“Babies are learning to sleep, but we adults are on autopilot,” says Shiatsu therapist Ori Flomin of New York. If you have difficulty adjusting your nervous system down at the end of the day, he says, adding some easy self-administered shiatsu sequences to your nightly routine can better prepare you for sleep success.
Translated from Japanese as “finger pressure”, shiatsu is a holistic discipline developed in 1900 in Japan, but with roots in ancient Chinese medicine. It exploded in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to the counterculture movement, with Westerners seeking more approaches to healthier lifestyles.
Flomin, who was educated at the Ohashi Institute in the late 1990s, was fascinated by the whole-person approach that incorporates physicality, psychology, emotionality and spirituality. Shiatsu works with meridians, or energy channels that flow through the body “like moving water in a healthy river,” says Flomin. “In a stagnant puddle, the water gets dirty, like blocked energy. Likewise, in a flood, there is excess water or excess energy. “
To dissipate energy through movement, a practitioner begins by gently manipulating the limbs and brushing the body with the hands, then applying pressure to points along the 12 basic meridians to balance the energy, returning the body to a more grounded sensation. harmony. “Shiatsu is not a cure for serious problems, but in the short term, you can change your condition and change how you feel,” says Flomin.
“Shiatsu is not a cure for serious problems, but in the short term, you can change your condition and change how you feel.” —Ori Flomin
Although he has since returned to self-medication during the early pandemic, Flomin set up a workshop to teach people the basics of shiatsu to use on themselves. “The pandemic has stopped our energy. “We were locked up, stuck in the house and we could not see or touch each other,” says Flomin.
Use this Flomin self-help shiatsu toolbox at any time two hours before bed to relax from the tension and tightness throughout the day. It emphasizes the importance of being relaxed and comfortable while performing these sequences gently – the key word is “gently”. The meridians are in the muscles, but you will not cause damage if you do not achieve the exact points. Just press with your fingers or palms, instead of massaging or kneading. Do not push your way into places that are painful. “Be playful but careful. “It’s easy to overdo it,” he says.
For arms, shoulders and hands
- With the left hand holding the right wrist, circle the right hand in both directions.
- Use your left hand to move each finger on your right hand, starting at the palm of your hand and moving toward the tip of your finger.
- Holding the right elbow, fold and extend the lower right arm.
- Hold the right shoulder with the left hand and handle it gently forward and backward, making circles in both directions.
- Give the right hand a small brush from the shoulder to the fingers, as if dusting it. Notice how this hand feels heavier, longer and more open.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Then, to open the chest: Starting from the sternum, apply gentle pressure to walk the right fingers lengthwise and around the left key up to the shoulders and then repeat on the other side.
For legs and feet
- Sitting on the edge of a chair, with your toes clasped under your right foot, lift it up and shake it loosely. Keep the leg muscles relaxed and passive, do not let the hip flexors tighten.
- Put the right foot down and throw the knee back and forth, relaxing the hip socket.
- Move to a four-figure position with the right foot on the left knee. Support the ankle with the right hand while gently circling the foot with the left hand.
- Squeeze your toes and fold each one back and forth.
- Put the foot down, brush down front and back as you did with the hands, from the hip to the foot.
- Repeat with the other leg.
For the head and neck
- With your fingers intertwined behind the head at the base of the skull, gently manipulate the head in small circles in each direction, feeling the weight of the head on the palms.
- To relieve the compression created above the top of the cervical spine, pull up gently to lift the head slightly away from the neck.
- Repeat with your hands tied around your temples.
- Then brush the back of the neck up to the head and down to the shoulders.
Pressure points on the main meridians
For these pressure points, Flomin recommends holding each one for a few seconds (one or two deep breaths), no more than three times.
Pillar of heaven
- With both hands at the same time, starting from the point just below the inner contour of each eyebrow, walk your fingers upwards towards the hairline, over the crown of the head and up to the base of the skull on both sides of the spine. . Attach your thumbs to these small niches.
- Let the weight of the head fall slowly and gently back into your open palms while pressing your thumbs into the niches.
Well on the shoulder
- With your right hand, gently push the trapezius muscle from the base of the left side of the neck to the shoulder. Then locate the center of the trapezoid (the highest point of the muscle between the neck and shoulder) and walk your fingers slightly back to the point of tenderness. Attach your fingers and press gently.
- Repeat on the other side.
Palace of Hearing
- With both hands at the same time, give your face a small brush, starting from the nose and exercising outwards.
- To release the tension along the jaw, bring your fingers right into the knob at the center of the front of your ears (called the tragus) and open your mouth. Locate the niche that forms when the jaw is slightly open and push it in.
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