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Shiatsu: Taking Healing to the Mat

Samantha Craddock is a graduate of the Spa Therapy (now Bodywork Therapy) Program, the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and the 5-week Shiatsu Program with Fernando Cabrera.

“Throughout my whole life I never thought this would be something I’d love to do. I’ve always been fairly cerebral but after taking up martial arts I started encountering more people in the holistic healing field…I felt like the universe was sending a sign!”

Since graduating, Samantha spent some time working in clinics, spas and wellness centres before starting her own business as a bodyworker from her home studio.

“I really enjoy being able to choose my hours and offer discounted prices and payment plans – I feel like wellness should be accessible to the masses and my business philosophy reflects that. I have a very yin and yang approach to my life. I also work in hospitality and enjoy the spontaneity and action of that but I like to balance it with the healing and quieter part of myself.”

To her surprise, Samantha has found Shiatsu, a modality originating in Japan, is one of her most popular modalities so far.

“I work in partnership with a counsellor and a lot of our clients are individuals who have experienced sexual trauma and physical abuse. They really want to have a massage but the concept of touch has become convoluted to them and doesn’t feel safe,” Samantha said.

Samantha says that Shiatsu, traditionally offered fully clothed, was an alternative solution. Based around acupressure, breath, joint movement and the flow of chi, Samantha finds Shiatsu also resonates with her male clientele who have a stigma around touch.

“Shiatsu a wonderful way for clients to connect with their breath and a healing type of touch, especially for anybody who is uncomfortable with touch or intimacy. The act of Shiatsu itself is very Zen and meditative for everybody involved.”

Samantha believes Shiatsu has been her successful modality because it gives people the tools to confidently heal themselves.

“It’s the most beneficial thing you can do as a healing or practitioner. My ultimate goal is to never see you again because I can give you the tools to heal yourself. That’s what Shiatsu really brings to the table… or the mat!”