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Keeping Well (Part 1)
By Timothy Phillips CST, LST

The COVID 19 corona virus is unsettling to us all, perhaps even more so to those who at this moment feel the picture of good health. Yet the number of infections and death is alarming. There’s also the worry of a second waive of infections, possible greater than the first. When will this end? We are also looking at the dilemma of how to balance our physical and financial health. Can we help one without harming the other?

Our instruction from our medical experts is to adhere to frequent hand-washing, basic hygiene and social distancing as a bare minimum. That perhaps sounds a bit benign and almost doesn’t require us to take it seriously, even if this is called a pandemic. The error of this kind of wayward thinking was brought home to me earlier today when I learned of a friend in New York who succumbed this morning to this dreadful virus. He was fit, looked after himself and was doing all the necessary things to avoid getting sick. Perhaps it was a visit down to the laundry room of his apartment building at the wrong time that was the cause of his undoing.

Apparently for this virus, it doesn't take much to get infected so my previously good health record of no colds for two years and no flu for fifty does not give me immunity. Still, a healthy immune system is a step in the right direction. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we talk about “Wei Qi” This is also known as Defensive Qi. If your defences are down then you are opening up yourself to attack. People with diabetes, heart conditions, or other serious complaints and those who are immune compromised, such as might happen after surgery, should be especially careful. My successful surgery from prostate cancer puts me in that category so I heed the warning.

A healthy immune system can be something you inherit from your parents. Again, in the language of Traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioners refer to Kidney Essence. This is subdivided into prenatal kidney essence and postnatal kidney essence. The Prenatal kidney essence is what you inherit from your parents. It is your constitution. If your parent’s were in good health at the moment of your conception, then this benefit may be passed on to you. Once you are born, then practitioners of TCM talk about postnatal essence. This is something that you DO have control over. Not burning the candle at both ends, getting enough rest, eating the right foods and doing the right exercise are ways of protecting your postnatal essence and build your immune system. I will be talking about nutrition in Part 2 of this posting.
Meanwhile, diet and exercise a very important for maintaining physical and mental capability. I will talk more about these in a future posting.

Timothy Phillips is a registered massage therapist and certified shiatsu therapist in practice at Healing on the Danforth, 320 Danforth Avenue, Suite 202, 416 850 6241
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Memories of the yoga show booth organized by our Shiatsu Therapy Society that we missed this year due to the pandemic ... See MoreSee Less

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9 months ago

Shiatsu Therapy Society

Shiatsu Therapy Society's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less

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What are the benefits of shiatsu?
The benefits of shiatsu therapy run far and wide. Because shiatsu effects the circulatory and nervous systems, it deeply effects the body’s immune response, circulation to limbs and organs will help promote health and mobility, relieve aches and pains, and help the organs work more effectively. Shiatsu also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which is the ‘rest and recovery’ mode of the nervouus system. This encourages the body’s own healing systems, and deep relaxation.

What is the difference between shiatsu and massage?
Shiatsu is the application of deep sensitive pressure using the thumbs, fingers and hands, and some therapists also apply techniques using their elbows, and knees. Many times shiatsu therapists will also apply several joint manipulating stretches and movements. Shiatsu treatment does not involve the use of oil as there are no rubbing or sliding-along-the-skin techniques, as found in massage. Shiatsu clients can wear loose comfortable clothing instead of disrobing during their treatment. Shiatsu can be performed to clients on a futon, on the floor, in a chair, or on a table. Shiatsu tables are lower to allow the therapist to apply her weight as opposed to relying on strength. Theoretically shiatsu is also a unique from massage as some approaches focus on treatment through the meridian energy system, others on a deep physiological understanding of specific points on the body.
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