‘ _ Hyper-health
. Time was when complementary health
was synonymous with iniormal word-ol-mouth networks, adverts in vegetarian cafes and practices in people’s spare rooms. But asthe
: alternative slowly encroaches on the 2 mainstream, so the underground goes
up-lront and what once seemed
Q exclusive becomes, rightly, public
' properly. We're not yet at the stage
where the NHS will embrace wholeheartedly the benelits ol holistic wisdom, but that is changing as nurses start to practice aromatherapy and doctors become aware oi highly visible centres such as the Edinburgh Floatarium.
‘What we wanted was a nice, big, wide open shop, so that anybody walking past could come in, buy something and go out,‘ explains Mrs Brown at the Floatarium, which as well as its original lloating tanks, now shelters iiiteen complementary practices under its two Stockbridge roots. ‘They can see the ditlerent therapies and the certiticates oi all our therapists up on the wall. We’re not a dodgy set-up, we are a clinic, a therapy centre to help people relax and get rid
. of stress.’
Like the recently-established Whole
Q Works centre on Edinburgh’s Royal
Mile. the Floatarium otters therapies from the iamiliar reflexology and chiropody, to the lesser-known Iooyen work, polarity therapy and Tibetan
rejuvenation; from the gentle
relaxation of floating to the emotional challenge at Shea. The great advantage of the health superstore
approach is that people can be
matched to the most suitable practice. ‘We always suggest that they should try more than one thing unless they‘re just coming in for relaxation,‘ says Mrs
Brown, who otters iree ten-minute ; consultations and encourages the
therapists under her wing to reierthe
Open every day and most evenings,
the Floatarium is making important
inroads in making holistic healthcare available to a wide range oi people
i and, again like the Whole Works which - has ‘a commitment to not turning : anyone away', it is helping to make the
alternative acceptable. (Mark Fisher)
Edinburgh Floatarium, 29 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh, 031 225 3350.
The Whole Works, Jacksons Close, 209 Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 031 225 8092.
102 The List 18 December 1992— l4January 1993
Tamsin Grainger talks about her five years enjoying the healing art of shiatsu.
I went to my first shiatsu session for two reasons: for preventative health care and because at least three people had independently suggested that I needed it and would enjoy it. That turned out to be an understatment. Five years later. I am an experienced ‘receiver‘ and am two years into training to become a ‘doer‘ myself.
I did not have much trouble in tracking down a reputable practitioner. Sandra Hughes had then just completed two years of advanced study into this truly ancient Oriental healing art. Her study involved practical and theoretical work. a great deal of. personal development. as well as anatomy and physiology to a high standard.
When I arrived. she asked me what I hoped to gain from the session and about my heath and daily habits. Like other holistic therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy. shiatsu is concerned with the whole person rather than only the symptoms of a specific illness. Although no obvious complaint had prompted me to attend. my history ofpainful period cramps and pre-menstrual tension came up and Sandra explained that shiatsu is often successful in treating such things.
Shiatsu practitioners belive that a syptom of ‘ill health‘ is only a pointer towards an area of the body or mind (or both) which needs attention. There can be too much energy in one area and not enough in another. and the aim ofshiatsu is to restore the natural balance of body, mind and spirit. thereby promoting health.
I lay down in the warm. sweet-smelling room. while Sandra explained what would happen. I
‘ co-MPLEMENTARV HEALTH
Shiatsu: the gentle approach
didn’t have to take my clothes off—
that was a relief— and I was assured
that I was in for a gentle approach - no hasty shoulder clunks nor agonising spinal twists. just that I should shut my eyes. concentrate on breathing deeply and relax. That was what I really needed — time away from the strain ofmy then unemployed life to learn a little more about my body and how it works from the inside.
The joy of the Oriental approach is
l was assured that I was in iora gentle approach — no hasty shoulder clunks nor agonising spinal twists.
that it is personally empowering. While Sandra had trained hard in the technique. she was nevertheless entering into an equal relationship with me. because we all know more about our bodies than anyone else. I know where it hurts. ifit does. and after a session. I know if it has helped me or not. Sandra suggested exercises that would encourage my body to recover and maintain health. but these in themselves gave me the
~ chance to ‘treat‘ my own body - to
feel that I was personally responsible for it and that I didn‘t have to hand it over to someone else.
I discovered later that. in common with all healers. Sandra had started by making a diagnosis. even though to me it felt like light touches with her finger tips on my abdomen and back. Basing her judgment on both Japanese and Chinese traditions of diagnosis. she would have observed my posture and facial features,
listened to my tone ofvoice and even smelled me (subtly) in order to pick
2 up hints about my overall condition.
Once she began to work. I found myselfdrifting offto sleep— somehow there is nothing more soporific than having your feet massaged or your temples gently pressed. Sandra would have been
working with her thumbs and palms
(possibly even with elbows or knees)
on one or two of the twelve meridians or pathways which run up
i l l
and down the body internally and link up all the major organs. By working on specific points along these meridians. she would have been able to check out the state of my body in detail.
Shiatsu is especially helpful for back problems. gynaecological disorders and stress. but also it undoubtedly improves many other conditions. Much to my astonishment. I found that my menstrual cramps were practically obliterated after only two sessions
; (although typically I suffered quite T strong pains for one day after the ; initial treatment). I think that was a
sign that I happen to be particularly responsive to shiatsu — ‘cures‘ do not always happen so quickly. In hindsight. what was better was that I started on the road of self-development which has lead me towards a happier relationship with myself and the people around me. Ideally. a series of regular shiatsu
i sessions — perhaps six — will sort out
most problems and the number of visits can then be reduced to once
i every six months or so.
Unfortunately. shiatsu is not available on the National Helath
I Service so private practitioners have 5 to charge reasonably high rates.
Typically. these range from £5. for those on benefits. to upwards of£20
3 per session. But think about what you get for that: one to
one-and-a-half hours ofpersonal attention — something a GP just
- cannot provide — in peaceful
surroundings. As someone recently suggested to me. a car needs a
1 regular service costing upwards of
£50 a shot. Your body holds you up.
’ carries you (and sometimes a baby or
child). and generally takes a battering. so it‘s bound to become run down at times. Shiatsu is a great way to find a new sense of
Glasgow School ofShiatsu, l9 Langside Park. Kilbarchan. Renfrewshire. 05057 4657, lists the following practitioners.
I Anwari Din 57 Newlands Road, 649 ()059.
I Sandra Forsyth 10 Doune Gardens, 946 9764.
I Vicky Harvey 17 Dalnair Street, 334 0457.
I Jules Heaven 29 Caird Street. Partickhill. 339 3054
I Margaret Johnson 27 Walton Street, Shawlands. 649 0978.
j I Susan Lakey 18 March Street. 424 0603.
I Alan McHardy 10 Norwood Drive. Giffnoek.
I Graeme Nelson Flat 26/2, 123 Petershill Drive, Barlonock.
I Colin Roxburgh 241 Wilton Street. 946 3999.
I Pat Toms 14 Grosvenor Terrace. I Geoffrey West 57 Queensborough Gardens, Hyndland. 339 3222.
I Andrea Batterman 30 Brunton
Terrace. 557 4106.
I Richard Blair 1F1. 104 Duke Street. 554 1165. (Also Floatarium. Stockbridge, 225 3350).
I Hyla Bruges 2 Roxburgh Street. 557 4986.
I Tamsin Gralnger 46 Sloan Street. 555 1875.
I Jenny Head 14 St Leonard‘s Bank. 667 4639.
I Marjorie Helm 8 Dalhousie Terrace.
I Ruth Mcllroy10 Royal Crescent, 556 8268.
I Cynthia Shuken 112 East Saville Terrace. 667 1758.