“If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” We’ve all heard stories about Shiatsu therapists giving Shiatsu treatments in hospitals. But, what can you do to help healthcare workers when access to hospitals is highly restricted? Obviously, if you can’t give Shiatsu treatments in hospitals you invite healthcare workers into your Shiatsu clinics!
And that is exactly what this story is about: being creative when it comes to identifying modalities to give support to those in need, in this case doctors and nurses! This generous project did not maintain a low profile: it was featured in both local and national media, leading to more than 500 treatments given to over 300 healthcare workers – that’s what we call an inspiring Shiatsu story!
In the Spotlight
Viktor graduated from the International Shiatsu School in 2016 and is recognized as a Shiatsu therapist by the Hungarian Shiatsu Society. In addition to his Shiatsu practice, he is also a coach and trainer. He regularly attends training courses in Shiatsu and other alternative medicine modalities. For over 20 years, Viktor has supported groups and individuals in the service professions to transform, realise their goals and achieve fulfillment.
In the summer of 2021, the Hungarian Shiatsu Society, Magyar Shiatsu Társaság, started a summer campaign called “Shiatsu for Healthcare” in 29 towns, promoted via Facebook, Instagram and the HSS website. Between June 1st and August 31st, two complimentary Shiatsu treatments were offered to each individual working in the healthcare system. In total, there were more than 300 registered clients. The treatments took place at the practitioners’ working space and a total of 81 practitioners participated under the banner: “The Hungarian Shiatsu Society wants to help alleviate the burden of healthcare workers.”
The Shiatsu therapists, participating in the campaign were listed with contact information on the website of the Hungarian Shiatsu Society and additionally presented by the social media channels. During the health crisis, the healthcare workers were under tremendous stress, dealing with extended shifts, grief and social pressure. The “Heart Goal” of the initiative was for the Shiatsu community to “give back” by creating space and time for relaxation, recharge and recovery. The most common issues were physical, emotional and mental exhaustion, the direct consequences of long working shifts and lack of time for proper regeneration and recovery.
Feedback was elicited by e-mail after the treatment, preferably with name and occupation, but also anonymously. The end result was many happy and grateful clients. The “Mind Goal” was more visibility and recognition for Shiatsu in Hungary. The campaign was covered by the local and national media through publications and interviews. During the initiative, more than 550 treatments were provided to over 300 clients.
The collected feedback has been recycled into the campaign itself and will form the basis for future promotions. Three of the practitioners received an offer to work on site in the local hospitals during the time of the initiative. There were a number of follow up bookings with the same practitioner, ie the provider of the complimentary sessions. The first steps towards further collaboration have been initiated with the medical staff in most of the cities where the campaign was active. Since the campaign, the Hungarian Shiatsu community has become livelier and the number of visits to the FB page and website has increased significantly.
For three months, 81 shiatsu therapists and students from 29 different towns in Hungary offered one hour Shiatsu sessions to individuals working in the healthcare system. Each participant could receive two complimentary Shiatsu sessions. There were more than 300 registered participants. This initiative gave the healthcare workers an opportunity to relax, recharge and regenerate and also created more visibility and awareness about Shiatsu in the local communities.
Our first story featured a team of young Shiatsu practitioners who stepped up to a rather intimating task. On a similar note, our second story highlights a young Shiatsu organisation, the Hungarian Shiatsu Society, Magyar Shiatsu Társaság. We consider that Magyar Shiatsu Társaság deserves the highest praise from the global Shiatsu community for their extremely impressive campaign, which helped advance the recognition of Shiatsu in their country.
For several decades, there have been discussions within the Shiatsu community about how to promote Shiatsu, increase visibility and improve its image. This campaign seems to provide an exquisite example of what can done when a situation presents itself and a group of people with inspired leadership goes into concerted action.