“The main issue is that I feel completely torn between my father and my mother at the moment… I feel their influences very strongly and I can’t seem to reconcile them…. can you help me with Shiatsu?”. This was an unusual request from a client and I was stumped – “I’ll do my best” I replied hopefully, but with little idea what I was going to do next…
I do remember thinking – “well I’d better come up with a technique – and fast”. Little did I know that this improvised treatment was to be a turning point: not only did I stumble upon a whole new approach to treating complex relationship issues, but it also led me to connect with a new explanation for some aspects of our energy-work, using the holographic model.
Around two years later, Carola (Beresford-Cooke) gave me a birthday gift of the book “Energy Medicine – the Scientific Basis” by James Oschman. I was gripped – every page seemed to offer explanations for how Shiatsu energy-work might actually…. well, work! Within a year I was experimenting with workshops, and online courses on “Shiatsu – the Scientific Basis”.
Reading the Oschman books led me into wider research – and I discovered a whole group of leading scientists who are actively enthusiastic about energy-based bodywork. They actually feel that we bodyworkers can teach them about living systems from our direct experience, how great is that? My collaborations with Patrizia Stefanini, Emilio Del Guidice and Bill Palmer were starting to open up a whole new area of understanding about how the latest science could help us develop Shiatsu – and make it more understandable to the general public and Western-trained health professionals.
At the same time I was slowly gaining confidence in the new ‘Relationship technique’. After nearly three years of exploring and practising it with clients, I felt ready to attempt to share it in a workshop. There was one thing still bothering me though… how could I really explain how it worked?
Techniques such as Whole Body Scanning, Meridian Scanning and Vibrational Level Scanning are now pretty standard in post-Masunaga Shiatsu, and it is fairly easy to explain them as communication via bio-magnetic field information communicated through the connective tissue (see previous article – SSN 109 – Spring 2009). However the Relationship technique took a big step further. I found it was not only possible but also very effective to work with more than one diagnosis at a time. Typically I compared the client’s ‘background’ diagnosis with the diagnosis relating to the relationship issue, giving me two scans and two Hara diagnoses to work with (though it could get even more interesting – in the case of both mother and father issues, that could be expanded to three scans and three Hara diagnoses).
So how was it possible to pick up so much information from the same physical space? Then I found out: I was re-reading the second Oschman book, “Energy Medicine and Human Therapeutics”, when I came across the section on holograms and suddenly it hit me, almost like a physical blow – this had to be the answer!
I had heard of the holographic nature of the energy field before, Pauline (Sasaki) often mentioned it during our 20 year collaboration in Europe and the USA, from 1987-2007, when we worked on developing and completing the Masunaga system to the best of our understanding. I knew ‘holographic’ meant that information could be distributed throughout a system, but what I hadn’t realised was how the information was stored, how it could be retrieved, and how many layers of information could be stored in one place.
Imagine a pond. We throw in a stone – ripples move out to the banks of the pond. Now if we analysed the ripples at the edge of the pond – we could work out where, when and how big the impact of that stone was. OK – now let’s add some other ripples – a log falling in? a duck landing? This will make the ripples complex because now there will be an interference pattern – created as the different waves combine and add to, or subtract from, each other. It may seem hopelessly difficult to try and separate all those waves – but actually the maths isn’t hard – Fourier worked out how to do it about 200 years ago.
The interesting thing is that all the information about what is happening in the pond is contained in the interference pattern of the waves – which can be found at any point around the shore of the lake. The lake is a two dimensional analogy for how a hologram records a ‘virtual’ 3D image. Many layers of information can be stored in the same space, different “reference beams” (which consist of lasers in conventional visual holograms) are used to extract the layers of information. This seemed to fit exactly with the experience of the Relationship technique. It is as if we use our ‘intention’ as a reference beam, which interacts with our client’s holographic field giving us access to multi-layered information. Perhaps this gives a whole new meaning to Pauline Sasaki’s description of us as “Beings of Light”?
We may all be using holographic storage in our everyday life soon. Blu-ray is the last DVD-based technology – the next development is holographic storage – a tiny crystal can store more information than a stack of DVDs, all the information from the world’s libraries could be stored in a small crystal cube. There is compelling evidence that our senses and our memory do actually process information holographically. If you think about it, it would be surprising if evolution – which created life so efficiently – did not utilise this way of storing information. What I find exciting for us is that the holographic model exactly fits our experience as energy-workers, especially when we enter the world of multiple diagnoses.
“What is the most unusual resource you have used in teaching?” This is a ‘question of the week’ on the Shiatsu College CPD online Teacher-Training course Discussion Forum. This year I have no doubt about my own answer: I was searching for a resource that would allow a Swiss group I was teaching to experience a hologram – when I realised I had two in my wallet! The two holograms on my debit card are different … one creates a 3D bird in flight – much like an open whole body scan. The second though, has three different layers of information that pop out in 3D, depending on the angle of the light. So a perfect example of multi-layered holographic information: exactly as experienced in the multi-diagnoses Relationship Technique – and it was in my pocket all along – who would have imagined that?
Clifford Andrews is an international Shiatsu teacher. The Relationship Technique is the most recent of his major contributions to post-Masunaga Shiatsu. Cliff can be contacted at email@example.com