Shiatsu Symposium 2019

Inner Life: Treating the Unseen Inner Landscape

Sei-ki and the Emotion Body

October 7-8

Monday-Tuesday, 9am-5:30pm

Taught by Alice Whieldon

Inner Life - Triple Heater and Fire Element in Emotional Experience

October 9-10

Wednesday-Thursday, 9am-5:30pm

Taught by Carola Beresford-Cooke

Fire Fibers - Pericardium and Triple Burner Palpation and Assessment

October 11-12

Friday-Saturday, 9am-5:30pm

Taught by Joanna Flores

Download the Symposium Brochure

Register Online

October 7-12, 2019

Skylight Event Space

1818 Dempster St. Evanston, IL

Each day will include a 7-hour hands-on seminar from 9am-5:30pm. Each instructor leads a 2-day class with other instructors contributing.

All hours approved for NCCAOM PDA credit and NCBTMB CEs. 42 hours total for the seminars, plus 4 additional hours, including 2 in Ethics available via no-cost evening panel discussions. 46 total hours possible.

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 (42-46 hours): $795 by Sep 9th, $895 thereafter
Deposit for full seminar: $395, balance due on 1st day of seminar
Per 2-Day course: $450


A block of rooms is available at the Margarita Inn, at $139 for a single or double (contact our office for help with room sharing arrangements). Call by Sep 7th 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 - Inner Life

The Shiatsu Symposium brings international master instructors together to present shiatsu methods and explore an aspect of our humanity.  Each Symposium highlights a different level of the human energy field and its implications for the whole person.  Symposium 2017 explored the structural changes possible when we empower change in both the tissues and the nervous system spatial perception.

Symposium 2019: Inner Life focuses on the second level of the field, the Emotion/Organ level.  We will start by perceiving and touching the Emotion Body through subtle awareness of breath and movement.  We will perceive and facilitate the inner circulatory movements that accompany all felt experience.  We will conclude with an exploration of the deep connective tissue fibers associated with involuntary restrictions of circulation.  We will learn shiatsu methods that will help you perceive and touch the emotions, organs and connective tissue as an integrated whole.


Monday-Tuesday, October 7-8  

Alice Whieldon (Co-Author of Sei-ki: the Secret Art of Shiatsu)

Alice Whieldon will introduce ways of recognizing distortion of the emotion body through breath and subtle torque.  This workshop will help us cultivate the power of deep attention.  We will learn to hold the big picture as we work and refer back to it to assess our results, which will set the stage for the remainder of the Symposium.


Wednesday-Thursday, October 9-10

Carola Beresford-Cooke (Author of Shiatsu Theory and Practice)

Using the Triple Heater as our guide, Carola Beresford-Cooke will explore connective tissue as a holistic connector, and the role of consciousness in using it for bodywork.  We will learn to facilitate expansive or contractive movements within the circulatory flows to support both expressive or protective movements as needed by each person.


Joanna Flores, L.Ac., M.Ac.O.M., Dipl. ABT

Joanna Flores will share targeted palpation and assessment methods that blend Shiatsu and Organ Manipulation therapies.  We will explore restrictions in the pericardium, pleura, and peritoneum, and will measure the effect of restrictions on arterial blood flow and organ function.  With this final module, we will add the specificity of touch needed to address even deep ligamentous restriction, while continuing to inform our work with the expansive awareness cultivated in previous modules.


Course Descriptions

Sei-ki and the Emotion Body
Alice Whieldon - Monday/Tuesday October 7-8, 9am-5:30pm

Sei-ki is described as the secret art of Shiatsu.  It is defined by an inner approach in which each client is approached as a new koan, or unanswerable question.  In Sei-ki we work towards the Eastern model of the practitioner who aims to clarify themselves in order to be the best environment in which to receive the patient and understand their situation.

Apprehending the particular character of each patient is the task of the Sei-ki practitioner, for whom treatment and diagnosis are identical.  What the patient brings to the session is mostly the problematic emotion-body, so this is what we work with.  In this workshop you will be given simple kata to help you recognise the distortion of the emotion-body in the movement of breath and more subtle torque.  You will be helped to see the power of this deep attention and come away with basic tools to enable you to bring this depth of perception into your work.


Inner Life - Triple Heater and the Fire Element in Emotional Experience
Carola Beresford-Cooke, October 9-10, 9am-5:30pm

The Triple Heater is a mysterious function unrecognised by Western science, but which influences the health of the whole body.  The texts tell us that “it has a name but no form”, and interpretations of what it is and what it does vary widely.  Sometimes it is described in terms of fluids, sometimes as a protective function, other times as the body thermostat.  Modern theories link the Triple Heater with the connective tissue network.

As the common theme of this Symposium is “Emotional Experience”, the protective and adaptive functions  that Japanese theory ascribes to the Triple Heater come under scrutiny. When do we need protecting, emotionally, when do we need to open up, and why?  And how does the body respond to these impulses?

We will be exploring issues of the body’s blocking mechanisms, designed to protect us but often enclosing us in a cage.  We will look at the Chakra system and the Three Dantian to find how our clients can reach their own reserves of peace and strength. A very practical workshop, with exercises to help us really to understand the Triple Heater in ourselves and Shiatsu practice to explore different ways of working with our receivers’ vulnerability and their self-protectiveness.


Fire Fibers - Pericardium and Triple Burner Palpation and Assessment
Joanna Flores - Friday/Saturday, October 11-12, 9am-5:30pm

In this course, we will explore in-depth the pericardium and triple burner ligamentous attachments, fibrous connections, and vast communication system to all organs and extremities.  The pericardium, pleura, and peritoneum share continuous fibers. These fibers play remarkable roles in communication, protection, support, and shock absorption. 

In this course we will learn how to find PC/TB problems resulting in local and systemic decrease in blood flow. We will learn simple, gentle, and effective treatments for the PC/TB fibers with astounding improvements in blood flow throughout.

We will:

  • Palpate the pericardium ligamentous attachments
  • Highlight common areas of ligament restriction in the thorax & abdomen
  • Measure common joint stiffness and rigidity protecting major vessels
  • Palpate and measure major abdominal arteries during breath transitions 
  • See if PC and TB restrictions are the cause of digestive, pain & sleep symptoms.
  • Treat the tightest restrictions with your shiatsu toolbelt
  • Remeasure joint mobility and pulses to see the profound effect of this work!

Panel Discussions & Social Events

During the Symposium, we will hold lively panel discussions where students can get to better know the instructors and their perspectives.  We will also make time for a social evening where participants can relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Panel Discussion: Women in Shiatsu

Wednesday, October 9th, 7-9pm - Provides 2 CEs/PDAs in Ethics

At the 2017 European Shiatsu Congress,  a conversation started about women in Shiatsu.  Specifically, some people at the Vienna Congress expressed a view that the lack of women on podiums and running high profile workshops reflected an ongoing problem.  Gill Hall and Alice Whieldon discussed this together and collaborated in a webinar exploring the topic.  This panel discussion will explore the themes that Alice and others have been developing.  

Here are some questions for consideration: How can women keep speaking and finding a place in the outer, public world without losing a connection to feeling?  Does shiatsu education disproportionately rely on  a mystique-driven, awe-inspiring expert-lecturer framework?  Can we foster an environment of dynamic learning driven by curiosity through support?  Can we change the parameters of shiatsu education to better suit the lives of students with substantial caregiving responsibilties? 

Panel Discussion: What is it to be Human?

Thursday, October 10th, 7-9pm - Provides 2 CEs/PDAs

Our instructors will provide perspectives on what it is to be a human, from their study and experience.  Short presentations will be followed by Q&A.  Subjects may include: the nature of time in Sei-ki, Emotional Experience as a whole, and the many ways that our organs and memories speak through our meridians. 

Social Night

Friday, October 11th, 7-9pm 

Join us for a party celebrating the conclusion of the Symposium!  It is such a rare pleasure to spend a week with dozens of therapists from across the country.  A social night will be arranged that may involve an off-site dinner or group activity.  Be sure to keep this night free in your calendar!


Articles by Instructors

Time Bubbles and Sei-ki -
 by Alice Whieldon
"...time is not linear.  The past we have held out is not finished and gone but still acting on and in us.  Those parts of reality we resisted did not go away.  That instance of your mother shouting at you is not gone.  It is frozen in time and gradually more and more experiences that remind us of it have gathered around it.  So, it has become harder and more distorted.  It appears as a block both subtly and in gross, physical ways. It accounts for much of the choked feeling we experience, sometimes, when we touch someone."


"...There is more to this issue than equal rights. We need to press for equality of opportunity as a vital outward manifestation of stepping into our power. We, women, need to keep speaking and finding our place in the outer, the public, world without losing our connection to feeling. Maybe this is what makes Shiatsu and Seiki so exciting and crucial – this work sits on that edge between those worlds. We can embrace our connection with body and feeling but not at the expense of our ability to speak and act..."

Reflections on the Triple Heater - by Carola Beresford-Cooke
"...The Heart Protector and Triple Heater are the functions with “a name but no form” because the connective tissue or fascia goes everywhere in the body – wrapping muscles, bones, organs and blood vessels, linking them together with pearly sheets of crystalline semi-conductor material. The light of the Shen as it shines into the dense material of the body needs pathways along which to travel to reach every part, and the liquid crystal nature of the connective tissue provides these pathways; the deep fascia belonging to the Heart Protector, the more superficial fascia relating to the Triple Heater. The all-pervading connective tissue provides much of the mechanics of connection and feedback between our consciousness and our bodies – the “circling of the way of shen”..."

Instructor Bios

Alice Whieldon, Ph.D., worked closely with Kishi Akinobu until his death in 2012.  She was honoured to be the voice of Kishi in the dissemination of Sei-ki in which role she initiated and co-wrote the seminal book on the subject in collaboration with Kishi.  She has presented Sei-ki in workshops and written about it for almost 20 years.

Alice also practices the work of Charles Berner who developed the Enlightenment Intensive workshops (a fusion of Zen sesshin and western psychological methods) and Mind Clearing.  This, and her academic background in philosophy, theology and religious studies, enables her to place this work in a wider context and explain it in ways that help people bring Sei-ki more into their lives and work.  She is an experienced educator and teacher trainer and has worked for the Open University in London for two decades.  She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in recognition of excellence in teaching and learning. 

Carola Beresford-Cooke (registered shiatsu, massage and acupuncture therapist) was brought up in the Eastern cultures of Malaysia and Indonesia during her formative years.  She later attended Oxford University, studying French and Italian.  Disillusioned with the academic life, she worked in the BBC World Service and then managed a trendy London bistro before beginning to study beauty therapy.  From the first massage lesson, bodywork and healing became the central interests of her life.

In 1978 Carola attended her first Shiatsu course with Ohashi, and has continued to study ever since, not only Shiatsu but acupuncture and herbal medicine.  Different teaching styles and approaches fascinate her, and she has studied with many well-known Shiatsu teachers, the most influential being Pauline Sasaki.

She is the author of the textbook “Shiatsu Theory and Practice” and has recently produced  a series of 12 DVDs on the meridians and how to treat them in different positions.

Carola’s main interest is now to reconcile apparently differing styles of Shiatsu and to help promote recognition and respect between the many diverse branches of this wonderful form of bodywork.

Joanna Flores, L.Ac., Dipl. ABT is a licensed acupuncturist with a Masters degree in acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She studied Shiatsu with WinterJade Forest (Lindy Ferrigno) and has presented for the AOBTA national conference. Joanna completed her undergraduate training as an athletic trainer. She received Stott Pilates certification in 1998 and is a certified qigong and meditation instructor through the Ling Gui International Qigong School. With her rehabilitation background and passion for stimulating the body’s healing response, she specializes in low back pain, sacroiliac instability, shoulder joint stabilization and mobilization, weight loss, gastro-intestinal disorders, menopausal symptoms, infertility, dysmenorrhea, and pediatrics. She works with children of all ages, including newborns.

Since 2009, Joanna has immersed herself in the Barral Institute’s visceral, neural, joint, and vascular manipulation curriculum. The Barral institute is run by Jean Pierre Barral, DO, and Alain Crobier, DO. They are skilled practitioners who emphasize anatomical knowledge and specificity which allows for advanced techniques of listening to the tissues. Joanna assists the Institute’s Visceral & Neural manipulation classes. 


To Register:

Sei-ki and the Emotion Body (14 CEs) : $450
Inner Life - Triple Heater and Fire Element in Emotional Experience (14 CEs) : $450
Fire Fibers - Pericardium and Triple Burner Palpation and Assessment (14 CEs) : $450
Shiatsu Symposium (Full Seminar, Early Registration, 42 CEs) : $795
Shiatsu Symposium (Deposit) : $395
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