SHIATSU FOR CANCER PATIENTS WORKSHOP – AND MORE
Well, what a week it’s been. Having Idit over giving the workshop was like old times for me. It was great to hear her stories of working in the Oncology section of the hospital in Tel Aviv. Exciting work being done at grass roots level.
During the workshop she went over the protocols and care for cancer patients and how we can use simple but very effective techniques and attitudes to help those who are in a serious situation with their health. For some of us she reminded us of work we had already covered in previous workshops – Kiiko Matsumoto’s work with scar tissue, back pain, Kidney adrenal shock and emotional shock treatments; sotai release and points for certain TCM based diagnosis (tongue indications as well). We all had a chance to work on each other.
It was really great to have Kaz with us. She was a total inspiration, being a Shiatsu practitioner who is still undergoing Chemo for breast cancer. Some of you would remember she was on Cliff Andrews’ workshop in Dublin early in 2010. Her feedback from her own personal perspective of having had a mastectomy and the care she was getting was invaluable THANKS for being there Kaz.
On Monday we had two other presentations organised. One was with the Oncology department at the Bon Secours hospital in Cork. Idit outlined the nature of Integrated health care that happens in the hospital in Tel Aviv. One of the Oncologists had been to a similar hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, in New York and it seemed like he was aware of the value of integrating conventional and complementary medicine. As we already know some herbal remedies would be contra indicated with some prescribed drugs and it would be important for the medical staff to know what the patient was taking and how it was affecting him/her. Idit also introduced them, personally, to some acu points and their uses… There were some very good questions put to her which she handled beautifully… Well done girl..
The final presentation was to The Girls Club in Cork. This is a newly formed group of women who are either cancer patients or are in recovery; and carers. They set up the club early this year to help each other, be of support to each other and just have a good time. They are due to open their own centre shortly.. Anyway, Idit did her stuff and gave her talk on how Shiatsu can really help. Four of us gave half hour treatments to two cancer patients and two carers as part of the talk/demo. One of our graduates – Brian, rose to the challenge of being the only man in the room with approx. 30 women watching... Well done Brian… You handled it brilliantly... At the end of this, one patient had greatly improved mobility at the site of her Mastectomy scars and was pleasantly surprised that she could now raise her hand over her head, and one carer had an emotional release which helped her feel lighter and freer.
At the end of the night we were each presented with a CD recorded by them for the Christmas market, and Idit won a pair of lovely white, fluffy slippers in a draw (not a fix… Honestly…)
It was great to be a part of such an event. It really helped to free up my thinking about where I am with Shiatsu. Maybe this will be the start of a new venture for Shiatsu in Ireland. It was a pity there weren’t more people not associated with the Cork/Galway schools in attendance.
Idit was suggesting she would love to do something similar in Dublin at some point. So, if any of you were interested in inviting her over again, who knows?
Mood in Cancer
Article by Idit Hourigan, Shiatsu Practitioner at The Integrative Medicine Unit, Davidoff Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Rabin Medical Center, Israel
This essay is based on my clinical observations and readings. I am not a trained psychoanalyst, nor M.D. I am a shiatsu practitioner who works with cancer patients in a medical center.
Shiatsu diagnosis does not separate the emotional condition from the physical manifestations. Correct shiatsu diagnosis can give great insights to unspoken feelings and moods that the recipient is experiencing. It has been shown that shiatsu treatment can decrease sympathetic nervous response when it is predominant, promoting a state of rest, and can help alleviate symptoms which are both of the body and of the mind.
Case studies of the use of shiatsu with cancer patients
The following three case studies of cancer patients who have been treated with shiatsu are documented by Idit Hourigan, Shiatsu Practitioner at The Integrative Medicine Unit, Davidoff Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Rabin Medical Center, Israel
- H is a widow in her early 60s. She is a retired manager of a special education childcare center. She had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3.
- C is a 73 year old woman who had been diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer, stage 3. Her mother had had breast cancer and so did her younger sister, who died of the illness.
- N is a 64 year old man, who had stopped working as a construction engineer because of his illness. In 2007 he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, and had surgery and radiotherapy. [His brother had previously died of same illness.]
Shiatsu Treatments and Cancer: The Myth
by Idit Hourigan, Shiatsu Practitioner at The Integrative Medicine Unit, Davidoff Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Rabin Medical Center, Israel
Studying Shiatsu in the 80's, we were taught a cautionary list of 'don'ts'. Prominent on that list was avoiding treating people who are ill with cancer. To this day, in most colleges that cautionary note hasn't altered.
Why was that note not instead, as with other medical conditions and life processes, a caution to 'avoid treating people with this condition until sufficient training has been achieved'?
We learn to treat people with acute flu, with severe osteoporosis, high blood pressure and pregnant women through all three trimesters, giving appropriate human touch and relief to our clients.
So why this ban on treating people who have been diagnosed with cancer? One on-going myth is that Shiatsu, as other manual therapies, like reflexology and massage, encourages metastasis of cancer cells throughout the body. This notion could be challenged by a better understanding of the mechanism of the metastasising of cancer.
Anyone, at anytime during their life, may host cancer cells. When we are not aware of that fact we give them Shiatsu, treating their array of complaints, dispensing relief, to varying degrees. Why should it be any different once evidence of their illness has been confirmed?
Diagnosis and treatment with Shiatsu involves the whole person. We do not treat the symptom as an insular entity, but rather as a manifestation of an aspect in that person's whole condition. Once that manifestation has taken physical hold of many cells in the body, it may or may not shift at our touch, but the underlying energy can still respond, and measures of relief can be felt by the recipient.
Of course, the infirm can be in an extremely delicate condition, physically and emotionally. For the Shiatsu treatment to be safe and appropriate we need to be informed, as much as possible, of the nature of the illness and the present condition of the patient. To access that information it is most beneficial to work in unison with the medical profession.
With medical advancements, cancer has become, for many patients a chronic illness. During many months and years, the patients go through tough treatments and their extreme side-effects, through operations that call for rehabilitation, and regular check-ups that heighten their anxiety.
For some of the above, there are more medicines that can be taken, and the amount of pills do mount up, unintentionally churning more side effects and perhaps confusing the body-mind. But some of those conditions respond very well to Shiatsu, with the added effects that Shiatsu can bring, such as calm serenity and a restored sense of well-being.
This is a clinical observation that emphatically calls for further research.
New reports on cross-European Shiatsu
Two new reports by Professor Andrew Long from the School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, are now available online for download as .pdf files.
The Effects and Experience of Shiatsu: A Cross-European Study: Andrew F Long, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, December 2007
The Practitioners within the Cross-European Shiatsu Study. Their Characteristics and an Insight into Their Practice: Andrew F Long, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds
This report presents the findings from the postal questionnaire survey of practitioners who participated in the three country, longitudinal, cohort study of the effects and experience of shiatsu (Long 2007). The purpose of the survey was to provide a context in which to situate the findings from the client-reported experiences and effects of shiatsu and to provide insight into possible practitioner variation in practice style as delivered and as part of usual practice. The report is divided into five sections. Section One outlines the methods. Section Two provides details on the characteristics of the participating practitioners, in relation to socio-demographic features, time in practice, training in other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities and working status. Section Three provides insight into the way that the practitioners give shiatsu and other advice or treatments they provide. Section Four details features of the environment in which the practitioners give shiatsu and the ways in which they make it a safe and supportive place. Section Five draws out the main conclusions from the survey.
EU Parliament Interest Group on CAM and Healthy Ageing held on April 12, 2011
EUROCAM, the alliance of CAM patients, practitioners (EFCAM) and doctors in europe held another Interest group meeting in the European Parliament on April 12th.
The meeting was chaired by Marian Harkin MEP from Ireland and supported by 6 other MEPs and representatives of a few health NGOs. Mr Jorge Amtunes for DG SANCO gave a presentation and answered questions about how we might engage with the Healthy Ageing Innovation Partnership. I will contact him now again for more specifics on this and to try to find ways for the project to be opened up to CAM, Shiatsu can make a very strong case to be involved with this.
Dr Ton Nicolai and Seamus Connolly also gave presentations - this is attached as is the Press Release we issued and the information handout we made available to all the participants.
One salient comment on this event. This was the first time ever that a medical doctor, and a shiatsu practitioner shared a presentation delivery a complementary set of messages at such a high level and on the same platform as an official of the EU Health Directorate, DH SANCO.
To follow up on this please send the hand out with a short cover letter to all your countries MEPs. The cover letter need simply state that the attached information was made available at the Parliament Interest Group for Complementary and Alternative Medicine hosted by Marian Harkin MEP on Tuesday April 12th 2011. For any further information contact Seamus Connolly of EFCAM at email@example.com, tel +353 1 2962839.
The following related supplementary files are also available for download: