Shiatsu Symposium 2017

Integrating Structure & Spirit through Touch, Movement and Imagination

Body, Space and Motion - Zenki Shiatsu and the Sinew Channel Dynamic

October 9-10

Monday-Tuesday, 9am-5:30pm

Taught by Michael DeAgro

Sotai Therapy

October 11-12

Wednesday-Thursday, 9am-5:30pm

Taught by Bob Quinn

Koshi Balancing

October 13-14

Friday-Saturday, 9am-5:30pm

Taught by Jeffrey Dann

Download the Symposium Brochure

Register Online

October 9-14, 2017

Skylight Event Space

1818 Dempster St. Evanston, IL

Sotai and Koshi Balancing -
 by Jeffrey Dann 
Read this article to get an overview of the both all-encompassing and precise analysis of structural integration that will be covered in these workshops.
Connecticut Sotai Revisited - by Bob Quinn
Bob discusses Sotai, mentorship, and the necessity of using the senses to directly feel and perceive the organizing potential of the nervous system.

Other articles by Bob Quinn:  A Palpation Exam that Changed My Life 

The Complementary Pole to Discipleship (The Poet's Path) 

Steve Rogne shares stories of the clinical results he has seen using Michael DeAgro's Sinew Channel techniques.

"...This way of working has opened up a whole new range of effective outcomes for my clients, and greatly increased my confidence level in working with cases that previously were the most challenging."

Learn to support the spontaneous self-organization of the whole human being. Three master instructors will share the classroom for six days to teach a detailed, synthesized method.
Each day will include a 7-hour hands-on seminar from 9am-5:30pm. Each instructor leads a 2-day class with the other two instructors contributing.

All hours approved for NCCAOM PDA credit and NCBTMB CEs. (7 hours per day), plus 4 additional hours available via no-cost evening Ethics and Practice-Building workshops (46 total hours possible including 2 in Ethics)

All classes also count towards CE hours for renewal of IL licenses for acupuncture, massage therapy, physical therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, naprapathy and social work.

An AOBTA Endorsed Educational Event

Seminar participants must be professional Asian Bodywork Therapists or Acupuncturists, or have at least 100 hours of student training in an ABT discipline (or have completed Zen Shiatsu III at Zen Shiatsu Chicago).

Full Seminar (42 hours): $695 by Sep 9th, $795 thereafter
Student Rate (for full-time entry-level shiatsu students) : $595 by Sep 9th, $695 thereafter
Deposit for full seminar: $300, balance due on 1st day of seminar
Per 2-Day course (14 hours): $375


A block of rooms is available at the Margarita Inn, at $129 per night for a single, $139 for a double (contact our office for help with room sharing arrangements). Call by Sep 9th for reservations and mention the Shiatsu Symposium. Nearby AirBnB options are available ranging from $63-149 per night.   For transit options to and from O'Hare Airport, consult this list.

Margarita European Inn

1566 Oak Avenue, Evanston, IL.  847-869-2273


Symposium Overview - Structure and Space

Symposium 2015 opened students’ eyes to the possibilities of working in the client’s expanded energetic field, aware of the Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual levels of the field, from the core of the bone and out into space to arm’s reach, aware of the interplay between these levels.  Symposium 2017 focuses on the structural changes possible in the Physical level, with an integrated understanding of how Imagination, Movement and Touch empower change in the physical body and spatial field around the body.

All three instructors will be present and actively contributing to all six days.  One instructor will be the lead instructor for each two-day class.  Evening practice-building workshops will expand participants skills in public education and case management.  Participants can sign up for any 2-day segment or the whole 6-day experience.


Monday-Tuesday, October 9-10  

Michael DeAgro, with Jeffrey Dann and Bob Quinn

Michael DeAgro will introduce Sinew Channel theory, synthesizing classical teaching with the energetic work of Pauline Sasaki.  To be most effective in treating the Sinew layer of the body, we must actively concentrate on the complete spatial field & area of potential movement of a muscle.  You can train your senses to actually notice - in the space around the body - how the receiver’s nervous system and imagination are limiting their movement.  This course will teach you all-new ways to use your concentration to elicit effortless changes in the tissue, and re-pattern the client’s spatial imagination into new movement possibilites.


Wednesday-Thursday, October 11-12

Bob Quinn, with Michael DeAgro and Jeffrey Dann

Jeffrey Dann will build on this foundation, through the movement therapy of Sotai.  Sotai is a system of bodywork-neuromuscular reeducation developed by Keizo Hashimoto, MD based on his studies in other traditional arts in Japan.  It is characterized by gentle, slow movements away from restrictions and pain, toward the direction of ease.  When done skillfully, Sotai offers a complete rehabilitative movement program, allowing therapist and client to work together to fully support the self-organization of structure and function.

TOUCH: KOSHI BALANCING Friday-Saturday, October 13-14 

Jeffrey Dann, with Michael DeAgro

We will complete our understanding of postural alignment principles, posture distortion, and key anatomic relationships in structural therapy.  Koshi Balancing is a shiatsu intervention that combines classical Sinew Channel and Girdle Vessel theory with osteopathic palpation skills and functional testing to identify and treat patterns of imbalance.  By combining the rich precision of Koshi Balancing and Sotai Therapy with the expansive power of Zenki Shiatsu, students will be ready to address every possible neuromuscular and postural issue that their clients face.  We will truly witness the integration of structure and spirit and the arrival of spacious freedom in the body.


Course Descriptions

Body, Space and Motion: Zenki Shiatsu and the Sinew Channel Dynamic
Michael DeAgro - Monday/Tuesday October 9-10, 9am-5:30pm

Our most basic sensations of space, mass, and motion are conducted through the sinew channel network, generating our perception of embodied life. The proper functioning of the sinew channels is critical to many aspects of health including freedom of movement, efficient posture, effective immune responses, regulating emotional stress, and the joy of self expression.

In the Zenki Shiatsu approach we use touch and imagination to alter the total dynamic of sensory-motor perception both within the tissue and off the body in the spatial sensory field.   This results in effortless change in the muscle tissue and a complete re-organization of the client’s perceived possibilites of motion.  

We will learn and practice:

  • How to use touch (on and off the body) to regulate the contraction and expansion of the spatial perceptual field.
  • How to cultivate changes in spatial imagination to elicit effortless release of sinew pain/restriction, and increased mobility and structural balancing.
  • The classical model of jing/qi/shen as a perceptual model of mass, motion, and space.   


Sotai Therapy - Balancing the Roots, Balancing the Flowers
Bob Quinn - Wednesday/Thursday, October 11-12, 9am-5:30pm

Sotai is a system of bodywork-neuromuscular reeducation developed by Keizo Hashimoto, MD based on his studies in other traditional arts in Japan.  It is characterized by gentle, slow movements away from restrictions and pain, toward the direction of ease.  This easeful movement aligns the structure while promoting full-body, inside-and-out integration of the channels. 

When compared with other indirect methods Sotai stands out in its simplicity and the ease with which learners can get started in it. Its principles are basic and learnable. Patients love Sotai because it brings them into a state of deep relaxation.  Practitioners love the ease and flow of sequencing, and the natural rhythmic exploration of all the joints and pivots of the body.

Sotai provides a framework for assessing and improving easeful range of motion, which also provides a very useful pre-and-post test for clients.  Even if certain aspects of their symptoms are slower to recover, we can alert them to the ways in which their movement is already becoming more fluid and integrated, which provides another meaningful benchmark of progress.


Koshi Balancing
Jeffrey Dann - Friday/Saturday, October 13-14, 9am-5:30pm

“Koshi” represents the locus of physical strength and movement, which encompasses the thighs and lumbar-sacral region.  All Japanese martial arts are concerned with “moving from the Koshi” as the locus of strength and adaptability.  The cultural notion of the koshi is embedded in the channel energetic of the Girdle Vessel (Dai Mai) and its associated channel the Gall Bladder (Shao Yang).  

The Symposium culminates with this class, which will provide a detailed mapping of the rotational vectors of dynamic postural tension in the body, as embodied in the Girdle Vessel and Shao Yang Sinew.  Key acupoints of those channels will be treated with Seitai Shiatsu methods.  Collaborative input from Michael DeAgro and Jeffrey Dann will bring expanded awareness of spatial field dynamics and movement patterns into the touch therapy, allowing for dramatic and effortless re-coordination of the nervous system and muscular system.

We will learn:

  • The anatomy of the lumbar pelvic center
  • Palpation and muscle and skeletal tests of the cranium, spinal column and postural muscles
  • Functional tests of the pelvic ligaments and pelvic motion patterns
  • Osteopathic fascial listening for the muscles, skeleton and channels


Practice-Building Workshops

During the Symposium, evening workshops will focus on the marketing, communication and treatment-planning skills that will help you connect with clients and set them up for success with this work.  Each workshop counts for an additional 2 CEs or PDAs.

Teaching Sotai to Laypeople and Professionals 
Thursday, October 12th, 7-9pm - 2 CEs

Sotai principles are simple enough to communicate to people with no background in movement, and sophisticated enough to be eye-opening for physical therapists.  Group classes are an excellent way to build your practice, spread the word about the work you do, and cultivate referral networks.  Jeffrey Dann and Bob Quinn have extensive experience organizing group classes for laypeople of all ages and physical ability, and for communicating and teaching this work to professional therapists like PTs and personal trainers.

In this evening class, we will discuss strategies for successful teaching events.  What level of information is helpful for each group?  What physical practices are easiest to learn with the best benefits?  How do you market and get interest for either kind of class?

Ethical Treatment Planning for Challenging Cases: Setting Clients up for Success
Friday October 13th, 7-9pm - 2 CEs in Ethics

Good shiatsu technique is only one-half what is needed to effectively treat clients’ structural issues.  The other half is good case management skills.  Unless we can get our clients to opt-in to a plan that prepares them for success, they may become frustrated and discontinue treatment.

Michael DeAgro will lead a discussion on the communication skills necessary to set clients up for success.  How do you use language to negotiate a reasonable expectation of outcomes?  How do you set re-evaluation points and monitor client progress?  What frequency of treatment is necessary to ensure successful progress for the client, and what strategies can you use to make sure clients opt in to a successful treatment regimen?

Instructor Bios

Michael DeAgro, M.S., AOBTA CI, began his career as a visual artist, psychotherapist, and expressive arts therapist. Early in his career he practiced psychodrama and somatic psychotherapies.   He spent 15 years studying shiatsu with Pauline Sasaki, committing himself to the study and practice of Pauline’s Quantum Shiatsu method, which evolved from her studies with Shizuto Masanaga and Akinobu Kishi. 

Michael also researched classical channel teachings and the roots of bodywork therapies in Daoist medicine traditions. Currently, he is continuing his studies of the Shang Han Lun herbal tradition with Dr. Feng Shi Lun in Beijing, China and Yaron Seidman of the Hunyuan Institute. 

Michael maintains a full-time clinic in Traverse City, Michigan. He combines the practice of psychotherapy with Asian bodywork therapies and Chinese herbal medicine. He is a licensed counselor, a Certified Instructor with AOBTA and has served as the AOBTA Director of Education.

Michael studies T’ai Chi Chuan and Daoist internal martial arts with Scott Phillips in Boulder, CO. He credits his studies of internal martial arts as key to his understanding of effortless power and the spontaneous transformation of qi.

Bob Quinn, L.Ac., started his study of Western herbal medicine when he was in college in Oswego, NY.  It was through this love of herbal medicine that Bob eventually came to acupuncture college.  From the second month of his training he worked as a moxa assistant at IEP, a Chinese medicine HIV clinic. This is where his real education took place, and he discovered a love of working with the seriously, chronically ill. He continues that to this day with his focus on chronic Lyme disease.

After graduation in 1998, he quickly began his study of Japanese therapies in Seattle. In that program he studied Meridian Therapy, shonishin, Yin-Yang Channel Balancing, and Sotai. Bob’s approach to Sotai is greatly influenced by his studies in Feldenkrais and Trager therapies, making his way of Sotai a softer style. 

Bob runs Portland Traditional Japanese Medicine Seminars, a company that brings masters from Japan to teach various Japanese styles of bodywork and acupuncture.  Bob is also a devoted student of Projective Dreamwork and has brought this approach into his clinical encounters. Bob considers it one of his missions to reintroduce the use of dreams into the practice of Chinese medicine.

Jeffrey Dann, Ph.D., L.Ac., AOBTA CI has been an educator and community health practitioner for 40 years.  As a student of pre-med and medical anthropology, his fascination with the role of culture in the medical field led to years of research in Japan, studying traditional healing arts and the martial art of Kendo, which resulted in a Ph.D. and a career change from anthropologist to practitioner of Asian Medicine.

Jeffrey’s anthropological interests in the development of Asian medicine led him to study in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, China, Korea and Vietnam. With these diverse trainings and his interests in manual medicine and movement therapy, Jeffrey is highly specialized in treating muscular and orthopedic problems.  He is also a certified instructor in shiatsu with the AOBTA.

Jeffrey has been a community teacher of dance, movement, and somatic psychology work for over 25 years.  Jeffrey has been the acupuncturist for the Cleo Parker Robinson Repertory Dance Medicine Team.  He has been a medical director for the international young adult “rites of passage work” of Melissa Michaels’ Surfing the Creative Foundation.  He has worked with men and young adults in exploring mind-body and emotion through dance and movement.  He is in the Core Facilitator group for the Boulder Contact Improv Labs.  He has attained 4th degree black belt from Japan in Kendo, 2nd degree black belt in Iaido, and 1st degree black belt in Naginatado.

To Register:

Body, Space and Motion (Oct 9-10, 14 hours) : $375
Sotai Therapy (Oct 11-12, 14 hours) : $375
Koshi Balancing (Oct 13-14, 14 hours) : $375
Shiatsu Symposium 2017 - All 6 Days (42 Hours) : $795
Shiatsu Symposium 2017 - Deposit ($395 due on first day) : $300
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