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November 2003
Anna attempts... Shiatsu
bendy lady
I bet she's tried shiatsu.
We sent Anna Cookson to experience Shiatsu (a Japanese healing art) with Kulwinder Kaur of the British School of Shiatsu in Nottingham.
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British School of Shiatsu
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Learn how to do Shiatsu with Kulwinder Kaur @ The British School of Shiatsu on Wed 28th Jan, 7-8.30pm cost £5
Wed 3rd March, 7-8.30pm, £5
Full Day: Sun 1st Feb. 10am-4pm, cost £35
Tel. 0115 970 3456

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Anna Cookson
Anna Cookson looking pretty relaxed after her treatment.

Did Kulwinder knock you about a bit?
I was expecting a bit of a bashing, but the whole experience was like Andrex: soft, strong and long. It lasted about 45 minutes, and was exceedingly gentle. Kulwinder used her body weight to move me about, concentrating on the pressure points.
How does it work?
It works a bit like acupuncture, except there are no needles, so it's just the force she uses that unblocks any clogged up energy in the body. All in all it was a bit of a relief like getting a hot shower when you've been threatened with a cold one! The only danger I was in was of falling asleep or dribbling on the futon.
Did it feel like you've been wrestling with Hulk Hogan?
Not wrestling, no... I feel all nice and tingly all over.
Ooh err...!
I still feel a bit like I'm floating - how good is that! If shiatsu was a drug they'd probably make it illegal. At points during the treatment it felt like I was being drained inside; everything draining down and towards the floor. I suppose that's the stress melting away and I suppose that's why I feel so good now.
It's meant to be a fun experience, was it?
Oh yeah, no complaints there. And I learned a lot about it: from thinking that a shiatsu was a small dog or a sneeze to knowing all about 'Ki' - the flow of energy in the body. Apparently it flows along channels called Meridians, so that's why I could feel the treatment all over my body when Kulwinder was only pressing part of it. Like, when she was holding my foot I felt a surge right through me - I was impressed with that!
Could you now fit inside a glass bottle like a circus contortionist?
Ah yes, I'm sure I could, probably wouldn't be able to get out again though. Oh what the hell, bring on the glass bottle and I'll have a go anyway. Shiatsu is great for flexibility and the general togetherness of the body. The sessions get more rigorous as your body gets used to it. So if I was to go again I'd be jumping in and out of glass bottles like I'd been in the circus all my life.
Will you do it again?
Today? Can I? I'd love to. You'll have to get me out of this glass bottle though first. I reckon if I could afford to I'd go regularly because it's so good for your health and well being. People often ignore what's going on inside them and concentrate on the external stuff, but in many ways this is more important, and it's mental and emotional as well as physical, so it targets a load of things all at once: three for the price of one as it were. Bargin.
Who should do shiatsu and who shouldn't?
Everybody should have this done - daily, if possible - the world would be a much nicer place for it. Seriously, whether we're fit and healthy or not we all store tonnes of stuff in our bodies and this is a great way to have it all drift away. I know stress is fast becoming an umbrella phrase to encompass just about everything ('oh, it must be stress…) but nevertheless it can't be ignored and this is a great way to chuck it all out the window and start again.
What's it good for?
Shiatsu is particularly good if you've got: back pain, depression, asthma, migraines, whiplash, joint pain, menstral problems, circulation - I could go on. But more generally it's not only a great relaxer and tension disperser, but it improves breathing and posture thus making you feel generally better and more like being alive.
Finally, our chimney needs a good clean, are you up for it?
I'm in such a good mood I'd agree to anything right now. Actually, you're not meant to do anything strenuous or stressful for two hours after a shiatsu, so I think that lets me off the hook! In fact, having a Shiatsu is a bit like chimney sweeping.
What? Really?
It is! by unblocking channels of energy in the body it sweeps away all the dust and charcoal that builds up in the body and leaves you feeling much more clean and sparkly inside! There you go.
Very good...

You can learn more about Shiatsu with The British School of Shiatsu-Do in Nottingham.

Kulwinder Kaur will be giving practical workshops on the following dates:
Wed 28th Jan, 7 - 8.30pm cost £5
Wed 3rd March, 7 - 8.30pm, £5
Sun 1st Feb. 10am-4pm, cost £35
Tel. 0115 912 1592

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