Celebrating our Silver Anniversary in Italy!
It is hard to believe that Ohashi started teaching his Ohashiatsu®/Ohashi Method™ in Italy more than 25 years ago. From a small class of 12 in 1987 in the town of Rivoli to having more than 39 Certified Ohashiatsu® Instructors (COI) and Consultants (COC) in Italy is astounding, and humbling. There will be a series of workshop in Torino and Aqui Terme and a big party in Torino. But first a little history.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ohashi’s story, he came to the U.S. in the 1970s, and while studying English at Howard University practiced shiatsu at the Watergate Health Club in Washington ,DC. where he began to develop a famous clientele. He soon decided that he wanted to teach and that it would be better to be located in New York City. In 1974 he founded the Ohashi Institute (the Shiatsu Education Center of America), which was one of the first schools in the U.S. to offer a program in shiatsu and oriental healing. He also published his first book, Do It Yourself Shiatsu (1976),
which was quickly translated into foreign languages, including Italian. Because of his book, one day a young macrobiotic teacher from Torino,
who had read it, showed up at the Institute. That was around 1986. His name was Alfonso Crosetto. He returned to Torino to open an Ohashi Institute in that city and offered the entire Ohashiatsu program. In the beginning, Ohashi sent Certified Ohashiatsu instructors from Germany and the U.S. to teach in Torino until there were enough graduates to train as instructors.
One of the first was Germana Fruttarola, who also became the sponsor of the program in Torino and worked tirelessly to promote the program in Italy. Soon after came Silvia Rossi, who still heads the school in Milan;
and then Siegrid Maidorn in Rome,
who taught and sponsored for many years. These early instructors were followed by many others, who teach in almost every region in Italy. There are now 15 towns and cities where courses are offered.
Q: Ohashi, what’s your favorite Italian city?
Ohashi: “This is the most difficult question that I must answer. The reason why is so simple. I love any place in Italy – all the regions, small towns and big cities, because the Italian spirit and love of life is everywhere.
However I shall always have fond memories of the many times I taught in Mergozzo, a small village near Lake Maggiore. There were always beautiful mountain flowers in bloom and the village residents were friendly. I taught many Advanced II retreat courses there in a wonderful small hotel whose owner spoiled us with his wonderful cooking.”
Q: You have given many Ohashiatsu treatments all over the world in the last 40 years. Did you have any famous Italian clients?
Ohashi: “Yes, Signore and Signora Giovanni Agnelli.
Signore Agnelli was the chairman of Fiat, a very important company in Italy that helped it recover from World War II. The family was well respectd in Italy. “In 1993, Dr. Henry Kissinger referred Mr. Agnelli to me in 1993. Our instructors in Torino, Domenico Bassi and Gianpiero Bellini, helped me set up appointments at his residence in Torino.. When he and Mrs. Agnelli visited Rome and New York, which was often, I would give them Ohashiatsu treatments. I continued his treatments for the rest of his life. I will always be amazed by his elegancy in life. Never before or after, has anyone greeted me in such an elegant manner. I learned a lot from him about how to treat people in my life.”
Q: From your teaching experience all over the world, do you see any significant differences between Italian students and other students?
Ohashi: I do not see any big difference between Italian students and others in terms of studying and practicing. Most of our Italian students, especially our COIs and COCs, are committed to giving their best. But I found that around 1995, at the same time that Italy joined the “Euro system,” Italian students became more punctual. Before the “Euro,” Italian students were unreliable about coming to class on time. They had their own “Italian time.” But after the “Euro” they became very punctual and “time effective” people. Since I am a very time-conscious man, I noticed this change immediately.
Ohashi is looking forward to seeing many students and newcomers in Torino for this celebration and in his courses. He will be teaching Yoga & Ohashiatsu, Ohashi Method for Pregnancy and Birth, and his Oriental Diagnosis course, October 18-21.
There will be students from the Ohashiatsu programs in France and the Netherlands as well, to participate in the Oriental Diagnosis course. “We are planning a big party in Torino on the evening of October 21. I am looking forward to see all of our students, graduates, instructors and consultants, and all of our many friends.”
Join in the celebration! Join us for these wonderful teachings! For more information on Ohashi Method™/Ohashiatsu®, log on to Ohashiatsu.org. For information on the workshop, see the blog post below, or log on to Ohashi.it.