Zen Shiatsu with a Male Body Builder
Breaking Sterotypes

So im more known these days for my work in creating and expanding what i call sports shiatsu. I created this a few years ago blending shiatsu techniques and sports massage techniques into what i coined sports shiatsu. This happened natural and organically as i became know by athletes as someone who helped ease there aches and pains, and helped rehab them when injured.

However alot of my early training was given over to zen training which is more energy based shiatsu. This was even more so when i trained with the northern school of shiatsu.

What is Zen Shiatsu?

Probably the simplest yet most difficult to explain. Shiatsu simply translates as finger pressure. Now Zen shiatsu sets itself apart from other forms of shiatsu in a few ways.

Hara – diagnosis this is done at the start of a session and this is to find out what meridian pathways are Kyo & Jitsu, or most full and most empty. Now this strange looking diagnosis sometimes referred by some of my clients as “weird voodoo” involves palpating around different areas of the belly to feel the energy in that person. 

From here we begin to work usually starting with the Kyo or most empty to guide the Ki or Qi the energy  were it is needed. Then we work the Jitsu to encourage or shift this energy. Thiis can be done working either the classical meridians or using the Zen extended meridians. 

We aim to move and work from our hara with an empty mind as in meditation, usually using one hand to listen while the other hands works sometimes referred to as the mother and child or yin and yang.

I think sometimes tho that zen tends to attract more women with the fact the focus is on energy and the language used within zen shiatsu can seem very floaty, very sparkly and mystical. so i thought lets do a shiatsu session with a “mans man” someone very masculine to show that it can benefit men to. And who better than a body builder? who spends hours in a masculine environment throwing around dumbbells. 

And thats where my client Josh came in, a trained personal trainer and competitive stage body builder. 

However i will point out that even the session may have been a zen session it was still a yang style session, meaning i couldnt help but work them muscles especially in the legs. This was due to the fact his body needed that extra strength and pressure.

Really enjoyed that, made me feel sleepy and relaxed. but could also tell the pressure points were helping my muscles.
Josh Maddison
Personal trainer and competitor

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