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Elliott Challandes

Class of 2018

What are your reflections looking back on your time at Zen Shiatsu Chicago?

"My studies at Zen Shiatsu Chicago greatly expanded my understanding of the human body and the interrelationship between its physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects.  It provided me a stronger foundation and varying paradigms from which to work as a successful holistic therapist.  In addition, my studies at Zen Shiatsu Chicago provided me the confidence, vocabulary and knowledge to collaborate with other integrative practitioners, including Medical Doctors and Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine. Although I work in a geographical area where I am the only certified Asian Bodyworker, Zen Shiatsu Chicago prepared me to successfully demonstrate the value and validity of Asian Bodywork Therapy to my clients and to many of those who solely practice within the Western Medical Model."

What would you say to someone considering enrolling in the program?

"Not only is it a wonderful pursuit of skills and knowledge to assist others in improving their lives, but it is also a journey of self-discovery and self-healing.  It aligns you with true purpose and a deep connection with all those whom you touch.  The benefits of studying and practicing Zen Shiatsu on your own spirit, as well as others’, are too numerous to measure as you begin to fully understand what it means to be in service to others."   

Elliott first applied to study shiatsu because of his background in Reiki and his desires to integrate something more somatic for his clients and to become a full-time holistic healthcare practitioner.  Here was his entrance essay when he first began:

I first discovered my current spiritual path while living on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and experiencing the connection of mind, body and spirit which is so much a part of the Hawaiian culture.  Over the past 17 years, I have been on a journey of fostering a better understanding of how energy flows, heals and connects all things.  During this time I have explored, practiced and applied energy work in various modalities for family, friends and a few select clients.  Additionally, I have become adept at mediation and often assist others in honing these skills.

I am a Reiki Master/Teacher in both Usui Reiki and Karuna Reiki, I am a Certified Consulting Hypnotist and I am proficient in vibrational modalities such as Fibonacci tuning forks, vocal toning and drum rhythms. My experience in the healing arts has developed my personal belief that all things are vibration – and all vibration is energy.  Working with these various modalities over the years has increased my understanding of how Universal Energy flows through all things, and when it is blocked or restricted, pain, disease, or imbalance can occur.  These can occur physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually.  

In April of 2013 I created a business called “A Healing Place” where I provide healing arts services on a part-time basis. In this past year, two things have emerged that brings me to applying for Zen Shiatsu Chicago: 

1) I sense a need to offer my clients something more somatic, while at the same time meeting their mental, emotional and spiritual needs.  This physical body aspect is something that is lacking in my practice and I feel by including Zen Shiatsu it will not only add this aspect, but it will increase my personal understanding and knowledge of Chinese Medicine, the flow of Chi (Ki, Mana, Prana, etc.) and afford me a more complex and complete system of healing.  I believe it will literally make my practice more holistic.  It will enable me to provide the enhanced level of healing that my clients deserve.

2) I feel a need to create a full-time vocation as a healing arts practitioner.  It seems from the time I first entered the work-force I have been drawn to jobs and careers that, in one way or another, serve others.  There is something innate in my being that wants to help, wants to heal, and wants to serve.  To be in service in the healing arts feeds my soul.  The personal gratification of doing this work has not been surpassed in my personal experience.  I know that Zen Shiatsu will only add and expand my own spiritual growth and open a new path on my life’s journey – fulfilling my personal purpose and being in service to others.  Now is time in my life where I need to let go of the “day job” and make my part-time passion into my full-time profession.  

Additionally, from a business prospective, Shiatsu is not prevalent in my part of the state and this will allow me to market something “new” and “different” to the area without much competition.  It will set me apart from other LMTs and Healing Arts practitioners, enabling me to build my clientele or to market my skills to an already established business.


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Or call us now at 847-864-1130 to speak to one of our school directors.  

Fully integrate the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual for the people you serve, learn the skills for full-time professional practice, and become a shiatsu therapist!