Massage and Shiatsu at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Imagine the thrill of offering skilled relief to grateful athletes at a nationally recognized sporting event! Since 2002, on the crisp cusp of autumn, CenterPoint students and staff have done just that.
In early October 2007, for the 5th consecutive year, CenterPoint students, alumni, and faculty joined members of the AMTA Sports Massage Team to create the official Twin Cities Marathon Sports Massage Team. A total of 70 volunteers participated in the pre and post race events – a logistical marathon in itself!
The rising anticipation felt by athletes and volunteers alike culminated in Sunday’s marathon, when dry, sunny weather provided a perfect backdrop for a run! After completing the race, eager runners lined up outside the CenterPoint massage tent awaiting direction to a mat or table for a well-earned massage or shiatsu with a student therapist. Over 700 runners enjoyed bodywork on race day in the student staffed massage tent; another 58 elite runners received massage or shiatsu from professional therapists in the elite tent. What an amazing opportunity for students to see first hand the immediate benefits of therapeutic bodywork on exhausted bodies! Volunteers could not help but absorb the marathoners’ exhilaration, and delighted in the runners’ appreciation for our services. CenterPoint looks forward to another successful run as the official bodywork sponsor in 2008.
I’ve never considered myself the “fan” type. Besides the usual utter and slavish devotion inspired by the likes of Buffy the vampire Slayer, Peter Parker, and Iggy Pop, I maintain a cerebral cool and casual indifference about all things.
I was shocked and surprised then to find myself excited, inspired, almost gushing during DoAnn Kaneko’s recent visit to Minneapolis. As a student of Kaneko sensei’s, and an instructor of his style, I have been awed and inspired by his example on more than one occasion. Even Iggy would have to give Dr. Kaneko his due.
Dr. Kaneko’s seemingly effortless and lyrical technique is always a pleasure to watch. His smile, encouraging words, and constant reminders that everything we do can be a vehicle for love and compassion are themes that should be endlessly repeated. His movement appears effortless, and his demeanor more beatific than I remembered from his last visit to Minneapolis.
I am not alone in this assessment. Everyone in attendance was awed and re-inspired by Dr. Kaneko’s graceful technique, generous words, and kind presence. Attendees were also revitalized by the gathering itself: the reunion of shiatsu-anma people hanging out for the weekend. As someone who has left this community, I urge all of you to not take what you have for granted. Minneapolis has truly become a center for this work.
Over 75 past, present, and future practitioners attended Friday night’s class. Kaneko sensei led the group through his Do-In and Kiiko exercises, which are essentially Dr. Kaneko’s Japanese version of Qi-gong and Taoist breathing and movement exercises. Simple and powerful, they help keep the practitioner strong and supple and make wonderful homework for our clients.
Participants spent the rest of the weekend revisiting some essential curriculum on treatment of lumbar pain with shiatsu anma in three positions, and ampuku techniques from the Goto and Ota schools. It was a pleasure and privilege to see them shown by the master himself and to get his direct guidance and encouragement.
In my ten years teaching and practicing in Minneapolis, my fondest memories are those that involve a bunch of students and peers in the same room giving and receiving shiatsu-anma. For those of you students, faculty, and practitioners who feel it has become mundane or routine, I assure you it is not. It is special and rarified. As Kaneko Sensei likes to say, shiatsu-anma is a gift that even the giver receives.
Tuina is the traditional massage used in hospitals and clinics throughout China. Frank Yurasek, AOBTA certified instructor, acupuncturist, bodyworker, herbalist, and Tai Chi instructor presented a 2-day continuing education course on tuina massage at CenterPoint October 28 – 29, 2006.
Frank is an experienced therapist and teacher who has studied extensively with Chinese masters of the healing arts. He teaches at CenterPoint on a regular basis, and offers a variety of stimulating topics for intermediate and advanced Asian bodywork therapists and acupuncturists. He shared ageless wisdom for successful practice in the Asian healing arts:
Students learned more than 50 tuina hand movements, and incorporated them into seated routines and table routines. Frank also taught two Qi Gong sequences to help practitioners with internal Qi development. This was a fast moving CE course in which everyone learned many techniques and concepts to improve our practices and make us better therapists.
We look forward to Frank’s return!