It goes without saying that people need connection. Whether it be through our environment, community, friends or family, being engaged helps us thrive. However, in today’s bustling world, even connection to one’s self has its challenges. Shiatsu is one method that can help us reconnect.
The word “shiatsu” means “finger pressure” and is a specialized form of acupressure that follows meridians and pressure points in the body. It originated in China about 6,000 years ago and works with the energy of the body or chi. “Bringing the energy into balance nurtures the person on the cellular, emotional and spiritual level,” says Shirley Scranta, owner of the International School of Shiatsu, in Pipersville. “It is the integration of all these aspects that help keep a person healthy.”
Scranta explains that during a shiatsu treatment the practitioner takes time to assess the areas in the body where the chi is not flowing and then treats it accordingly. “Moving the chi is done by a combination of stretching, rotating the arms and legs and applying firm pressure,” she says.
The International School of Shiatsu will host shiatsu and shin tai trainings as well as workshops and classes in body, energy and breathwork, tai chi, yoga, meditation and qigong throughout April and May. Offerings include Shiatsu Clinic, on April 1, Arcturian Healing Light Part Three with Gene Ang, from April 2 to 5, and Governing Vessel and the Spine, from April 21 to 23 and 28 to 30.
Aspiring massage students or those interested in finding out more can attend a Shiatsu Intro Weekend from May 6 to 7. The Shiatsu Level One training will begin May 13, and Shiatsu Level Two starts May 8. For those seeking a career in shiatsu and body therapies, full-time and part-time scheduling options are available.
The International School of Shiatsu will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., on January 21, to celebrate the opening of their new location in Pipersville.
The day’s festivities will include the best de-stressing methods, including yoga, meditation, qigong, shiatsu, manual lymph drainage, reflexology and sound journeying.
The school was previously located in Doylestown for over 23 years. “This has been such a long time coming for us and we are incredibly excited,” enthuses the school’s director, holistic health coach and longtime shiatu practitioner Shirley Scranta. “As soon as I saw it, I knew this was where to make our next home. There are walls of windows coming from three sides so the space is flooded with brilliant light. The floors are made of Canadian Maple wood, which supports the body.”
The International School of Shiatsu has moved from its Doylestown location to make a new home at Plumstead Crossings, in Pipersville.
The newly renovated center features a 2,200-square-foot classroom that is furnished with Swedish maple wood flooring. The large, modern space will allow for expanded classes in Nia dance, yoga, meditation, tai chi and qigong. In true Japanese tradition, no shoes will be worn on the floor; participants are encouraged to bring socks or floor slippers.
The International School of Shiatsu was founded in 1977. Its mission is to train, nurture and support students while developing their skills to become practitioners of shiatsu, shin tai, lymph drainage and traditional Thai massage, as well as to provide the experience of advanced bodywork modalities to the general public—Zen Day Community Shiatsu Clinic is offered on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
“We are excited for what the next chapter of our story will be, and the possibilities that present themselves with this new space,” says Shirley Scranta, owner and director. Scranta graduated from the Practitioner Program in 1996.
Location: Plumstead Crossing, 6055C Kellers Church Rd., Pipersville. For more information, call 215-340-9918 or visit Shiatsubo.com.
Laurie Van Valkenburgh, owner of Shiatsu Shin Tai Bodywork Therapies, in New Hope, recently received her Pennsylvania licensure for massage. Van Valkenburg is honored to be able to offer additional services to her clients. She is trained in quan yin healing, Reiki levels I & II, foot reflexology, shiatsu, macrobiotic counseling and advanced levels of training in Shiatsu Shin Tai.
Location: 6064 Upper Mountain Rd., New Hope. For more information,
call 267-566-6056 or visit ShiatsuBodyTherapies.com, April 2013.