The Chinese New Year and Shiatsu

Chinese New Year The sheep is associated with kindness, peace, and tenderness. Sheep are also considered to be among the most creative and elegant creatures in the Chinese Zodiac. The goat is a symbol of collaboration and attaining success in spite of obstacles. Wood represents growth and the renewal of life, perfectly symbolizing the spring season which is just around the corner. So together in this year, we may all create a path to optimal health, as these animals along with wood symbolize revitalization and wellness of the body.

2015 is also called the Green Goat year. In Chinese medicine, the wood element is often associated with the color green and the liver/gall bladder meridians and organs. These energy lines are located along the lateral and medial sides of our bodies. Many Chinese believe that the color green often symbolizes and encourages vibrancy and good health.

After a shiatsu treatment for a client who was recently recovering from a stressed liver, I recommended that she spend time outside in nature where she could be surrounded by the deep green of the grass, trees, and other plant life. After I showed her a few hatha yoga and qigong forms, I also encouraged her to pay particular attention to her lateral movements that stretched her sides, the location of the liver and gall bladder meridians.

The Lunar year marks the beginning of Spring. This is perfect timing as this new season is about lightening up and detoxification. After months of the cold damp winter loaded with heavy meals, hibernation and stagnation, it is truly refreshing to allow our liver and kidneys to relax and unblock, like nature blossoming and coming back to life. When the liver and kidneys are tight and unable to relax and open, we may experience health issues such as insomnia, headaches, hypertension, depression, lack of creativity, low back pain, irritability, and other symptoms.

Shiatsu and reflexology are great tools to support our body’s physical, emotional and mental states. These treatments allow us to relax and allow the energy of the winter organs and meridians (kidney and bladder) to transition harmoniously to the spring organs and meridians (liver/gall bladder). My work and practice is unique because I tailor my treatments to each individual’s needs based on my expertise in shiatsu, reflexology, and also yoga, meridian stretches (known as Makko-ho in Japanese healing exercises), qigong and the healing diets. I often recommend specific healing teas and dietary suggestions based on the appropriate seasonal food for one’s specific condition.

For a client recently recovering from a severe brain trauma, I gave her a series of facial reflexology treatments. She expressed a marked difference in her ability to think more clearly and also a marked improvement in her ability to move her eyes. focused specifically on her brain and eye points. I recommended qigong forms that included many lateral stretches.

“After one shiatsu treatment with Margo Marver, my doctors were amazed at how I could suddenly see more clearly. My double vision became less pronounced. I also felt my movements becoming smoother and less jerky. I had been hospitalized for many weeks and my neurologists were not optimistic. Margo also recommended and gave me several facial reflexology treatments to speed recovery of the nerves around my eyes and brain. She insisted that I practice my qigong daily, to walk at least half an hour each day, and gave me wonderful food recommendations.”

J. Leigh, Portland, OR