Justin Zelinksi

Class of 2018

What would you say to those considering enrolling in the program now?

"After having completed the program, I can truly see the healing power that meaningful touch can have. It is a great privilege to be able to be with people in this context as we explore what is truly meant by living a full and meaningful life. This work has been extremely healing to me in helping me realize the interconnectedness we all have and need in life to truly be ourselves and exist in a balanced healthy state." 

Justin was first interested in shiatsu because of his experiences with martial arts and Asian philosophies.  Here is what he wrote when he first enrolled:

"What experiences do you have with Asian philosophies or healing arts that led you to pursue shiatsu studies?"

"I am currently studying two styles of Budo (martial ways). The first being Iaido, an art of drawing the Japanese Sword, and the second being Aikido. It is through the study of the latter that I came to the realization that I am practicing an art of healing as opposed to the idea of a self-defense in the form of violence. I was originally drawn to the art as a form of spiritual development that the creator Morihei Ueshiba had achieved through the practice, but I often became disillusioned in my practices at times due to the violent nature of Budo. Regardless of the violent nature of martial applications, I was always experiencing something that did make me feel more balanced as well.

As I studied and researched more to develop a greater understanding of Ki, I ran across an example of someone in the Aikido community using something he called Kiatsu, which brought me to my first run in with the idea of Shiatsu. At the time, being focused on the original intent of understanding Ki, I put this idea of shiatsu out of the mind for now. I did see a connection to Chinese medicine though, so I decided to look into the meridians as a way to better understand Ki. This brought me to understanding the martial aspects of Yin and Yang and seeing the healing process of balancing out violence with these principles in mind.

This sparked an interest in the world of healing and looking at Chinese medicine. Through the exploration of ideas and theories in Chinese medicine I became entranced with this Idea of balancing out the body as a form of healing, especially since my previous experiences of western medicine were for my doctor to almost always be offering me some form of medication, or in some cases just not being able to come up with an answer all together. This, at times left me feeling disappointed in healthcare in general. I have always felt there was a way to heal the body without medication in most instances. I have heard the stories of others healing their complications through means that the western medical community seemed to not be able to explain. So I then turned to looking into ways to deal with my own minor health issues and concerns, all before coming in contact with TCM.

I looked to using healthy eating as a form of “letting food be thy medicine”. I did find some success in this area with helping some of the digestive issues, but found it hard to balance a sense of happiness and restrictive eating which in itself seemed to be creating an imbalance in the idea of using extremes to heal. I also felt here that I was unable to get clear answers to a true understanding of what the human body needs. I found many studies into correct diet very confusing, as one person recommends a vegan diet, another paleo, and everything in-between.

This once again brought me back to an ideal of finding healthy balances. I fully believe that with the balance of body and mind our bodies have an internal means to bring about healing. So, I continued to look at the connections of ki and healing again. At one point I again came back around to looking at Shiatsu.

Ever since my first run in with its ideas I have always been intrigued, and of course seeing that there was a school in the area meant I could actually learn to develop this skill. I myself had not had any shiatsu treatments at this time, but had a strong belief in the systems theories and ideas presented in my studies. This has given me a sense of excitement thinking that I may be able to develop into a healer using these ideals because prior to this I had no idea that such a thing had existed.

In my experiences, I believe that balance can truly be brought about through Ki. In my martial studies, I have come to the conclusion at this point in my life; that ki is the energy of the body and what better way to create a healing effect on another human being than to use its power source through the power of touch. It can be healing in so many ways even beyond the physical and seen aliments in ways that we can’t fully comprehend.

I simply just want to help those who feel like they need the healing. I want to provide an alternative means to some of the ideas of using medication or even adding to the healing process along with the use of medications if needed.  I see Zen Shiatsu as a way to bring these ideals to life


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Or call us now at 847-864-1130 to speak to one of our school directors.  Discuss what inspires you about touch and healing arts.  Find out whether our program can help you realize your dream!