Some of my clients have been kind enough to put in writing what they thought of the shiatsu massages and qigong classes they experienced from me. Their comments are below.
At the age of 43 I seemed to be blighted with extensive back pain. First thing in the mornings I wasn’t able to either bend over to wash my face or even get dressed without suffering severe nerve pain in the lower back.
A combination of Shiatsu treatments and exercise helped restore a good level of mobility. It’s now several months after the few treatments I had and I now feel no pain at all.
When a tiny piece of one of my front teeth fell out I finally knew that the game was up. After years of serious neglect of my teeth when only severe pain ever drove me reluctantly to a dentist, I realised I was going to have to face down this particular demon. Taking a long hard look at my teeth I realised I wasn’t that far from losing some of them and I contemplated the once unthinkable. I had to see dentistry as a long term investment and not a short term desperate fix. So I decided that I would take my time looking for someone who would understand my phobia and hope that dentistry had moved on in the intervening years since I had last seen someone. Although I took great care in my search, it began to dawn on me that finding a dentist wasn’t going to be enough. I started looking for others things that might help at the same time. A couple of friends had faced life threatening illnesses recently and although I fully accept that going to the dentist isn’t in the same league as cancer or heart failure, I decided to apply the same principles of holistic care. One of these friends employs a cognitive behaviour therapist and a nutritionist, the other a hypnotherapist and a physiotherapist. Although I consider some of these options and others besides, none of them presented me with what I was looking for.
I found the dentist I was looking for in mid June and because I was still looking for something to supplement my treatment, I booked an appointment with her for mid August to buy me time. Almost immediately I started to feel real tension in my shoulder blades and the start of the nagging doubt about whether the dental treatment was strictly necessary (which is was, as it turned out). Worryingly the thought of going to the dentist had started to preoccupy most of my waking day and indeed night when I started dreaming about drills and needles, in an all too graphic way.
And then I remembered something from years ago. The company I work for used to have a beauty therapist on site (in those days the office was miles away from anything approaching civilisation and there were many on- site services offered to the staff) She worked for a particular beauty company which offered as part of its facial a ten minute back massage based on the principles of shiatsu. I remember feeling really relaxed after the facial and at the time thinking it was part of the overall experience. But I decided to look further into the principles of shiatsu and read many testimonials from both grateful patients as well as established health professionals. I was clear that I wasn’t looking for an extension of a beauty treatment. I needed help in three distinct areas. I needed to get positive feelings about my dental treatment, I needed to unknot the tension in my shoulders and as a side issue I had been carrying a stiff muscle in my lower back for more years than I care to remember and wanted to improve my mobility so that I could walk more and get a bit fitter and healthier. Even I thought that having nightmares about going to a dentist was possibly at the extreme end of the phobia I wanted to give myself the best chance I could in every aspect of my life to improve my physical and well as mental health. So my shiatsu therapist had to be a serious professional, who wasn’t going to judge my phobia and who understood that I wanted an all round experience and not just someone that treated things in isolation.
As with the search for the dentist, I am suspicious of testimonials and endorsements. The key for me is to find the person that is right for me and I don’t think I am alone. Many people are suspicious and easily sceptical of things that are perceived as alternative and I would say I was one of those. But by mid July I was prepared to try anything that reduced my anxiety and fear of the dentist in the time before my first dental appointment. And that is when I found Ettaline. I find it is a truism that it is often the small things that can make a difference in any sort of relationship. Ettaline was very flexible with her time, I was working in London and although she doesn’t normally work on the weekends, she agreed to help me out on Saturdays in August. She was also prepared to talk to me over the phone before hand, which I thought was a sign of someone who was confident in their chosen discipline. When we first met, she spent a lot of time finding out about me, probably more than any GP I have ever visited. She has also taken the trouble to find a Bach Remedy for fear, something which I wasn’t expecting, but which has proved extremely beneficial – I have up until this time been very scathing of such things and note that there are many naysayers on internet forums regarding this sort of thing – I am no longer one of them.
She recommended we do three sessions, close together and then see how it went. This is completely in contrast to so many practitioners who want you to book 10 sessions regardless of whether you need them or not or gyms that tie you into never ending increasingly expensive contracts. The treatments were gentle, nothing was rushed – Ettaline is very generous with her time – I did not feel anxious and by the end of the first session, I was left with only one slight niggle in my shoulder. Ettaline gave me exercises to do in my spare time, which were very useful and gave me an excuse to get up from my desk at work, something which I often forget to do.
When I woke up on the Sunday morning after my first session, something rather remarkable had happened. My shoulders were completely loose and pain free and more importantly going to the dentist wasn’t my first waking thought. I just thought how much better I felt. In four weeks Ettaline worked on my lower back with astonishing results. I felt fitter, less stiff in all my joints and walking better. Before my first appointment with my dentist after two sessions of shiatsu, I walked the length of Oxford Street from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road, something I hadn’t wanted to do for a long time. But the fresh air and the exercise were bonuses. Much more importantly I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and well being that I had carried forward from the first session that has got deeper and more profound.
And above all I have amazed myself. Amazed that I would ever contemplate shiatsu in the first place, amazed that the results were so real and so overpowering, amazed that I had a whole hour’s worth of dental treatment that by anybody's standards would be considered gruelling while feeling in complete control and totally relaxed.
Ettaline is delightful to work with; the sessions were exactly what I was looking for, tranquil, stress free, positive and fun. I sought help for one specific problem that had been concerning me for years and I am pleased to report I have come away from the sessions with Ettaline with so many more benefits.
I just want to thank you again for your gentle treatment last Thursday. I don’t know whether we can give full credit to shiatsu massage, but I do feel that I have recovered more quickly this time than in the past. I have been able to eat and drink, am less sensitive to smell, and have not had the literal “lump in my throat” which I have struggled with for more than a week in the past.
This really is just to say thanks and let you know you have helped.
(Jane was undergoing a course of chemotherapy and having shiatsu treatments to help deal with the side-effects.)
After my first qigong class my shoulders were relaxed for the first time in years. I feel that I can breathe much more easily.
I came to shiatsu after being diagnosed with grade 4 brain cancer last year and spending weeks in hospital with hydrocephalus and a brain infection. Upon discharge, I struggled with weight gain of four stone and severe muscle weakness from steroids, as well as other side effects from radiotherapy and, in later months, chemotherapy. I instantly trusted Ettaline and found her warmth, intelligence and humour deeply reassuring. The sessions were so helpful and I could tangibly experience the loosening and re- energising of my body, which was stiff, in pain and overweight. I found our sessions to be a crucial part of my recovery, helping to balance me mentally and physically. I am so grateful that I met Ettaline, with her unerring empathy, professionalism and warmth. Her skills have inspired me to consider Chi Kung classes when I fully recover. A year on, free of brain cancer, back to my normal weight and able to walk more or less unaided, I still visit fortnightly as I find it so helpful for my general well- being and continued recovery. Thank you.Truly therapeutic and highly recommended.
During the qigong class I felt myself relaxing, but I felt that I also had more energy. It felt great – a state of energised relaxation!
I had suffered lower back pain for about 9 months when I started Shiatsu massage with Ettaline. The improvement was remarkable – after three weeks and a walking holiday, I was able to go onto monthly ‘maintenance’ treatments and I am now back to normal. In fact, my back is looser than it has been for years – gardening no longer results in a couple of days of stiffness. The treatment is a real pleasure – a treat for mind and body. Highly recommended.
In four weeks Ettaline worked on my lower back with astonishing results. I felt fitter, less stiff in all my joints and walking better. I walked the length of Oxford Street from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road, something I hadn’t wanted to do for a long time. But the fresh air and the exercise were bonuses. Much more importantly I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and well being that I had carried forward from the first session that has got deeper and more profound.
Above all I have amazed myself. Amazed that I would ever contemplate shiatsu in the first place, amazed that the results were so real and so overpowering. Ettaline is delightful to work with; the sessions were exactly what I was looking for, tranquil, stress free, positive and fun. I sought help for one specific problem that had been concerning me for years and I am pleased to report I have come away from the sessions with Ettaline with so many more benefits.
Ettaline has the very special skill to customise shiatsu around patients’ needs, and make it work wonders. I have never experienced such strong and deep emotional/physical reactions to targeted pressure on my body. She has a very unique way of making people feel at ease around her; the treatment room is a warming and glowing haven of peace. I really like how professional yet approachable she looks. I strongly recommend her services.