Shiatsu

A traditional hands-on Japanese healing art, Shiatsu can help in a wide range of conditions from specific injuries to more general symptoms of poor health. Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular sessions help to prevent the build-up of stress in our daily lives. Shiatsu is a physical therapy that supports and strengthens the bodys natural ability to heal and balance itself. It works on the whole person - not just a physical body, but also a psychological, emotional and spiritual being.

Shiatsu originated in Japan from traditional Chinese medicine, with influences from more recent Western therapies. Although shiatsu means finger pressure in Japanese, in practise a practitioner uses touch, comfortable pressure and manipulative techniques to adjust the bodys physical structure and balance its energy flow. It is a deeply relaxing experience and regular treatments can alleviate stress and illness and maintain health and well-being. Shiatsu has a number of different styles, philosophical approaches and theoretical bases. Some concentrate on acupressure (acupuncture) points, while others emphasise more general work on the body or along the pathways of energy to influence the Ki that flows in them. Other styles high­light diagnostic systems, such as the Five Element system or the macrobiotic approach. However all are based on traditional Chinese medicine. The approaches most commonly found in Britain are Zen Shiatsu, Macrobiotic Shiatsu, Healing Shiatsu, Namikoshi Shiatsu, Movement Shiatsu and Hara Shiatsu.

Shiatsu Society (UK) PO Box 4580 Rugby Warwickshire CV21 9EL Tel 0845 130 4560 Fax 01788 547111

Web www.shiatsusociety.org/

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art and a form of healthy exercise. It has been used successfully to help those diagnosed with Parkinson's. It increases the body's range of movement, aids relaxation, reduces stress, and assists with good balance and posture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is believed to be over 2,000 years old, has at its roots, the principles of Yin and Yang. It is believed that there are meridians or pathways which travel through the body carrying Qi energy. If there is a problem, or imbalance in the flow of Qi energy, a TCM doctor would use acupuncture needles, or perhaps acupressure - the use of thumbs or hands, to stimulate acupoints, and release the blockages.

Tai Chi Chuan and more directly, Qigong promotes the smooth flow of this energy. By performing the postures of the Form, in co-ordination with relaxed, natural breathing and the application of Yi, which is the intent or focus of the mind, it helps to keep the Qi moving smoothly through the channels.

Tai Chi Union, Peter Ballam 5 Corunna Drive Horsham West Sussex RH13 5HG Tel 01403 257918 email Secretary@taichiunion.com

Web www.taichiunion.com/

Trager

The Trager Approach is an innovative therapy promoting increased physical and mental well-being. The techniques used today were created and developed over a period of 65 years by Milton Trager, M.D. Trager combines gentle, relaxing manipulation of the body called Tablework, with self-care exercises called Mentastics. As a result of Milton's work and teachings there are now thousands of practitioners throughout the USA, Canada, Japan, Europe, Australia and the United Kingdom. The person, wearing loose fitting clothes, lies comfortably on a specially constructed padded table. Using graceful and gentle manipulation of limbs and joints the practitioner works through natural paths of movement. No attempt is made to put strain or force on the receiver's body and the movements induce deep relaxation, increased physical mobility, and mental clarity.

Mentastics: The quality of effortless movement and deep relaxation induced by the Tablework sessions are maintained and reinforced by Mentastics. These are simple movements that the client can incorporate into their daily activities. With Mentastics, the client is given a tool with which to regain and develop the physical and mental qualities experienced in the Tablework session. A typical Trager session lasts 60-90 minutes. A 90 minute session is advised for the first visit to your practitioner. This kind of treatment can help those diagnosed with Parkinson's enabling stiff limbs to become completely relaxed. Trager UK Enquiries Harry Dalford

e-mail : tragerwithharry@gmail.com Tel 01483 894 741 Web www.trager.co.uk/index.htm

Watsu

Since 1980 when Harold Dull first floated and stretched people in warm water and started developing Watsu, the number of those that benefit from it continues to grow. Today, in more than 40 countries, Watsu is proving its effectiveness with chronic pain and a widening range of conditions. It has been welcomed as a primary modality in Rehabilitation by Aquatic Therapists and is taught in universities around the world. In addition to the physical benefits derived from the movements and stretches warm water facilitates, Watsu's power to reduce stress underlies both its effectiveness with those conditions in which stress is implicated and its growing popularity among the general public.

Many come out of a Watsu saying they were more relaxed than they have ever been. Some say it was one of the most powerful experiences in their life. The lasting benefits of Watsu for special needs have been confirmed by many reports and studies. Watsu helps decrease muscle tension and increase range of motion. The support of the water provides relief from compression forces in the joints. The movements through the water provide gentle stretching into all ranges for the spine and extremities while these joints are unloaded. Web www.waba.edu/ There are a small number of individual practitioners but they are best found individually on the net.

Yoga

The Sanskrit word yoga is translated as 'union' between mind, body and spirit. In the West, the most widely taught form of yoga is Hatha Yoga with classes offering students exercises to stretch and flex the body, develop breath awareness, relaxation and sometimes meditation. Many British Yoga classes begin with limbering moves and sequences to warm up the muscles and joints. This prepares the body and mind for asana (posture) work. Asanas (yoga postures) strengthen and tone the body and improve the flow of energy - regulating physical systems of the body and breath, and stilling the mind for meditation. The asanas used in a class will vary from teacher to teacher and depend on the abilities of the students. The objective in asana work is not how far you can stretch or contort your body, but to combine stability (stira) with ease/relaxation (sukha). Gentle Yoga can help those diagnosed with Parkinson's with relaxation and flexibility, and help to reduce stiffness and anxiety. British Wheel of Yoga, 25 Jermyn Street, Sleaford, Lincolnshire,

NG34 7RU Tel 01529 306851 e mail office@bwy.org.uk Web www.bwy.org.uk/