Shiatsu Program Electives

CPR/ First Aid Certification Workshop

Learn how to deal with emergency situations through hands on experience and develop greater confidence. This workshop provides important knowledge for yoga teachers in the case of unexpected medical conditions that may arise during class. It is primarily designed for yoga teachers but is open to the public. At the completion of the 6 hour course you will receive an American Red Cross First-Aid and Adult CPR certification.


Moxabustion is probably the most ancient of all medical therapies utilized in Chinese medicine, and plays an important role in other medical systems such as the Tibetan and Indian systems. The Chinese word for moxa is ‘Jiu’, which means ‘burning’. The method of moxabustion involves the burning of the herb Artemesia Vulgaris on specific points on the body in order to regulate its physiological activity. The effectiveness of moxa has been clinically proven for thousands of years, and has recently been given attention in Western biomedical research. We will learn the methods of moxabustion, including the different grades and applications of this versatile therapy. Learn when and how to use moxabustion to address many health issues, including digestive complaints, body pain, menstrual difficulties, health preservation, and psychological issues. Moxabustion is an essential tool for health practitioners and can be easily learned and used in most medical situations.

Pulse Evaluation Workshop

Chinese Pulse Evaluation is a critical diagnostic tool used to assess the internal condition of a patient in order to guide and monitor treatment. We will learn to palpate varying pulses on the body, but focus on the radial pulse. After we practice finding all three positions on each hand and all three depths of each position, we will learn how to assess three aspects of the pulse including rate, volume, and vessel quality. This information will inform us about the overall quality of a person’s Qi (energy) and Blood as well as the condition of the 12 specific organ systems, leading to correct and effective treatment.

In addition to providing important diagnostic information about a person’s Qi and Blood, the pulse is an aid in monitoring treatment in the moment. The pulse will change one or more of its three aspects with the slightest change of input. A practitioner can assess the pulse to throughout the treatment to guide further treatment. We will learn what it means to balance the pulse and how to use the pulse to monitor the effectiveness of our treatment. We will engage in exercises that will train us to detect the slightest change in the condition of the pulse, as well as help us with our point location and choosing correct treatment.

Cupping and Scraping

Cupping: Cupping therapy is the application of vacuumed cups on the surface of the body in order to regulate Qi and Blood flow within the meridians and vessels. Cupping has been used all over the Western and Eastern worlds and has been an important part of many local healers’ and midwife’s toolboxes. Cupping therapy is used in the treatment of many illnesses, including back pain, muscular and joint pain, cough and lung congestion, allergies, abdominal pain, constipation. Cupping can also be used for stubborn muscle knots and sore shoulders. Most patients love cupping and feel immediate benefits after treatment. We will learn the basic methods of cupping, including stationary and moving cupping, and their application for the treatment of various disorders.

Scraping /Gua Sha: Scraping the back and other areas is used to release blocked Qi (energy) and to cure other illnesses. Guameans “to scrape” and Sha means “red skin rash” (in other words, the result of the Gua).  Gua Sha is used to cure the common cold, flu, bronchitis, asthma, headaches, fevers, chills, cough, abdominal complaints, diarrhea, as well as chronic disorders involving pain and blocked Qi.  The practitioner uses a section of cow horn or a wooden scraper to scrape the back, neck, buttocks and limbs. Oil is used as a lubricant on the skin to lessen the pain of the scraping.

Chinese Medical First Aid

Chinese medicine has a long lineage of using external plasters and liniments for the use in ‘first aid’ situations including strains, sprains, bruising, bleeding, muscle and joint pain, and acute colds and fevers. This workshop offers an introduction to the use of some external and internal herbal remedies for these sorts of first aid situations. You will leave with a basic understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology of muscle and joint pain, and be able to differentiate Wind Cold and Wind Heat and what formulas to give a person in a straight forward case. We will experiment with various liniments and plasters, and experience for ourselves how they act on the body.

Local Herbs and Plants as Medicine

Herbs are the most widely used remedies in the world, time-tested for tens of thousands of years. Herbs are as much nourishing foods as they are medicines, and most have far fewer side effects than the mildest pharmaceutical drugs.  Disease is the body’s inability to respond effectively to stress, imbalance, or invasion. While herbs do relieve symptoms, they work better and more suitably at the source of illness, helping the body to return to ease, balance and health.  Medicinally potent on their own, herbs become even more successful when they are used as part of an overall health program that includes lifestyle and nutritional guidance. Herbs also supplement and complement modern medicine.  In this course you will take herbal walks and forage indigenous herbs to learn to make your own medicine.  We will learn to make tea, tinctures, glycerin, oil, and liniments.  We will use materia medica for our understanding of all the herbs that we will study.