Portland School of Shiatsu
We offer a co-creative learning environment that encourages students to explore the curriculum and make personal discoveries. A typical class is divided into three parts: discussion and lecture, demonstration of techniques, and student practice with one-on-one instruction. Utilizing this framework, our instruction creates an environment that empowers students to learn through self-discovery and to engage with the material in an authentic way. When students connect to the material through critical thinking and experience, they begin to gain mastery.
During the lecture we offer our personal understanding of the material based on information we’ve gathered in our clinical practices and through our training with a variety of teachers and disciplines. Portland School of Shiatsu follows the lineage of Shizuto Masunaga, creator of Zen Shiatsu, and Pauline Sasaki, one of Mr.Masunaga’s protogees and the developer of Quantum Shiatsu ™.
One of our primary teaching objectives at Portland School of Shiatsu is to give students the time and space to explore the Ki dynamic by refining their palpation skills. We encourage students to observe how the physical body reflects the energetic properties of the meridians. This brings the theory to life.
During practice students physically grasp the material and begin to observe and interact with the Ki phenomenon.
In 1999, I graduated from East West College of Healing Arts , became licensed, and began my private shiatsu practice here in Portland, OR. That same year, I was asked to be the teaching assistant for the shiatsu program at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. In 2002, I joined the faculty as an instructor and clinic supervisor at the college and currently continue that role. In 2004, students began to request workshops in order to deepen their shiatsu studies beyond their training at OCOM. The seed to create a Shiatsu school was planted.
I love teaching and feel it is my dharma to pass on what was so graciously shared with me by my teachers. My passion for this unique energy medicine is evident in my clear and concise teaching style. My goal is to stand in the integrity of this shiatsu form while simultaneously supporting each student in their personal practice. Although I am focused when teaching, I find a level of playfulness and laughter is also important.
I was blessed with the opportunity to spend 10 years studying extensively with my teacher, the late Pauline Sasaki. She created the Quantum Shiatsu system we infuse in the courses here at Portland School of Shiatsu. Pauline was incredibly supportive and influential in my growth as an instructor. Her teachings of living in Joy and Ease is something I desire to impress on my students as well.
My 20+ years of Yoga practice also informs how I both teach and practice shiatsu. I find the Iyengar alignment based system to be a perfect compliment to the type of internal cultivation utilized in shiatsu. My studies of the yogic philosophy also influences my perspective of energy medicine. In 2006,I felt a calling to more deeply explore my inquiries with a journey to India. I was led to a small village in the foothills of the himalayas where I immersed myself in the practice of Karma and Bhakti yoga for 10 months. This incredible experience completely transmuted my understanding of the human energy system.
My approach to my work is also influenced by my in depth studies with a captivating Russian Shaman, Dr. Gregory Antyuhin, and my exploration of sound and color therapy. I am also forever grateful to my teacher Sande Mullany who opened the first door to this fascinating medicine.
I began my journey as a bodyworker 25 years ago at East-West College of the Healing Arts. I was in search of an Eastern modality and what I found was Shiatsu. Shiatsu felt clear and true, offering fascinating theory based in the classics of Chinese medicine. I found compelling the palpation-based assessment and meditative intention that informed the techniques.
I practiced both Shiatsu and Swedish massage for the next 10 years. At that point I realized that I hadn’t become a body worker to simply rub people’s sore muscles, but to practice energy medicine. Energy medicine is what I had found in Shiatsu. I knew it was time to further my studies. That’s when I met my teacher, Pauline Sasaki. Studying with Pauline changed my life. She had developed what she called Quantum Shiatsu. I was transformed by her teachings and quickly incorporated this new work into my practice. From then on, I practiced Shiatsu exclusively. I continued my studies with Pauline and found further inspiration during my post -graduate program at the Shiatsu College of England. There I was blessed to study with Carola Beresford-Cook, Clifford Andrews, Nicola Ley, and Dinah John.
My interest in Chinese medicine grew and so I decided to enroll as a Masters student at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. It was the very next day I was delighted to received a call from OCOM asking me to TA in their Shiatsu program. I soon became an OCOM faculty member. I became deeply interested in qigong during my studies at OCOM and began a separate course of study with the Ling Gui International Healing School. My beloved teachers, Master Liu He and Doctor Liu Dong, offered a Daoist theoretical perspective that illuminated the spiritual aspects of the medicine. Practicing Qigong provides an opportunity to cultivate my own Ki and deepens my energetic connection during treatments. I continue to study with the Ling gui school and look forward to teaching their poetic Qigong forms at the Portland School of Shiatsu.
My coursework at OCOM was inspiring, but I knew that Shiatsu would be my primary form of treatment after graduation. I am deeply moved by my work in this world and have always known that teaching and innovation in my field are at the heart of my life path.