the original kStyle blog.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Monday Questionnaire

1. Fill in the blank: When I'm unhappy, I tend to become more __________ .

2. In your house, what doesn't work as well as it should?

3. Name something other people seem to notice, but you don't.


Blogger Eric said...

1. Funny.

2. The bathroom faucet drips. Everything else works okay.

3. I never notice the color of people's eyes. I couldn't name it for any of my friends, and even with ex-girlfriends it would be guesswork. I never notice it and never remember it, but the shape of someone's eyes is interesting to me, much more so than color.

8:15 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

1. lethargic

2. The bathroom faucet drain. Also, the half-painted color we tried in the bedroom. Looks like V8 Splash spilled all over 1 1/2 walls. Have we repainted yet? No.

3. This might sound strange or false--I assure you it isn't. I just look at people without classifying them into attractive/pretty vs not. There are a few exceptions, when people are so stunningly gorgeous or so awkwardly ugly that I can't help but notice. I didn't even realize until recently how much some folks have on the "attractive radar".

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Sarcastic and testy. Though, really, it's hard to tell. (I covet the sweatshirt owned by a friend of a friend that says: Sarcasm: Just one of the services I offer.) I also become less tolerant of others' foibles.

2. The mechanism for getting it clean. Oh. Wait. We're supposed to do that, aren't we. Well, it doesn't work very well.

3. I can't really think of anything for this one. I tend to observe my surroundings pretty closely. Television, maybe; I really watch very little, so stuff that's television-related kind of sails past me unless it makes it to some other medium.

carla (that was me w/ the other cookbooks down there, too)

10:59 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

1. Susceptible to the temptation of junk food.

2. The stupid lamp in our bedroom that Jesse refuses to exchange for the one sitting in the closet that works perfectly well. We'll probably end up putting two lamps on the dresser, and I'll only use the good one, and he'll only use the stupid one.

3. I'm sure there's something, but I don't notice it, so I don't know what it is.

12:24 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Eric has unwittingly given me an excellent Shiatsu intake question, I just realized thanks to everyone's answers. Based upon how each of you reacts to sadness, I have a good idea which elements/meridians are either imbalanced or dominant in your systems. Thanks guys!

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are you going to tell us? And what it means?


9:22 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Oh god, that would take a while, to get into all the associations. But, in a nutshell:

Carla: wood/tree (not sure which meridian, liver or gallbladder)
Ann: earth (specifically spleen meridian)
Eric: fire (specifically heart meridian...but maybe small intestine)
Me: water (not sure which meridian) and/or earth (spleen, specifically spleen dampness)

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's really entertaining! Here's a website that gives what's probably way too elemental a version of this:

I was entertained, as well, that one of the disorders specifically associated with my meridians was fibroids, for which I've been treated, though I don't have any of the other ills listed.

And, yes, avoiding my wrath is a good idea. It's worth pointing out that, although I can get testy quite easily, it takes quite a bit to make me truly angry. People who know me even a little generally figure out that my testiness is more an expression of my curmudgeonly nature than true/deep anger.


12:50 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Hey! Thanks for the link, Carla. That is actually a good introduction to the 5 elements. We use a slightly different system of associations in Zen Shiatsu (as opposed to TCM). Masunaga, the founder of Zen-style, had some psychology training and so we deal with many psychological aspects of the meridians.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you choose Zen shiatsu rather than TCM? And what does it feel like from the practitioner's end?

8:45 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

I chose Shiatsu over TCM for a number of reasons, and then just happened to end up at a Zen Shiatsu school without knowing the difference between Zen and other styles. (In fact, we didn’t learn that until Level 3.) Sometimes you end up where you belong…

The first time I had Shiatsu, I had a gift certificate that I thought was for a regular massage. Instead, my mind was blown by Shiatsu! I’d been feeling lethargic and over-concerned for the carpenter ants my parents were exterminating that summer. (Why do WE have more of a right to live than THEY do? I wrote an essay on this topic on the Xebra at the time, some of you may recall.) After the Shiatsu session I felt lighter and more grounded, cheerful, confident, and less sympathetic to the goddamn ants. And the practitioner started advising me on all this dietary stuff—I can tell you’ve been eating a lot of cold foods and sweet foods and dairy….and then she told me about eating for the seasons and seasonal effects on the human constitution…and I thought, Wow! She understands the whole universe.

Several years went by. After graduating from college, I spent a year volunteering full-time in a Santa Fe homeless shelter, to determine whether social work was the life for me. I noticed that giving away blankets and food and even helping people into transitional housing wasn’t solving the deeper problems causing homelessness. Many people couldn’t even maintain their transitional housing, neglecting to send in the reduced rent check or getting the boot for rowdiness or succumbing to an addiction or simply growing restless and taking off. (Therapy DID help many people enormously, on that deeper level. We had one extraordinarily gifted therapist, Jack, who could start turning around a lifetime of pain in about 3 weeks. I remain Jack’s greatest admirer.) Burnt out, I decided that social work was NOT the life for me, and that perhaps eastern medicine would have been more helpful to many homeless people anyway. There was a big acupuncture (TCM) school in Santa Fe, and so I was intrigued by that and going for treatments with one of the teachers. I filled out half my application before hearing that many students were discontent, and so I decided to look elsewhere.

(This is long-winded. Sorry. Are you still reading? I might not be, if I were you.)

So, I went to San Francisco on vakay near the end of that year. While I was there, I decided to check out the acupuncture schools. I went through the phonebook and wrote own about a dozen of them, then called. None of them would see me and give a tour, save one in Berkeley (which was right down the road from another school, so I thought I’d look through the windows there, too). Lah, were you with me that day? No, I think it was Tamar and Enrique.

Anyway, it turned out the place that invited me in was NOT an acupuncture school, but rather…The AcuPRESSURE Institute. It was warm and inviting and beautiful. The vibes were great. Later I peeked in the acupuncture school down the road: cold, sterile, clinical. Acupressure it was, I decided. (Shiatsu is the Japanese form of acupressure.)

There are other more practical factors: the nurturing aspect of touch (rather than needles) and the rampant fear of needles among my loved ones.
Later I can tell you what it’s like to give a treatment, if I can describe it.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep talking, keep talking!

Seriously, that's really quite interesting. I wonder now where my old college roommate did her TCM training, because she was living in the Bay Area at the time. And I'd love to hear more about what it's like as a practitioner--I quizzed my acupuncturist on what (what she calls) fishing for qi feels like at her end. It's a little overdetermined, I'd say, because her finding it often makes me jump, which would be a big fat clue, but I wouldn't be surprised if there're other things, too. I was also interested to see (because of course I had to google zen shiatsu) that the state of mind of the practitioner is vital to successful treatment.



11:59 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

I'm totally fascinated, too. I like hearing other people's stories about how and why they chose to do something.

4:28 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

More later--but for now--
If any of you want to learn more about meridian associations in the Zen Shiatsu system, I recommend our textbook, Shiatsu Theory an Practice: A Comprehensive Text for the Student and Professional.

An if you want to feel ki for yourself, I recommend qi gong or tai ch'i classes. Qi gong might be faster and is more healing.

5:39 PM  

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