City, Five Lights Center of Shiatsu is the oldest shiatsu practice in America. We offer private and group sessions, as well as training and alternative eastern treatments for mind and body wellness.

Five Lights Center of Shiatsu logo

We encourage participants in their pursuit of healing, peace, and freedom from restrictions and pain. We develop our inner ear in order to hear the flow of energy. We strive to let go of our egos, projections, and judgments - to become healing light, able to give loving-kindness to others.


The Center for Five Lights specializes in Shiatsu, Asian Bodywork, Acupressure, Makko Ho, Qi Gong, Yoga, Reiki, Mindful Meditation and Karate movement. These practices have proved to be effective at sustaining individual, family, and community wellness.  We foster deep support among members and a sense of belonging to humanity and the Earth. Read on to find details about each healing modality….

Shiats - Lern More


Shiatsu is a unique form of Asian bodywork that provides the satisfaction of touch along with a profound energy-balancing experience. It is based on thousands of years of Eastern philosophy and methods of healing. Shiatsu directly treats the meridian pathways within the body that channel Ki energy … our life essence. We experience this energy in the form of movement, communication, respiration, digestion, thoughts, feelings and spirituality. Any blockage or stagnation of energy within the meridians can result in physical, psychological and emotional disease. Shiatsu helps you balance your energy on all levels while experiencing a profoundly relaxing and clinically therapeutic musculoskeletal treatment.

When part of the body is energy-deficient, and not pulling its weight, other areas of the body must overexert to pick up the slack. The treatment goal of shiatsu is to energize these deficiencies, thus allowing the symptoms of over-activity to melt away.

A shiatsu treatment is as deep or as gentle as a receiver requires. The practitioner contacts the receiver’s energy level at an appropriate depth and with great sensitivity. Shiatsu practitioners use both hands. One hand is used to listen, and sound out the responses of the receiver. When the other hand reaches an appropriate depth, an energetic connection passes between the hands of the giver. The receiver’s body tells the giver when the pressure is right. An energetic circuit is created between the hands of the giver, catalyzing change and movement in the body of the receiver.

Full-body stretches are also used to release areas of chronic stagnation and blockage. These stretches amplify and isolate the areas of stagnation, and receivers are encouraged to breathe deeply into their lines of tension. A rhythmic dance develops in the receiver’s body between expansive stretching and deep compression.

Shiatsu is appropriate for all ages and body types. It is performed fully clothed, with the receiver usually lying on a futon on the floor. For receivers who have difficulty lying on the floor, the work is easily adapted to a chair. Treatments last about one hour. Shiatsu is very effective in conditions where emotional disturbance or stress is an underlying factor.

While this could be said to include all ailments, the following are the conditions most widely regarded as stress-related:

* Insomnia
* Anxiety and Depression
* Muscular Tension
* Headaches
* Digestive Disturbances
* Menstrual Dysfunction
* Low Resistance to Infection

Shiatsu is also an effective treatment for the musculoskeletal system. It works directly on the tissues involved, stimulating healing and relaxation responses. It is therefore effective in the treatment of:
* Backache
* Synovitis
* Sprains and Strains
* Neck and Shoulder Stiffness
* Joint Pain

The localized physical effects of Shiatsu also relieve:
* Sinus Congestion
* Retention of Fluid in Tissues
* Poor Circulation


「人」という漢字は、お互いに支え合って生きていることを表している. 指圧もまさにそれと同じ!指圧師が与えて、クライアントさんが受け取るのではなく、エネルギーを開いて湧き出させて、お互いにもっと健康になる、疲れることがない直観智指圧!


Makko Ho - Learn More


The training and discipline common to Japanese culture, consist of three levels of mastery: physical, psychological, and spiritual. On the physical level mastery of form (kata) is important to increase Ki energy to maintain health, calmness, and peace. Kumiko offers a model form, you observe carefully and repeat it countless times till you have completely internalized the form using observation, meditation, and breathing techniques. In the ultimate mastery of form, you release from adherence to form to feel each element; metal, water, wood, fire, and earth and its energy pathways; meridians.

Do It Yourself Zen Meridian Shiatsu stretches (Makko ho meridian stretches) are used as a self-assessment & self-healing technique by focusing on the specific stretches that were developed to improve the flow of Ki Energy. There is a Zen stretch for each pair of meridians and, as they are based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine and created by Nagai Sensei in Japan, we follow the Five Elements creative cycle, (i.e., Metal, Water, Wood, Absolute Fire, Supplement Fire, and Earth).


Begin the DIY Zen Meridian Shiatsu stretches by grounding yourself through breathing, while you focus on centering the Ki Energy within the Hara. Keep centered throughout the exercise. It is essential that you settle into the stretches on respiration and nothing is forced. Being aware of the tension and pain that you feel along the meridian pathways. Do not force yourself into positions that you find uncomfortable – pain is not the goal, the intention & focus is. Always take a moment to rest and observe your body after each stretch.

DIY Zen Meridian Shiatsu stretches are not so much about the physical stretch but about opening up and moving the Ki Energy. It is therefore vital that you focus on breathing and that you are aware of the changes going on within during each stretch – this includes Body, Mind, and Spirit. Concentrate on relaxing and releasing during all of these movements, and enjoy! We will help to find the most comfortable position for each person depending upon your needs. Head over to our ‘Services’ page to book your private group session today!

Aromatherapy - learn more


Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it is called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.

Acupuncture - Learn More


Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China, Japan, and other Eastern countries. The earliest records of acupuncture date back over 2,000 years and today there are over 3,000,000 practitioners worldwide. Although the majority of acupuncturists practice in the East, over the past 50 years, an increasing number of people in the West have trained to become acupuncturists. 

The practice of acupuncture is thought to have begun with the discovery that stimulation of specific areas on the skin affects the functioning of certain organs of the body. It has evolved into a system of medicine that restores and maintains health by the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points just beneath the body’s surfaces. These points are in very specific locations and rest on energy channels. 

In the West, acupuncture has been promoted as only being helpful in specific conditions, such as the relief of pain. It is, in fact, extremely effective in a wide variety of conditions through its power to stimulate the mind and body’s own healing response. 

Acupressure - Learn More


Acupressure is a safe and gentle alternative therapy used to relieve symptoms from many common disorders based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory for more than 2000 years.  Unlike some forms of Western medicine, this therapy does not involve any invasive techniques. A skilled practitioner simply uses their thumbs and fingers (sometimes the elbow and the knee) to exert pressure to specific body points on natural energy pathways in the body called meridians.  Acupressure helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of well-being.


Art of Jin Shin

Jin Shin is a Japanese acupressure healing art that balances the energetic body, mind, and spirit by using our hands based on Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory. Jin Shin means “The Compassionate Spirit." Jin Shin teaches the use of gentle yet deep finger pressure on specific acupoints and verbal Body Focusing techniques, to help release “armoring” or chronic tension, balance the “Ki” or energy, and improve vitality.


Cupping Therapy

A technique that in ancient times used cups made of porcelain or bamboo. Today, in the modern clinic, the cups are made from sterilized glass. They are applied with suction produced by a hand pump or a small flame. The suction and vacuum pressure provided by cupping encourages blood flow to the acupuncture points, and also relieves muscle tension and sedates the nervous system. It is only used on healthy tissue and relatively strong bodies. Cupping can produce markings on the skin. This is a normal response and generally clears after a few days. Sometimes a practitioner will provide plastic or silicone cups to their patients for home use.



A diet based on ideas about types of food drawn from Zen Buddhism. The diet balances the yin and yang elements of food and cookware.


Gua Sha

Pronounced (gu-wa-sha), this is a skin scraping technique. It releases fascial restrictions in the muscles and soft tissues. It is believed to have an adaptogenic effect and can be helpful for long-standing pain and increase flexibility. Traditionally, it has been used in many cultures throughout the world and has been known to be applied using a ceramic spoon, a coin, a well-shaped bone, a wood comb, or a stone implement. It also produces a marking on the skin, which clears within a few days. 



A form of heat therapy, moxa is mugwort, a dried and processed herb that can be applied directly or indirectly. The indirect application uses a bundle or a single stick of moxa burned near the surface of the skin, or an acupuncturist might use a small ball of moxa placed atop a needle. Direct forms use a much higher quality of moxa than used for indirect applications and are applied with a range of techniques. Direct moxa techniques require further training and a clear rationale for its use. Moxibustion is used to promote the circulation of blood to the acupuncture points, muscles, and nerve zones, as well as to areas of chronic pain or muscle tension.



Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm, and stable state. 


Yin Yoga

Focuses on the deep connective tissues;  fascia, ligaments, joints, and bones. It is a slow and more meditative style of yoga, giving space to turn inward and tune into both the mind and the physical sensations of the body. Because the poses are held for a longer period of time than in other traditional types of yoga, Yin yoga helps stretch and lengthen those rarely-used tissues while also teaching the practitioner how to breathe through discomfort and sit with their own thoughts.



Reiki is a Japanese form of alternative medicine called energy healing. Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a universal energy is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.

Reiki is sometimes considered a pseudoscience because of the lack of empirical evidence in Western Science that the ki ("chi") the universal life force, exists.  We hope that as science is transformed by new technologies, we are able to explore the scientific dimensions of Eastern healing modalities, using physics, and documentation of the meridien system.    


Thai Yoga Massag

Thai Yoga Massage works the entire body using a sequence of movements that are similar to yogic stretching. The therapist uses palms and fingers to apply firm pressure to the body. The receiver will also be stretched and twisted into various positions. Loose, comfortable clothing is worn during the massage.


Qi Gong

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese practice that allows the body to rebalance and achieve an ideal state of relaxation in a short time. Qi Gong techniques regulate the practitioner's energy circulation, aiming to nourish and strengthen the essential energy, to prevent diseases, to cure disease, and to achieve longevity. It is a particular technique of self-discipline and daily practice. 

Tui Na

TUINA  Chinese remedial massage

Through a combination of massage and acupressure, this Chinese style of remedial massage applies pressure to acupuncture points and muscle zones. This stimulates localized and systemic blood circulation and encourages the nervous system to reduce pain.


Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga enables deep relaxation while holding poses for extended periods of time with the help of props that completely support the body.  The main focus of Restorative yoga is that by relaxing in poses, with the aid of props, without strain or pain, physical, mental and emotional relaxation is achieved. Restorative yoga classes are very relaxing and slow-paced. Props, like blocks, bolsters, blankets, and straps are used so that the practitioner is comfortably supported in the pose. Poses are held for an extended period of time. This practice is great to balance an active yoga schedule or for a healing break when feeling under the weather.

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