Originally published on December 1, 2021.
Psychological problems could be defined as a state of discomfort or distress over an extended period of time.
Because of its very nature, the human psyche can be experienced only subjectively. While an intimate observer may perceive the psychological processes of another person, this perception will again be utterly subjective. Thus the human psyche seems to successfully escape any attempt to describe it objectively.
Psychological problems are not confined only to the emotional realm of the ‘soul’. Every bodyworker knows that they can show up in the whole human being and hence also in the physical body. Furthermore, many psychological conflicts initially will manifest in the body without the affected person being aware of the inner dimension of their problem. We, humans, have a natural tendency to shut off any uncomfortably threatening, painful experiences from our everyday lives, however, when we expel unpleasant internal processes from our consciousness, these processes will look for and find a way through the body, manifesting on the outside. Our bodies truly show who we are.
Physical problems, on the other hand, always show up in the psychological experiences of a human as well. This is because the energetic processes that are at the basis of any physical difficulties are also present in a person’s thoughts, emotions, hopes, fears, etc.
Body and soul cannot just be separated from one another. Both are an expression of a deeper dynamic, of a fundamental – one could also say: all-encompassing – energetic process. Thus body and soul both express the energetic. They are a different expression of the same root and therefore provide us with the same core information in different ways.
This energetic core can be reached in all the different ways in which people meet and communicate with each other. It may be reached through talking, physical touch, processing common experiences, sharing a moment, and many others.
All of this takes place in a Shiatsu treatment and this is why Shiatsu can offer support to people with psychological problems. Shiatsu is not only bodywork but essentially an energetic contact that opens the door to the realm of the psyche. Shiatsu is neither a method that works exclusively with psychological problems nor one that treats exclusively physical symptoms. It lies in the nature of Shiatsu to encompass both.
This is a transcription from a presentation that Wilfried made during his Global Shiatsu Virtual Gathering on November 13, 2021.
By Wilfried Rappenecker