SPRINGTIME CLEANSING For your Gall Bladder, Liver and Intestines

Grand real angel oak tree

In Asian medicine, Springtime is the season of the WOOD ELEMENT and the perfect time for internal cleansing. The taste associated with the Wood Element is Sour. When you put “Springtime” and “Sour ” together, you come to the conclusion that this must be the perfect time for eating things like dandelion greens with citrus dressing (yum!).

HandHeart on Belly

The Wood Element is also associated with the Gall Bladder and Liver.  Therefore, Springtime is considered the best time for cleansing these organs. Many of the cleanses used for this purpose involve a combination of olive oil, garlic and lemon in varying proportions. But most of the ones I’ve tried are really hard to take. However, there is one I actually like because it calls for less olive oil and it allows the inclusion of orange juice, which really helps the olive oil go down. If you are interested in an internal cleanse, try one of these two:



Breakfast Cocktail:

  • 3 T cold pressed olive oil
  • 1–2 cloves fresh garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 orange (optional)

Mix the above ingredients in a blender and drink this for breakfast. [If you do not have a blender, chop the garlic finely and stir the mixture, or shake the ingredients in a closed jar. In this case, it is best to chew the garlic bits before swallowing.]

Herb Tea: Half an hour to an hour after drinking the cocktail, follow with 2 C warm herb tea. Suggested teas include peppermint, comfrey leaf, fenugreek seed, roasted dandelion root and ginger root. Take teas alone or in combinations. Do not sweeten.

Brunch: Have a fruit meal early in the day. The fruit should be fresh, such as grapefruit, oranges, apples, pears, grapes, papayas, melons, or any fruit in season. Eat fruits alone or combine similar fruits into fruit salads. For example, do not combine acid fruits with sweet fruits, and eat melons alone. Be sure to rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and obtain organically grown food whenever possible. Do not add dressings or sweeteners.

Lunch, Dinner, Supper: Eat fresh vegetables and sprouts, cooked and/or raw. For example, have a salad for one meal with loose-leaf lettuce, sprouts, chopped spinach, green onions, grated carrots, celery, and/or other vegetables. Use a homemade oil-and-lemon or oil-and-vinegar dressing. Add herbs if desired. Another meal might be steamed vegetables. You may mix several vegetables together, being sure to start with slower cooking vegetables. Vegetable soups are also excellent. A small amount of melted butter (not margarine) or cold-pressed oil over the vegetables is fine. Be sure to include a variety, such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, green beans, corn, etc.

Avoid the following foods while on the diet: All meats; seafood; eggs; dairy (milk, cheeses); bread and flour products; sugar, honey, or other sweeteners; peanuts, nuts and nut butters; cooked grains; and fried foods.

Occasionally, once or twice a week it is all right to have some unsweetened yogurt with a fruit salad, or a cooked grain with a vegetable meal. Foods to shy away from on this diet include potatoes, bananas, and fruit juices (in excess of a small glass).

Eat as much as you like of the foods in this diet and be sure to drink plenty of water. Consider getting bottled water for purity and to drink a half-gallon or more per day.




  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1–2 T 100% maple syrup
  • 1/10 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 8 oz. spring water

Combine all ingredients and drink 8–12 glasses throughout the day. It is important to keep the bowels moving during a liver and/or gall bladder cleanse. A tablespoon of cold-pressed olive oil, twice a day, lubricates the intestines and tones the liver.

Caution: Rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking to clear the lemon and maple syrup from your teeth. The ascorbic and citric acids can pull calcium from tooth enamel, and we all know the effect of sugar on teeth! [If you tote this mixture with you during the day, be sure to carry it in a glass container. It is possible that the acids from the lemon could cause a chemical reaction with a plastic container that would allow toxins to leach into it.]

The Year of the Fire Monkey 2016 Forecasting Fast Progress!

in hoop

As you read this forecast for the Year of the Fire Monkey 2016, you will want to keep in mind that, as with all forecasts and predictions, they vary from source to source, depending on how the forecaster reads the indicators. There can be opposite views – one person may see favorable aspects where another sees challenges. Also, these predictions are based on only a portion of the information needed. It is like reading your horoscope, which is based on only the Sun Sign, not on your complete chart.

So I’m starting out with a reminder that what you read here comes from various viewpoints and is written from the angle of the generalities of the Sign of the Fire Monkey. Still, it is fun to have some idea of what we might expect and get some perspective and guidelines for how to respond. So . . .

Legend says that before the Lord Buddha left this Earth, he summoned all the animals to come to him. Only twelve came. First to arrive was the Rat, then the Ox, followed by the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. The Asian calendar employs the metaphors of these 12 Animals to convey a quality of qi (energy) for each year. It is not to be taken too literally! The energy archetype of the fire monkey is one of agility and being fast moving and creative.

The Monkey bursts with exuberance, bringing a lightening fast pace and fantastical motivation. It increases communication, humor and wit, helping us get through stressful times with grace and ease. Business flourishes and risks tend to pan out. The Monkey’s gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems. Daring to be different can lead to success.

Although a lively, optimistic and progressive year where finances, politics, and real estate should see an upturn, there will be a decided undercurrent of insecurity. Nations that are created in the Year of the Monkey usually spawn great minds. Even though the monkey is impatient and scattered brained, he has a whole lot of ingenious ideas in store. Everyone wants to work the shrewdest angle, get the best deal, and win big. However, business decisions made this year should be based on fact, not emotion. Problems and dishonesty abound, so nothing this year should be taken for granted, whether politically, financially, professionally, domestically or emotionally. It is a year to watch out for deception. Talk can be “fast and cheap.”

The positive and negative qualities of the Monkey Year 2016 culminate in a year that anything can happen. There is little point in storing up goods or planning one’s life. The influence of the Monkey puts everything into flux. Things will get accomplished, but largely through personal and individual efforts. Group movements, such as political upheaval or revolutions, may not make much of a mark during this year.

A particularly auspicious time for new inventions, the Year of the Monkey is for taking risks and being rebellious, a year where agile, inventive minds, sheer guts and bravado will win out. A lot of global economic growth can be expected in the Year of the Monkey. Expect a lot of life changing inventions to be released. Now is the time of courage, action, anarchy, and true devotion to even the wildest of schemes, a time to start new endeavors, for they are destined to succeed under Monkey’s influence. But a word to the wise: those who can hang on for the wild ride, outsmart the confidence-trickster, and bluff their way through, will come out unscathed. Those who are dull or slow-witted, and can’t handle the stress will come unglued.

RedOn the individual level, do go ahead with your life. Move forward, make strides, and stretch out for what may lay ahead. The key to success this year is education. This is not meant as mere college or graduate school but to take up courses that matter for your everyday life not just for your career or status. Don’t be too shy to take up silly little courses at your books shop or join those financial groups to help manage your money or start up a small business. The monkey is all about being creative and innovative with what you have. The Year Of The Monkey 2016 is a time for business considered as risky, and here the seeds of unplanned success lay. Run with ideas, embrace the inventive, and don’t look back.

The Year of the Monkey 2016 is a good year to break free and take calculated risks, as there is nothing more powerful or rewarding than following your heart’s desire. The energies are supporting these changes. Remember that this year will reward the individual effort and those who place their trust in the group collective could face disappointment.

The almanac also states how people born under other signs will fare in the year of the Monkey. This is a generally auspicious year for Rats, Oxen, Dragons, Horses, Monkeys, Roosters and Dogs. This could be a difficult year for Tigers, Snakes, Dogs and Boars. Rabbits should beware their finances. Sheep should take care of their health.

Amazing Year for: Rats, Dragons, Monkeys – brings charm and confidence. Unstable but dynamic!

Positive Year for: Goats, Rabbits, and Ox improvement in all areas of life. Progress finally!

Exciting Year for: Roosters, Horses – Tricky situations abound. Enjoy the stimulation!

Complex Year for: Tigers, Snakes, Boars, Dogs – strong focus and objectivity brings the best results.

with kanji


WINTER SOLSTICE: The Return of the Light

mystical iceflows

Winter Solstice is one of my favorite holidays.

I love the magical paradox of Winter Solstice:

that it is both the longest night of the year.


Solstice Sunrise

And . . .


the return

of the light

to the Earth.


Snow-covered, Sun's halo

I love the resounding silence that blankets the land when the snow falls. I love the stillness that protects all new life incubating within The Earth Mother.

Winter Solstice signals us to get quiet; to go within; to seek peace. We rest, recharge, and incubate the dream that lies growing within us, in power and beauty, to reconnect us with our own soul’s essence.



This is the time to reconnect with your original self, your true soul, and to let yourself rest in its power and beauty.



Horse in Snow

Great Horned in Snow

Consider what you do, instinctively, to stay connected to your light. Find the deep comfort that restores you at this time of sacred darkness. ‘Tis the season!

The Autumn Equinox Shifting Winds and Crinkling Leaves: The Second Harvest

Dying Horned God

Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, divides the day and night equally. It is a time of balance. It is a time of the Mysteries. We honor the changing seasons and the Aging Deities of the Spirit World, and pay our respects to the impending dark. We watch the earth die a little each day and consciously embrace this slow descent into the dark as another dimension of appreciating the light. Thus begins the traditional time of year for meditating on the themes of life, death, and rebirth.

At the same time, we give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our second and final harvest of this year’s crops – the fruit that has stayed on the trees, and plants that have ripened under the summer sun. We thank the Earth, in her full abundance as Mother and Giver, for the great harvest. As Autumn begins, it is the time to stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, as well.

Big orange moon

Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, is a time for harvesting and reflecting on the past year. Considering the theme of the balance of light and dark, we will take a few moments to contemplate the contrasts in our own lives. Is there any unresolved issue inside you you’ve been longing to reap the rewards of? Now is the time to take this energy and turn it to your own purposes. Regard it as part of the harvest of your life, food for thought, something to chew on, etc. Feast on the nutritious parts – the lessons . . . and eliminate the waste – the pain, hurt, negative feelings. Offer the “waste” to the Earth Mother as compost. It will enrich your ground, the ground of your being. Count your blessings!

May your hearts and spirits

be filled to overflowing!

Do You Have the Personality of the FIRE ELEMENT?

polar bear flowersSummer is the time of the Fire Element. It is a time of celebrating and rejoicing in the beauty, fullness and fruition of life. The climate is hot and dry and the Earth is abundant in this season of maturity when plants blossom and bear fruit. It is a time when we relax and enjoy the bounty.

In Asian Medicine, Heart is the main organ of the Fire Element. It goes not only to the ability of the muscle in our chest to circulate blood, but also to the quality of our mind that finds joy in being calm and quiet. When it is in harmony, Heart displays an active body and a peaceful mind.

volleyballFire is very active by nature. Likewise, summer is naturally a season of peak outdoor activity. Hiking and swimming are great cardiovascular exercises. Asian medicine considers exercise to be as good for anxiety and depression as it is for circulation.

Fire represents a joyful and content spirit able to regulate and balance our emotions. When the Fire Element is balanced in us, we feel content. Even when our joy escalates to exuberance, we can act appropriately, always remembering to honor and respect our Mother Earth and fellow human beings. The Fire Element corresponds to the emotion translated as “Joy.” The concept of joy once was quite different from what we think of in these current American times. In ancient Asia it meant a sense of inner peace, which included harmonious relationships with family, friends, community, ancestors, nature, spirit, etc. A healthy Fire Element produces a powerful, yet gentle, inner strength that delights in being “spiritually fit.” Spiritual fitness means that we have enough heart, enough spirit, to develop and engage our whole self. That is why the recommended activity for tonifying the Fire Element is meditation.

girl meditating

Meditation makes it possible to perform the general functions of the Fire Element, namely, receiving, responding and adapting to life’s stimuli from the center of our core of peace. When we understand the Fire Element in this light, a more appropriate translation than “joy” might be “contentment.” This contented kind of joy arises from an inner awareness and appreciation of the beauty of our true Self. joyful meditating

The Fire-type Person – In balance, the Fire Element creates a person with a pretty good sense of who he is, and a personality that is generally compassionate and friendly. People with strong Fire energy dominant in their personalities may be quite charismatic. They are energetic and expressive, and excel at commanding others to action. They may love talking and socializing. They don’t like to be alone and they seek out the admiration and attention of others. Many are artistic. Fire personalities are also polite and easily able to reach out to others. They love pleasing others and are good at giving compliments.

Out of balance, you may find someone who is self-involved, tossed to and fro by the emotional ups and downs of life’s dramas (big or small, real or imagined), unable to find a moment’s peace of mind. The negative qualities associated with an excess of Fire in the personality include mood swings, restlessness and manipulative behavior.

heart, hands, sunsetOf course, anyone who endeavors to live up to his/her fullness will probably exhibit moods, at times, that are difficult for the people around them. At these times, we may have to ask: “Is this a situation where it is more appropriate to inhibit my response, or is this a time when I should ‘go for it’ and risk the consequences?” The answers need to come from a deep place of self-awareness – a place full of heart. That’s why meditation is considered the appropriate tonifying activity for Fire.

Common Fire Element complaints are: neck and shoulder pain, morning stiffness in the neck or low back, certain kinds of headaches, insomnia, easily overwhelmed, lack of concentration, obsessive thinking, anxiety, palpitations, poor digestion, poor circulation, and tingling in the fingers.

Common illnesses include: palpitations, hypertension, heart problems, and sores on the mouth and tongue.

When the Fire Element is weak in a person, they may stutter, talk too much and too rapidly, or laugh nervously. They may suffer from anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. They may be too excitable, easily stimulated to excesses, and/or they may be emotionally cold and unfeeling.

People strongly influenced by the Fire Element may be vulnerable in very hot weather, and may be calmed and centered by walking. The flavor that goes with Fire is bitter. Coffee is a bitter flavor, but its effects may aggravate the Heart. The healthy bitter flavors include dark, green leafy vegetables.

Treatment for the Fire Element

Shiatsu techniques for neck, shoulder and back pain, and headaches are amazingly effective. If you see a chiropractor, they will also increase the benefits of your treatment. For those of you who suffer bouts of insomnia, there is a special technique developed especially for calming the mind and spirit that really helps with sleep. Several clients have reported being able to decrease the dosage of medicines taken for high blood pressure, anxiety and heartburn with regular Shiatsu treatments. Others have needed the combination of Shiatsu and herbs. I can recommend an herbalist for you.

Shiatsu relaxes and strengthens the mind and body, making it easy to create and maintain healthy, positive energy. It promotes a balanced “self,” able to assess, interpret, and respond from the heart to life’s events. The purpose of my work, besides relieving pain, is to foster this expanded sense of self that sees the beauty in our own being and in everything around us.

Chakra Development offers a moving meditation that increases both yin and yang energy and nourishes our central core.

DNA Activation frees up and increases physical and mental energy. It restores the divine blueprint of perfect health and clears our thoughts and emotions.

Recommendations for the Fire Element Season of Summer

* Millet is the most beneficial grain for the Fire energy. It is light, very quick and easy to fix, and even kids like it!

* Eat fruits with red flesh, like berries, plums and especially watermelon.

* Summer is a great time to soak in the sunshine vitamin: Vitamin D. Studies show that 70% of American children and adults seriously lack Vitamin D. Low Vitamin D levels leave us at risk for skin cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even rickets. Milk and dairy products are not enough to fill in the gap, so consider vitamin supplementation and/or get your 10-15 minutes of sunshine a day – without sunscreen. That is all you need. After that, rub on the sunscreen for the rest of the day.

sunsetHealth Tips for Summer

* If you apply Asian medical nutrition to local American foods, watermelon not only tastes great and is refreshing, it also helps prevent heat stroke and keeps you hydrated. Now you have even more reasons to appreciate and enjoy this wonderful summer delight!

* Just a reminder about leaving bottled water in the car: the amount of heat that accumulates in the car when the sun is streaming in through the windows causes chemicals from the plastic to leach into the water. These chemicals are especially dangerous to women, as research indicates a link to breast cancer. Sheryl Crow made many public appearances after her bout with breast cancer to educate the public about this fact. You will give a great gift when you share this information with you mother, daughter, wife or girlfriend, and any women you know.



As the light wanes and the days grow colder, the season of stillness returns.  It is the time to go quietly within and incubate the seeds of your heart’s desire, to cradle your hopes and dreams in the protected place of your inner stillness.  This place rests deep within the center of your consciousness, at the core of your being.  You can go there consciously by getting into a state of meditation or deep prayer.  If you don’t do it consciously, you will find that your mind goes there automatically to allow itself the period of inactivity that regains strength, clarity and energy.  It is necessary for health so it happens without conscious thought or intent, just like breathing or blinking your eyes.  You know you have been there when you “come to” from a daydream you can’t bring back or recall.  But why wait until your system has to close down and space out?  Why not, instead, take a moment here and there to rest your body/mind system before it gets overloaded and stressed out?  Here is one simple way:

Close your eyes and count your breaths for six breaths.  For those six breaths, do not allow anything into your mind except the tracking of your breaths.  As you breathe in, count “one.”  Keep that going, that “one,” for the whole in-breath and keep it going for the entire out-breath.  No thoughts but breathing “one.”  Then breathe “two,” etc.  You may find that you cannot even get through a breath or two without other thoughts breaking in.  As soon as you become aware that you are having a thought, just put it aside and begin to concentrate once again on your breathing.  Start from “one” again.  Don’t worry if you don’t make it to six, and don’t get upset.  The effort, alone, has benefit!  The more often you do this, the easier it gets to keep your concentration.  Once you can think of nothing but your breath for six breaths, you can increase it to ten, but you never have to go higher.  If you can get to ten with no other thought than your breath, you are definitely in a meditative state!

Since the beginning of time people all over the globe have honored the change of seasons.  Every season is a gift from the Creator and has its purpose.  Winter is the season for quiet.  The seed lies in the earth undisturbed.  Although it seems dormant, necessary changes are taking place for the seed to be able to shoot up in the Spring.  Interference during this sleep stage puts the seed at risk of never developing.  At this stage, cultivation means leaving it alone to develop in peace and quiet.

When you correlate this idea to the “season” of the 21st Century human, Winter becomes a good time for developing your mind – studying, meditating, planning, letting new ideas gestate, clearing out closets or junk rooms and spaces to make room for new growth, and things of that nature.  It is a great time to develop your Chakras.  Chakras are wheels of light within the body, and Solstice heralds the return of the Light to the Earth.  The timing is perfect for bringing the light of your body into harmony with the light of the Earth.

If you are one who gets disheartened in the cold and dark of the winter months, remember that every season has its purpose.  Although there are real chemical and hormonal influences that may be helped by light, you can also elicit the help of your mind.  Remind yourself that the solstice, while being the longest night, also marks the return of the light.  You may want to ask yourself, “What do I do to stay connected to the light?  How do I prepare for its return in my life?”

For some, it can cheer you up and help you stay positive to do something contemplative – meditation, Chakra development, a silent retreat, even writing a poem that celebrates the cultivation of the seed within the Earth and within yourself.

If the idea of cultivating your Chakras interests you, please come join me at Bridge Between the Worlds this Saturday, December 15, from 10:00-5:30.  See the flyer on my website,www.lindyferrigno.com, for more details about location and cost, and look for the next post for more information about Chakras.

I wish you a Merry Solstice.  May the Longest Night bring you closer to the Light!



Chakras are vibrational wheels, or globes, of energy located within and without various areas of the body.  Their purpose is to organize and regulate your energy.  Chakras receive, assimilate and transmit the life force that is in you.  When you increase the power of your chakras’ vibrations, you upgrade the quality of your cellular intelligence.  You amplify the energy that improves health and happiness, and you build mental strength and spiritual fitnessChakra Development usually results in a renewed zest for life and a sense of inner sturdiness.  You acquire an elegant map for revitalizing your body and mind and making them compatible.  It is a way to enjoy your reality and blend it with your developing spiritual nature.  It prepares the way for a gentle opening of consciousness and gives you a new view of your life and world.

The 1st, or Root Chakra is located at the floor of the pelvis, which is at the base of the tailbone, and is associated with the adrenals.  It represents stability, life, and existence itself.  It helps ground our spiritual nature onto the material plane.  The more you ground yourself, the greater your chance of developing into the person you would like to become, and of making your dreams real.  This first level of personal and spiritual development bestows the right ‘to be’ and ‘to have.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of loving and taking care of yourself, your body and your physical needs.  It spins clockwise.

The 2nd, or Navel Chakra is located all around the navel, and is associated with the gonads (ovaries and testicles).  It develops your sense of boundary and enables you to understand what will enhance and enrich your life. It represents love, perception, sensitivity and protection.  At this level, extra-sensory awareness begins to develop, and you learn how to feel the world from the viewpoint of another.  This second level of development bestows the right ‘to feel’ and to pursue gratification.  It entrusts you with the responsibility of caring about others as yourself (see First Chakra responsibility).  It spins counterclockwise.

The 3rd, or Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the solar plexus, just below the ribs, and is associated with the pancreas.  It represents hope, justice and fairness.  It gives you your self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, decision-making ability and personal power.  Developing this chakra allows you to make satisfying and healthy relationships.  This chakra bestows the right to act.  The responsibility of the Third Chakra is self-acceptance and the duty to love not only another, but to have best wishes for your associations, societies and communities.  It spins in the direction of a wheel rolling backwards.

The 4th, or Heart Chakra is located in the center of the chest at the heart area, and is associated with the thymus gland.  It represents peace, faith and compassion.  It brings you into unity and kinship with the entire universe.  It expands your love and understanding to the point of accepting the entire world.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to love and be loved.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of loving all of creation as though it were you (refer to the responsibility of the Root Chakra).  The Fourth Chakra spins in the same direction as the Third Chakra, like a wheel rolling backwards.

The 5th, or Throat Chakra is located at the level of the Adam’s Apple, and is associated with the thyroid gland.  It channels mental energy to your mind and heart, giving a voice to your feelings, thoughts and experiences.  It represents truth, communication, integrity, self-expression and creativity.  When you reach the potential of control and authority possible at the Fifth Chakra, you master the Law of Attraction.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to speak and be heard,’ as well as the ability ‘to listen deeply and to hear truly.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility to control yourself and your surroundings.  It spins at an oblique angle from the right ear, backward, toward the spine and the heart.

The 6th, or Third Eye Chakra is located at the forehead, just above and between the eyes, and is associated with the pituitary gland (some say the pineal gland).  It allows simultaneous awareness of your inner state and the world around you.  It represents wisdom, knowledge, intuition, discernment, imagination, goal and time.  A developed Brow Chakra gives the ability to clearly see what is important for your happiness and well-being, and connects you to your goal and purpose.  This level of development bestows the right ‘to see.’  It entrusts you with the responsibility of self-reflection.  The Sixth Chakra does not exactly spin; rather, it beams out in two directions: from the forehead to the far horizon in front of you, and out the back of your head to the far horizon behind you.

The 7th, or Crown Chakra is located just above the top of the head, and is associated with the pineal gland (some say the pituitary gland).  It provides a point of connection to an abiding sense of peace and joy, based in the knowledge that you are one with Source.  It represents beauty, spirituality, connection with the Divine Source and existence in God.  This level bestows the right ‘to know.’  It gives the responsibility of self-knowledge and requires that you align your will with your divine guidance and inspiration.  It spins clockwise in some people, counterclockwise in others.

Usually, all the chakras are operating together, though some may function more or less optimally than others.  When they are weak or out of alignment, you will commonly experience physical and emotional symptoms.  Chakra Development diminishes these irregularities.  It promotes health and balance throughout the Chakra System.  You will notice some benefits: increased power and stamina in your mind and body, heart and soul; more energy reserves for the activities and challenges of everyday life; less reaction to stress; less fatigue; and an overall sense of well-being.

If you are interested in learning how to activate your Chakras, please consider taking a 7-week class or weekend workshop.  You will learn both simple and sophisticated methods to increase the vibrational strength and spin of your Chakras.  These practices remove blockages and cultivate the clear intelligent flow of healthy energy through your entire system.  You will learn about the Crystal Mountain, the Seven Chakras, Eight Directions, and you will experience them first-hand through specially-designed exercises.  Hand-outs are included.




Shiatsu, a traditional healing art from Japan, has its roots in the ancient wisdom and principles of Chinese medicine. Shiatsu is often called“acupuncture without needles.”  “Shi” means finger and “atsu”means pressure. 

The shiatsu specialist uses thumb and finger pressure to stimulate the entire meridian pathway, rather than inserting needles into a few specific points along the channel.  The benefits include restoring vitality and healthy function to your body, and harmony and clarity to your mind. 

Clients are fully clothed during treatment.  Shiatsu is non-invasive and profoundly effective for a range of common complaints, injuries and illnesses.


Shiatsu is based on the same system as acupuncture, but with shiatsu, no needles are used.  Chinese medicine dates from the 1st century B.C.E. with the oldest written medical text still in existence –  The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.  This text documents the sphere of bodywork in Asian medicine and states that “finger pressure is used to promote digestive function and restore vigor.”  Asian medicine was brought to Japan by a Buddhist priest, Gan Jin Osho, in 552 C.E.

In Japan, it is believed to this day that no instrument will ever surpass the precision and sensitivity of the human hand for assessing energy and being able to determine the condition of a person’s health.  For this reason, examination and diagnosis by palpation has been developed to an extraordinary degree in Japan. 

The Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare defines shiatsu therapy as “a form of manipulation administered by the thumbs, fingers and palms, without the use of any instrument, mechanical or otherwise, to apply pressure to the human skin, correct internal malfunctioning, promote and maintain health, and treat specific diseases.”  The ministry lists over 200 health concerns for which shiatsu is considered a primary treatment. In the United States, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has come to concur.  The research on acupuncture and massage shows agreement. 


Shiatsu addresses a wide variety of complaints.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Pain relief from backache, headache, muscle tension or injury
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Improved digestion
  • Better sleep
  • Clearer mind

Shiatsu is used to assist recovery from mild to severe injuries from accidents or sports. Shiatsu relieves pain due to backache, headache, arthritis, and sore muscles caused by too much or too little exercise or repetitive motion. Shiatsu boosts the immune system and is effective in the treatment of fatigue, low energy, insomnia and quality of sleep.

Shiatsu has proven successful in treating digestive complaints such as heartburn, constipation, abdominal discomfort and general sluggishness. Shiatsu is commonly used for women’s health, menstrual and menopausal complaints,and  all stages of pregnancy, including fertility and birthing.

Shiatsu is very helpful for respiratory problems such as shortness of breath, asthma, allergies, and sinuses. Shiatsu combines successfully with other forms of treatment.  It strengthens and increases the actions of acupuncture and naturopathy and aids the digestion and absorption of herbs.  It combines very well with chiropractic in two ways:  if received beforehand, it makes manipulations easier; if afterwards, it helps keep adjustments longer. 

Clients report that Shiatsu enhances personal and spiritual development.  They experience feeling grounded and centered and having a heightened awareness of being in the body.  They comment on the added strength, stability and awareness they gain as an extra advantage for their personal and spiritual development. Shiatsu relaxes the mind and strengthens the body.  It promotes health and helps create a positive outlook on life.  It empowers a grounded assessment and interpretation of life’s events, and the ability to respond from the heart. 


You can seek out shiatsu treatments for many diverse reasons. You may want to remedy the physical symptoms of acute or chronic pain and discomfort.  You may need some relief from stress, anxiety or tension.  Perhaps you are not really sick but you don’t feel quite up to par. Maybe your brain is a bit “foggy” and you would like to have better clarity and focus or feel more grounded. You could be facing the “empty nest” and need a stronger sense of self and of purpose. 

Shiatsu has proven effective for treating a variety of mild to severe complaints in categories such as:

Injury –  auto accidents, sports injuries, repetitive motion
Pain – backache, headache, muscle tension, joint pain, chronic pain, neck & shoulders, low back & hips

Digestion – heartburn, constipation/sluggishness, bloating,loose stool/diarrhea
Immune System – fatigue, low energy, sleep problems, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
Respiratory – allergies, sinusitis, asthma, shortness of breath
Women’s Health – menstrual, menopausal, pregnancy, fertility

Shiatsu also combines successfully with other forms of treatment:

Acupuncture – integrates treatment, assists digestion of herbs
Naturopathy – helps absorb remedies, stimulates detoxification
Chiropractic – makes manipulations easier, sustains adjustments longer

Shiatsu enhances personal and spiritual development. Clients report:
~ Increased vitality and vigor
~ Feeling grounded and centered
~ Awareness of “being in the body”
~ Tuning in to their inner knowing
~ Developing a desire to connect with Spirit
Before the first treatment I talk with you about your needs and goals and email you some basic information and directions to the office.  When you arrive you fill out a brief health history form, and I will probably have a few more questions based on the information you provide.  When that is complete, you move into the treatment room and change into loose, comfortable clothing.  You lie on the table fully clothed and I come in.
I apply palms, fingers and thumbs to the entire meridian system (the lines you see on an acupuncture chart that connect the points).  I work through the clothing, so no oils or lotions are used.
  • The amount of pressure can vary from gentle to firm, depending on your needs and comfort
  • A session lasts approximately 45-60 minutes, determined by the condition of your health at the time of treatment
  • Your whole body is addressed, even if your only reason for treatment is a stiff neck (the meridians that treat a stiff neck will run from head to foot)
  • After the treatment, you typically feel very calm, relaxed and clear-headed
  • Your complaints will often be either gone, or at least noticeably reduced
  • The results tend to last longer than a regular massage for most people. There is a cumulative effect after  several treatments that lasts even longer – for some clients, as long as months; a few have even said years

In traditional Asian medicine a typical course of Shiatsu treatment for one complaint begins with 10 sessions, 30-50 minutes each, one to three times a week.  These days, in America, we usually see clients less frequently – once a week, once a month, or anything in between.  It depends on the desired results, the severity of the condition, and whether the condition is acute or chronic.  For a strong and healthy person with little or no stress in life, quarterly treatments are recommended at the change of seasons.

We evaluate the effectiveness of treatments every two or three sessions to determine whether the best strategy is to continue with the treatment plan, refine or modify it, or, if resolved, conclude the course of treatment. One fact to keep in mind is that all forms of natural medicine show best results with a cumulative build up. To determine how Shiatsu will work for you, consider an initial series of three consecutive weekly treatments to get a sense of its cumulative effect.


Since 1975, I have trained extensively with Shiatsu masters, European osteopaths, Asian acupuncturists, American chiropractors and shamanic healers from five cultures.  These, combined with many years of treatment experience, form my personal technique.  I love my work! 

What I bring to the table:

  • I have 35+ yrs of experience treating everything from stress and fatigue to backache and headache, from digestion and PMS to accidents and injuries, from depression and insomnia to allergies and sinuses
  • I listen intently to what you say as well as to what your body tells me
  • I give specific attention to your areas of complaint and pay attention to any additional areas of disharmony
  • I track your progress, answer your questions, and help you connect the dots when you can’t make sense of what is going on in your body
  • I will always tell you when I think a different treatment will help you, and I will recommend someone whose skills and integrity I trust
My wish for you is that you be happy and healthy!