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“The Healing Touch”
A Healing-Shiatsu Masterclass
Sonia Moriceau
Video: Running time 88 minutes

Video reviewed by Jeff Ashby
(reprinted with the
permission of the Shiatsu Society UK, Shiatsu Society News 92')

The recording is made up of extracts from a five day Masterclass held in August 2002 at The Orchard, in Lower-Maescoed, Hereford.

From the beginning, the viewer is drawn into the Masterclass as a fellow participant, as Sonia introduces her unique and powerful approach to the healing touch, based on her personal meditation practise and over 20 years of teaching experience.

The importance of “loving kindness” and “mindfulness” in shiatsu practise is emphasised early in the introduction as Sonia lays down the foundation of her work with the participants of the Masterclass.

The topics covered include: Basic Principles, Hara Ampuka, Hara Diagnosis, Working on Meridians and The Neck.

Each section is dealt with comprehensively, with great clarity and depth, as Sonia demonstrates with “feline” grace, the simplicity and power of the “healing shiatsu” that she embodies in her everyday life.

Each section has much to recommend it and will no doubt be revisited time after time to pick out the particular aspect that you want to concentrate on at that time, but for me the work with “Mother hand” and the section on “Transitions and stretches” are both truly outstanding.

Sonia constantly reinforces the foundation of her work with what she calls the “pillars of shiatsu”. These recurring aspects are woven continuously into each section of the programme:

Working from hara, mother hand/working hand relationship, working with the breath, deep attention, and correct posture and body position.

There are many aspects of the programme that I found personally interesting and would like to follow up and I’m sure each viewer could compile a different list: Forward and backward circles when working the body, diagnosis through movement and stretching, movement around the body, listening and witnessing, and the concept of partnership, to name but a few.

The programme has the genuine and spontaneous feel of live interaction and is filmed in such a way that the viewer is just another participant moving around the room to find the best vantage point to view a demonstrated technique, just as we all have experienced at workshops or during our training.

It is not over-produced, or scripted, and at times the sound quality is a little variable, but this in no way detracts from the quality of the content or presentation.

Sonia advocates learning all the “rules” of shiatsu thoroughly, but advises that at some point it is necessary to “drop the rules and respond directly to the energy.” She focuses on becoming your own Master, free from reliance on a system, a style or a school.

Sonia weaves together all the threads of this Masterclass with her own special warmth and humour. Her favourite descriptive word is “beautiful” and she uses it many times in the video.

She would like us all to feel as though we are “lit up like a Christmas tree” and to share this light with others through shiatsu. She has the ability to communicate this feeling to others and does so ably in this recording.

For those of us who have not been fortunate enough to actually attend one of Sonia’s Masterclasses, this video provides access to a treasure trove of shiatsu experience and an opportunity to learn from a truly great shiatsu teacher.

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Site updated 11/9/2011