5 ways that Eastern Medicine dramatically changed my life

I inadvertently started walking the holistic path three decades ago when aged 17 I had my first Reiki treatment. It wiped away my exam stress and felt for me a better solution than popping pills. I had no idea how Reiki worked – I just knew it felt good, and its effect on me was like nothing I’d experienced before.

Since that first treatment, and particularly since becoming immersed in the world of Shiatsu when I began studying for the three-year Professional Practitioner Diploma, my outlook on healing, life, death and self-care has evolved immeasurably. 

Here are the main ways that learning and practising Eastern Medicine have changed my life. I hope it might expand your awareness of what could be possible for your own health and wellness. 

  1. Empowered healing 

I used to wait until I was unwell to reach for a fix and I usually deferred to a GP or an expert for the solution. It never occurred to me that there were things I could do as a daily practice to help me prevent dis-ease from arising. I still turn to Western Medicine when required, and since moving to India I now benefit from Ayurveda too.

It is self-Shiatsu and mindful movement practice of Qi Gong that I rely on first to help me feel more positive, energised and in sync with life. They help me to feel more embodied, grounded and less caught in my head. I also rely on Acupressure points for common ailments such as pain relief. I have used this acupressure point throughout the pandemic to help me feel calmer.

Heart Protector 8 in the centre of the palms – hold gently and press

I see many people taking a more active role in their self-care, as we move to more of a ‘prevention mindset’ to guard against contracting the Covid-19. (I wrote here about more people taking self-care into their own hands).

  1. A return to the body 

In the West, the majority of us live mostly from the head, so revered is the brain as the all powerful commander. It is easy to forget that we exist as far more than a ‘brain taxi’ – a body that happens to be attached to the head!

Eastern Medicine takes a more holistic approach and sees the Heart as ruler yet acknowledges that we are complex inter-connected beings, as intricately connected internally as we are to our external world.

The physicality of Shiatsu and its gentle pressure and rotations help to bring me home to my body, and connect me more viscerally to my Ki (energy). Outside of the treatment room, I now make decisions by tuning into senses and feelings, and making time to listen to the body’s signals. Friday is my Go Slow day and when I send out my Friday Letter, sharing a fresh Meditate with Me video bringing you the sites and sounds of Goa.

  1. Embracing whole living

Following on from being more guided by sensing and feeling, I’ve come to appreciate and value all our innate senses. The feeling when you first walk into a room and sense the vibe; knowing when someone is staring at you from behind your back; and being more aware of when I feel disconnected and fractured.

Healing at a distance through connecting with the etheric field has expanded my understanding of our existence as one inseparable whole, the Taoist belief of a ‘primordial soup’.  

Throughout the pandemic I have been giving and receiving Shiatsu and Reiki with UK-based Practitioner friends and the effects have been remarkable. Healing at a distance has now become a regular part of my Practitioner work and I love connecting with people around the world in this way.  

  1. Overcoming the limits of language

Articulating some of my expriences of working with energy has been tricky. Some clients find it useful to know that Shiatsu is there for us “when there are no words”.

Finding new words like Yugen helped me to find meaning in more of my encounters with Shiatsu and to connect more deeply to my experiences.  

As someone whose life and career in communications has been mostly defined by words, acknowledging the limitations of language and finding new methods to interact, whether through new words or non-verbal exchange, has been life-changing. 

New people, supportive communities

Following a path that diverges from the values and beliefs of the people in your circle can be a lonely and even isolating experience. I now have new tribes of people who I can be open and honest with thanks to their ability to hold non-judgemental spaces and an attitude described by Jung as unconditional positive regard.

This is a stark contrast of my early years when I started my Reiki journey in the late 90s when ‘energy work’ was viewed with suspicion, and anything beyond the approved realms of ‘science’ was disregarded or rubbished.

As more people have experiences of the non-physical world and re-connect to their self-healing abilities eg through self-Shiatsu, I am seeing the emergence of a new ‘energy paradigm’. Re-discovering the energetic aspects of now popular practices such as meditation and mindful movement is how we can establish new ways of being and relating, uniting our disparate parts that have been fractured by the many challenges (and traumas) of the modern world. Returning to wholeness supported by more cohesive communities is how we can move through and overcome the impacts of Covid-19.


Curious to learn some practices from Eastern Medicine to support you and your loved ones?

Book a free 15 minute call to explore how you can easily weave natural and effective self-care practices into your life.

Join my weekly online class: Balanced, Happy & Whole for an hour of gentle movement and meditation.

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About Me

I founded SJA Holistics to help people get well, feel great, and stay well using the power of practices derived from Eastern Medicine including Shiatsu, Reiki, Acupressure and Qi Gong.

For over a decade I’ve worked with Ki and have first-hand experience of how energy- and body-work can lead to positive health. Working with the energy body as well as the physical can bring profound changes to mental, emotional and physical issues.

After completing three years of study for the Professional Shiatsu Diploma, I honed my experience working voluntarily for six months in a national UK charity giving Shiatsu to people recovering from substance misuse.

It is my mission to help you recognise your own self-healing ability and to empower you with the skills and knowledge you need to dramatically improve your self-care.

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My Approach

We create your current health picture. Then we get clear on your goals so that we are aligned from the outset. This makes it easier to monitor progress.

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Intelligent Energy

Every one of us has a universal energy, also known as lifeforce, chi, prana and Ki, that underpins our whole existence, and within that, our health. Stimulating the flow of Ki is how you can get well, feel great and stay well.

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