My personal journey to Shiatsu through Change & Loss

Journey to Shiatsu through Grief Shiatsu Connects

By Jenny Shiatsu

In 1996 I experienced a series of tragic deaths of friends and close family members, including the suicide of my younger sister Bethan, over a short period of months. The shock and trauma of this was enormous. While on the outside, I looked like I was coping, on the inside I had closed down and felt disconnected from others around me.

At the time I was working as a Youth and Community worker in Nottingham and I threw myself into my work (which I loved)  as a way to cope. Eventually, when I experienced a period of anxiety and burn out, I had to admit I needed help. Two years of counselling followed which helped me talk through and begin to process the experience of grief and loss.

However, I felt there was a part of my grief that could not be resolved with words. Some sense of a part of me that could not be contacted in the therapy sessions.

One night I had a dream that I was in the doctor’s surgery. He had diagnosed me and was writing me a prescription. When I asked what was wrong, he said, “You have a touch deficiency”.

On waking, this made perfect sense. I knew instinctively that my body, as well as my mind, was holding the grief and trauma too.

I started to receive Shiatsu therapy and began to feel more connected with my body and its messages. I began to feel more confident and at ease with myself and the people around me.

Shiatsu is a physical therapy that supports and strengthens the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself. It works on the whole person – not just with the physical body, but also with the psychological, emotional aspects of being.

Touch is a form of nutrition which often gets overlooked as we become adult. Lack of touch can result in ill health and a sense of loneliness and isolation. The physical act of safe touch can increase our sense of trust, reduce stress hormones and increase feel-good hormones in the brain so that our body and our environment can feel like a safe and friendly place. 

As regular shiatsu treatments helped me heal, I also realised touch therapy was an integral part of the healing and self-care of the clients I worked with, and the co-workers that support them. My career took a change in direction.

I completed my three year Shiatsu Practitioner training in 2011.  The obvious next step was to combine my career (previously within the mental health sector and youth and community support) with my Shiatsu.  I wanted to make Shiatsu available and affordable to as many people as possible, as well as those who may benefit, but may not have the funds to pay for individual treatments.
And so Shiatsu Connects was born.

Shiatsu Connects aims to create resilient well-connected individuals and communities. I have been working with people experiencing stress, trauma, social isolation and related health conditions in diverse communities ever since.

Shiatsu Connects supports people to feel safe and well in their body and mind. When people feel safe and well in themselves, they feel more connected with the world around them.

Find out more

Find out more about our 1-2-1 Shiatsu Massage Therapy and EFT Tapping treatments, our Self Care Workshops and Events, and our tailored Workplace Wellbeing Community and Workplace Wellbeing Programmes.

Or, simply get in touch with Jenny for a chat. 
We’d love to hear from you.
or book treatments and courses here: