Many years ago I found myself on a course to become a Shiatsu Practitioner. I’d been suffering with chronic fatigue and became fascinated with energy work as a way to understand my illness and healing. I was a long way from full recovery but just about found the strength to drive the 70 miles from Somerset to Totnes in Devon every few weekends to attend my course. Having arrived there I then had to find the strength to learn something new that challenged me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually!
The biggest challenge for me was spiritual. Within the philosophy of Shiatsu there didn’t seem to be any room for a relationship with a personal God. I found myself floundering and lost within a belief system that saw God as more of a cosmic force and us as metaphysical beings. The most significant thing to me was the absence of grace as I was told I had to work at my connectedness. It seemed that God couldn’t simply flow in me and through me to heal others. I had to do energy exercises, breathing exercises and meditation to work up the chi. I was insensed, enraged by this challenge to everything that I had found so dear, so beautiful and so meaningful. Why couldn’t I just work with the connection I already had – permanent and unchanging?
I struggled to understand this new philosophy and to try to reconcile it with my own experience for 2 years. I even created my own approach to Shiatsu that I called Shiaki based on a more Christian philosophy. I found myself speaking up for Christianity – the wonder of relationship with God and the gift of grace – at every twist and turn of my course. I was utterly amazed by my zeal and conviction as I had no idea that I would go out on a limb like this in a situation where no-one else shared my experience or beliefs. It was as if God had lit a fire in my heart and nothing could quench it.
Today I still feel the Christian message. If people try to discuss doctrine with me I feel my energy sink and become almost troubled. I don’t have all the answers and some days I don’t know exactly what I believe but as I live my life I become more and more aware that the message of Christianity is written in my heart