Verbal therapy is a great tool to help people know themselves and to unravel possible causes of trauma or existential angst.
In shiatsu we use our hands to have a silent conversation with the person’s body first and after we may give a little feedback of what we observed, at the end of the session. But how can the sensations we pick up through our touch, or the sensations, images or thoughts that come up for the client during a session, be translated into verbal language effectively?
It’s important to develop a clear (“clean”) language not only to give back to the client the intuitive information we picked up from him or her, but also to help them express in words how their inner world feels like or how it changes during the session or after, focusing on sensations.
As a matter of fact, it isn’t actually necessary to speak at all in shiatsu. The comforting touch skills we develop also include a very refined ability to “listen” to what the body has to say.
But helping our clients develop their own way of speaking about the sensations they feel, is how we can bring the silent conversation with their bodies, back into their consciousness.
For example, the simple exercise of bringing their attention to how their feet touch the floor before starting the session and compare how they feel that contact with the floor at the end, can be a clear and concrete parameter to notice the effect of our exchange during the session. (Then they can take this exercise to their everyday lives and check how relaxed or grounded they are in different situations, or to help then relax when they are stressed).
A whole new world of expression opens up when you include the language of the body. This is the reason why I work in close collaboration with psychologists, particularly when a client has an odd symptom or disease that seems to worsen with emotional stress. It has also proven very effective as a support in verbal therapy when the client or the therapeutic relationship hits a standstill.
During shiatsu, a lot of non-verbal information usually comes up that helps to enliven the verbal therapy, or maybe new or more direct roads are found to resolve issues at a mental, emotional or spiritual level.