DSC_0113On Sunday 9 July Melbourne activists came together for a workshop on how to take care of our health and boost immunity during the winter months.

Armelle, Christine and Lucy from Thornbury-based Community Shiatsu Cooperative (Co-Shi-Co) led a session on Shiatsu and the Kidney/Bladder Meridian.

Shiatsu massage was described as a preventative model of care which involves clothes-on massage using rotations and gentle stretches to help with circulation and opening up the body.

Christine described how in Shiatsu the kidneys are considered the root of life, and healthy kidneys contribute to a healthy heart and healthy hair, among many others. As they are connected to the adrenal glands, they also have a direct connection with our stress response.

Christine explored the concept of Yin and Yang, and how it relates to the theory behind Shiatsu, the kidney/bladder meridian and activism.

At its core, Yin/Yang was described as a representation of the need for balance in life.

Christine described Australian society as ‘very Yang’ – goal-orientated, reliant on stimulants and primarily interested in economic growth and ‘doing’, with little value placed on rest, recuperation and healing.DSC_0109

An example relating to activism was given: If we use ‘fire’ (or anger) constantly in an effort to bring about change, and do not get adequate rest and relaxation, we may deplete our ‘water’ stores. The suffering that can result from this can impact our whole being, as in Traditional Chinese Medicine there is no discernable difference between emotional or mental, and physical, health. View the notes from this discussion here.

Lucy introduced the 5 Elements of wood, fire, water, earth and metal. The kidneys and bladder are part of the 5 elements which are connected to the season of winter, which is why it is particularly important to take care of them during this time of year. The kidneys were described as our ‘battery pack’ for dealing with the emotional challenges of life. Said Lucy: “The aim is not to run away from these emotions, the aim is to support our bodies and minds so that when we experience these things they don’t overwhelm us.”

The group took attendees through a range of exercises to warm the kidneys and nurture the kidney and bladder meridians which run along different lines through the body.

Thank you to Co-Shi-Co for this wonderful informative and therapeutic session!

DSC_0107The Community Shiatsu Cooperative aims to make shiatsu massage accessible to people on all budgets. They are offering 50 minute Shiatsu treatments for $50 waged, or $40 concession, every Tuesday from 3-6pm at SPAN Community House in Thornbury.

You can follow Co-Shi-Co on Facebook, or send them an email at coshicomelbourne(at)gmail.com

This workshop also featured the following sessions:

‘Simple wellbeing, how to get the most out of your GP and building your ideal health team’ with GP Jef Reintein

‘Naturopathic health, herbals and nutrition’ with naturopath Brittany Osborne.

Stay tuned for reviews on these sessions!