Eight Islands

We just received two beautifully designed and printed copies of Yashima — a journal dedicated to Japanese Culture and Martial Arts.

Stéphane Crommelynck from Sakura Dojo conducted an interview with Ohashi at Dr. Karine Favresse’s home in Wavre, Belgium this past March, 2018. The interview, entitled Rencontre avec Ohashi sensei le maitre du Shiatsu, is published in this inaugural issue.

Yashima refers to Japan’s eight main islands. This promising publication is a must for those interested in Japanese culture and arts. Find out more here. And check out the video about Yashima Magazine.

In our Spring Newsletter we highlight the three interviews in Belgium. Ohashi was very honored to be interviewed about his life, experience and work.
Upper left
: Ohashi demonstrates using two separate points on Stéphane Crommelynck to create greater pressure without pain. Lower left: Ivan Bel with Ohashi. Right: Ludovine Dumontet with Ohashi. If you haven’t yet, check out the interviews conducted by Ludovine Dumontet, a student of shiatsu and author of her blog “Bien être par le shiatsu et le do in,”  and Ivan Bel, a shiatsu teacher at Ryoho Shiatsu, who posts his interviews with many practitioners of Eastern healing arts.

Read more at Yashima Magazine.

 

 

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Gasho Eidō Rōshi

By Ohashi

On April 24, 2018, my son Kazuhiro and I left New York Shobo-ji on East 67th Street in New York in the early morning by school bus. We were on our way with some 40 other people to the funeral and memorial services for Kongō Sōken Mui Shitsu Eidō Tai Zenzu Dai Oshō, also known as Eidō Rōshi.

Kongō Sōken Mui Shitsu Eidō Tai Zenzu Dai Oshō at the Ohashi Institute. 1997.

As the bus was heading for Dai Bo Satsu Zendo in the Catskill Mountains, all of my wonderful experiences and encounters, my blessing and happy endless memories with Eidō Shimanō Rōshi came to me.

Dai Bo Satsu Zendo in the Catskill Mountains.

It was March 19, 1975 the day I met and was introduced to Eidō Rōshi. That day was the 68th birthday of Sōu-én Nakagawa Rōshi, who was a mentor to Eidō Rōshi. One of my shiatsu students, Harry McCormick, asked me to come and give an old Japanese man an Ohashiatsu treatment as a birthday gift. We went to Shobo-ji, a Zen temple in New York City. A younger monk came out and welcomed me saying “I’m Eidō Rōshi. Welcome Mr. Ohashi.” That was my first time to meet him. Then I gave a treatment to Sōu-én Rōshi, who didn’t utter any words, and I didn’t ask anything.

Eidō Rōshi and Ohashi at Zendo. 1995.

After this experience, I started visiting Eidō Rōshi many times and asking for his advice. One day I asked him, “How did you establish two temples on such a big scale?”  He replied, “Ohashi — I just sit.” Then I asked, “Just sit?”

He said, “In order to ‘sit’, I need a temple, but without sitting the temple doesn’t come — because I can not do what I needed to do. If you don’t do what you need to do, nothing comes to you.”  

He continued, “Do whatever you want to do now. Don’t ask how to do what you want or what you want to do in the future. Do what you want to do now. I just started sitting, then the way how I should make the temples came to me.”

Ohashi gives an Ohashiatsu treatment to Edio Roshi by the lake at Zendo. 1979.

Immediately, I followed Eidō Rōshi’s advice. That evening I started teaching without any students, without knowing anything I’m teaching, without any plans, without any place to teach. Eventually, I achieved my school with many branches in the U.S. and Europe.

On January 2, 1977 Bonnie and I married at Shobo-ji. Eidō Rōshi officiated and conducted a beautiful ceremony for us and our friends, who chanted with us to encourage our union.

Ohashi and Bonnie on their wedding day. 1977.

Later, I asked Eidō Rōshi to allow me to start a summer program for our students at Dai Bo Satsu Zendo, which had been built a few years before. He accepted our request. Our first Ohashi Institute Program at Zendo started in July 1979, and continued every year for more than 20 years. From practically all over the world, from many different nationalities and from all corners of life, people came to attend. This 10-day program was a profound and meaningful experience for the all the people who participated. Former students still thank me for putting them in touch with Zen Buddhist philosophy, and specifically the temple in New York City and in the Catskills.

Dai Bosatsu Zendo in the Catskills Mountains.

I believe more than 1000 people came to Zendo through our program over the years. Eidō Rōshi gave us speeches about Zen, and all the Zendo residents helped our  program run smoothly. Without this summer program, I don’t think the Ohashi Institute would have prospered as much as it did.

A large group at Zendo in the Catskills. Students in the Advanced, Intermediate and Beginning courses. 1996.

I believe more than 1000 people came to Zendo through our program over the years. Eidō Rōshi gave us speeches about Zen, and all the Zendo residents helped our program run smoothly. Without this summer program, I don’t think the Ohashi Institute would have prospered as much as it did.

Morning tea ceremony with Ohasi and Eidō Rōshi. 1995.

All the memories of Eidō Rōshi and our experience of Zendo came back to me when I attended the ceremony. My deepest gratitude will continue to go to Eidō Rōshi forever.

Gasho

Ohashi

What’s in a name?

By Kazuhiro Ohashi

Ohashi always gets many requests for his time. Whether it’s to teach or for treatments, tutorials, speeches, or simply to ask him about his life and philosophy — Ohashi is always receiving requests. Two requests that I’d like to write about here came a couple of years ago and recently have produced positive results.

Our friends are published.

One of the many requests Ohashi receives is to write Forewords for books. Ohashi is well aware of the effort that goes into being published. Starting at a young age, his first book Do-it-Yourself Shiatsu was published in 1975, preceded by at least two years of writing. Soon after that  came Healthy Pregnancy and Touch for Love (with editing and translating Zen Shiatsu in between). He admires those who go through the process of writing their own book.

Usually, requests for writing Prefaces, Forewords and Afterwords are from his former students or  those that have worked with him professionally. One such request came from our long-time friend Tara Thompson Lewis. Tara, who has been a fellow student, is an amazing therapist. She specializes in vocal massage, a very specific technique that requires not only her professional touch, but also the absolute trust of her clients.

Tara’s personal story intertwines closely with the Ohashi family’s. In fact, her parents were students of Ohashi’s back in the early 1980s, when Ohashi and Bonnie were first starting out in New York City. As the story goes… well maybe, I should let you discover the story yourself. If you want to know the connection between our two families, pick up a copy of Tara’s book and read Ohashi’s Foreword.

Two years ago, Tara, emailed Ohashi asking for him to write the Foreword to her book. This book, is a continuation and expansion of the research and work that her late mother had started years ago. Tara meticulously organized her mother’s notes, typed up the manuscript and found a publisher. She was completing her mother’s work.

Of course Ohashi was happy to oblige her request. He had known Tara’s mother; she had been in his classes.

Fantastic Tara!


Around the same time, we also received a request for a personal meeting from a gentleman named Norio Tomita. Tomita, originally from Japan, now lives in Montreal, Canada. He has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Keio University. Tomita has developed 3D imaging technology and has collaborated with several doctors. Now, Tomita is developing his own technique based on Seitai, Japanese hand techniques and massage therapy. He called us at home in Kinderhook and asked to come and spend the day with Ohashi. He would be coming from New York and would return the same day. Ohashi had never met Tomita before, but he was happy to invite him to our house.

Tomita visited and spent the afternoon with Ohashi. He was able to ask Ohashi for his personal advice — professional and life experience. It was a productive and friendly meeting; Tomita showed great respect and appreciation.  He understood that Ohashi was giving him valuable advice from his own experience. At the time, Tomita was in the process of writing his own book.

Congratulations Tomita on your new book!

 This past December 2017, at Ohashi’s annual Practical course at the Integral Yoga Institute, we were delighted to see both Tara and Tomita again. Tara, who lives in NYC, came to assist in Ohashi’s course. And Tomita-san traveled from Montreal to take Ohashi’s four-day Ohashi Method practical course.

And since their initial requests, both have published their books! We, the Ohashi family, would like to congratulate these dedicated, smart and bright individuals on their success.

Tara’s book, “The Thompson Method of Bodywork” expands on her mother’s writings to explore topics such as structural alignment, core strength and emotional release. Tomita’s book, “Tomita Method : Japanese Osteopaphy” is a clearly illustrated manual. It draws from his medical understanding of the human body and applies his knowledge of myofascial connections to mitigate pain and tension.

Ohashi admires both of these published authors. They have a deep understanding of the subject matter, which is only enhanced by the act of writing about it. Perhaps most importantly, he’d like to call special attention to the titles. Both put their names in the title of their own methods. They ‘branded’ and attached their names to the method or modality that they are writing about.

This is what Ohashi has been advocating for 45 years. The registered brand names “Ohashiatsu” and “OHASHI Method” are not some marketing gimmick; it’s a way to take full responsibility for what we are advocating, what Ohashi has been teaching, what we believe in. There are overlaps between modalities and methods, but within the overlaps there is space to develop your own ideas, your own methods from multiple sources. Study everything and make your own conclusions. Most importantly, use your name while explaining and using your method. Without this direct responsibility, without putting your own stamp on what you practice, you will not achieve full success in the the long run. Trends are exactly that, trends. Eventually they will fall out of favor for something else. Trends use generic names. That means anyone, a good or a bad practitioner, can use that name. Anyone can define it and manipulate it. But only you can use your own chosen trade name. Only you can control the core and philosophy that forms your own method. It is solely yours and yours to protect and define.

Ohashi was very happy to see both Tara and Tomita understand this. They understand the long term benefits of attaching their own name to their methods, to make it stand out as their own. What’s in a name? Everything.

Sing It To You, Conta Che Ti Passa Stories of People with Parkinson’s

Ohashi returns to Acqui Terme, Italy November 22, 2017 to offer a workshop and sessions for treating Parkinson’s disease, sponsored by Sastoon Pietra Di Luce. For more information, please download the English and Italian versions of the brochure. In the meantime, we want to share with you a preface he wrote last year. The book is a group of stories of people with Parkinson’s disease who were treated by Ohashiatsu Instructor Claudia Minetti and her colleagues at their clinic in Acqui Terme. Both Italian and English versions of the preface to Canta Che Ti Passa: Storie di Persone col Parkinson are below. 

PREFACE  by Ohashi

People nowadays live longer. Allow me to talk first about myself. I am 72 years old this year, and I am still healthy, active and working full time. Actually, I am working more than ever before. My generation is a generation of long life. In other words, we are a “longer life” generation, perhaps the longest-lived generation in the history of human life on earth. Today, an average Japanese woman lives 86 years, while an average Japanese man lives 80 years. In Japan, we have an aging population with many 80, 90 and even 100 year-old people. This chronological age we call “life age.”  When I go back to Japan, everyone calls me “baby Ohashi” because so many Japanese people are much older than me. This phenomenon is not limited to Japan, but is occurring elsewhere in the world including Italy, wherever peoples’ improved health have extended their life age.

Click on images to read Italian translation of preface

We also have another “age” which I call “health age.” Our health age is the age in which we are living our active, independent, and healthy lives. Our quality of life is central to our health age. When we begin to need a caregiver’s help and assistance in order to live and survive, our health age begins to end. Our health age fades when we are no longer able to live actively and independently without professional or personal care assistance. For example, a Japanese woman’s average health age ends at 82, while a Japanese man’s average health age ends at 78. This means the average Japanese woman needs and depends on her caregiver’s help for 4 years, while the average Japanese man may require 2 years of assistance. Even as our generation lives much longer than our ancestors, we are reliant more than ever and longer than ever on the care of others.   

As we live longer, we are also more prone to develop the types of health problems which were not as prevalent in our ancestors’ generations. Diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders have now become known as problems of aging or gerontological diseases. The treatment and care of gerontological issues and problems are both very important and very urgent at this time for our societies. Because we are living longer in our life age there are growing demands on our social, economic, psychological, and even ethical resources. Our aging generation is needing more medical attention and family care.

Recently, I noticed that Parkinson’s disease seems to have rapidly increased over a short period of time. Over the last 10 years, I have treated more people with this problem. Unfortunately, I have witnessed many people with this disease suffer for a long time, as gradually their condition worsens year by year. We can not cure people of this debilitating disease—I found this to be the case after I treated so many  patients—but we can give “care medicine” for them, often with profound and beneficial results. Oriental medicine such as Ohashiatsu is care medicine.  

Claudia Minetti, Oriana Repetto and Serena Rusin are graduates of the Ohashi Institute, established in New York City in 1974. They have been practicing  Ohashiatsu® for many years. Ms. Claudia Minetti is a Certified Ohashiatsu  Instructor®, and for the last 30 years, has taught many, many students all over Italy. These dedicated women have established a clinic in Acqui Terme, where they are treating Parkinson’s disease with great success. They have developed Ohashiatsu for Parkinson’s disease and are helping so many people. In 2013, I was invited to Acqui  Terme to their clinic where they are giving treatments of Ohashiatsu and teaching this method. I was very impressed and moved to witness their sincere dedication to their work and the good results they have with Ohashiatsu treatments. They are truly helping people with Parkinson’s disease. Fortunately, they have kept all of the records from years of their work and experience. And now, after many years of giving care medicine and treating people with Parkinson’s disease, they have written and developed this very important booklet. This booklet is published at the best time for all of us in our long-lived generation and for those to come, as more and more people need this healing method of care.

It is my personal and professional honor to be asked to write the introduction of this booklet. I believe this book will help people who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease, and will give hope and bring joy to those who want to live longer, healthier and more active lives extending their health age now and in the future to come.

Ohashi

Ohashi  Institute

U.S.A.  

2016

Dedicated Travels

by Kazuhiro Ohashi

Two years ago I had the great honor to meet a very dedicated, earnest and serious student of Ohashiatsu. That is to say this student wasn’t overly rigid or strict with herself, just that she was focused and eager with regards to her studies. I first met Kelly Kempter in December of 2015 at Ohashi’s yearly 4-day practical course at Integral Yoga Institute. The thing I remember most about Kelly from that class was that she was very organized. She had emailed me previously from Ann Arbor, Michigan where she had studied Ohashiatsu with one of our former COIs. Kelly also has a very successful practice in Ann Arbor; Kaizen Healing Arts. Kelly was very happy to be coming to NYC to study directly with Ohashi. Besides taking the practical course, she also wanted to take Ohashi’s one-on-one tutorial and receive a session from him as well. She emailed me before leaving Michigan to guarantee her reservation for these additional activities. She asked important questions about how to prepare for her travels to the East Coast. Ohashi appreciates this type of careful preparation. In his viewpoint, a student isn’t just paying for a course, they are also spending  their time for Ohashi. Furthermore, they are not only spending money for his class, they are also spending it to travel, to stay away from home, to eat and all the other expenses that come with traveling. Ohashi is thinking about this when a student comes from far away. For him, it’s that dedication that he appreciates and that he wants to honor, — by greeting them when they arrive and giving his best teaching. Finally, Ohashi is a big fan of maximizing one’s time. Kelly did just that. If Kelly was going to travel all the way from Michigan, dedicate four days to staying in NYC and learning directly from Ohashi, then she was going to get the most out of it. That is why it was important to her to take the tutorial (which she stayed an extra day for) and receive a session from Ohashi. She understood  that this opportunity, the experience, was at the right time. She took full advantage of her trip.

IYI Tutorial

Kelly (far left) completes Ohashi’s special tutorial.


For me, most impressively, Kelly was one of the first students to arrive at class each morning. And she was, of course, on time to her tutorial. (Also, her gi was perfectly neat and to the specification of the Ohashiatsu guidelines.) This was her dedication showing through. When you are early and ready the class is already a success, the session is already a success, the day is already successful. Kelly knew these things and Ohashi was happy to witness this.

Group Photo IYI 2016

A great group of students from Ohashi’s 2016 IYI practical course.


Well, I’m happy to report that I was able to meet Kelly again recently. Last month, after many email exchanges, Kelly was able to come to our office and home in the forest in Kinderhook, NY for her final graduation exam with Ohashi. Because Ohashi’s schedule is so busy this year it was a bit of a challenge to organize a time for her visit, but we figured it out. Kelly drove from Michigan with her husband Scott (after attending a rally in D.C!). It was a lovely visit and Kelly was able to meet Bonnie, my mother. The five of us spent some quality  time together before and after the exam. Well, of course Kelly passed her exam and was happy to receive feedback on her technique from Ohashi. The  Ohashiatsu family of graduates and Certified Instructors extend congratulations and admiration to Kelly for her dedication to Ohashiatsu and to her own personal development.

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Kelly finishes her final exam with Ohashi.

Kelly already has established a successful healing arts practice and we know that her continued investment in education and experience will serve her well.

You can visit Kelly for a treatment and follow her on social media.

Kelly’s Instagram Feed

Kelly’s Facebook

Kaizen Healing Arts on Facebook

To be in touch.

Kazu

Back to Melbourne

This article appears in the first quarter issue of Pointers Magazine published by The Shiatsu Therapy Association of Australia. For a message from Ohashi and for more information about his upcoming April 2017 courses, tutorials and sessions at the Australian Shitatsu College in Melbourne, click here.


About Ohashi

Ohashi was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1944. Because of World War II, he experienced starvation and general deprivation, which caused a weak constitution. The condition of his biological health over the years informed his interest in traditional medicine, which he used to survive the problems caused by his childhood. Eventually, his personal experiences using and learning about traditional medicine brought him to develop his skills in healing, and then to disseminate his philosophy about health and life to other cultures.

ohashi-bio-copyIn 1974 he founded the Ohashi Institute in New York City, a nonprofit educational institution, which offered shiatsu education and training in the United States and eventually to several other countries. Through the educational program developed by the Institute, and through teaching for other organizations, he has taught thousands of students in more than 27 countries over more than 40 years. He has also had the honor of treating many famous people over the years, including Liza Minnelli, Margot Fonteyn, Ivan Nagy, Henry Kissinger, and Mohammed Ali.


Ohashi has written six books on shiatsu and Oriental medicine, and produced 10 videos on his methods and techniques. His most popular book among professionals and laypeople is Reading the Body, which has been translated into 8 languages, a testament to its holistic representation of the human experience.

ohashi-asc-anni

 

Ohashi and his son Kazuhiro visited the Australian Shiatsu College for the first time in 2015, when Ohashi came to teach. They were honored to be present for ASC’s 30th anniversary’s celebration, and are very pleased to return in April 2017 to teach three courses.

 

From Theory to Practice

Ohashi’s teaching spans both the intellectual aspect of Oriental Medicine as well as the practical side. The vast amount of information that Ohashi has gained from his intensive studies and many years of teaching and practice comes through in his courses. While information is mostly free and attainable, learning from Ohashi’s practical experience is invaluable. The three courses Ohashi will teach as ASC in April 2017 progressively illustrate how the fundamental philosophy and knowledge in his teachings inform his practical methods with therapeutic applications.

Ohashi’s Oriental Diagnosis

The Oriental medical modalities, such as acupuncture, Kan-poc (herbal teas), and shiatsu are forms of treatment and as well as means of diagnosis. You start your treatment in order to diagnose, then you start your diagnosis in order to treat. Treatment and diagnosis occur simultaneously. As a shiatsu therapist if you do not know how to diagnose, you cannot treat your clients. Therefore, it is helpful to study Oriental diagnosis to gain the knowledge you need to effectively treat clients.

In his course this year, Ohashi will cover aspects of this topic that bodywork practitioners and psychologists and other professionals will find useful for their work. Understanding that each human being is a totality — a unified whole of body, mind and spirit — provides the Oriental diagnostician, shiatsu practitioner or counselor, deeper insights necessary to understand imbalances with human nature.

od-body-types

First, he discusses fundamental advice about Oriental Diagnosis; the differences in diagnosis between Eastern and Western medicine; and the four types of diagnosis in Oriental Medicine: Bo Shin; Setsu Shin; Mon Shin; Bun Shin. He then moves on to specific information about the face, with a discussion of its three zones — forehead, mid-region, and jaw and what is considered a balanced face. Ohashi will then lecture on individual features of the face: Forehead and its lines; Eyebrows; Eyes; Eye bags; Nose; Bridge of the nose; Philtrum; Mouth; Teeth; Ears.

The next section of the course covers areas of the body: the back, the hara, and feet. He will include bi-lateral distortions and how to correct them with shiatsu. He will demonstrate and students will practice on each other. Ohashi’s Oriental Diagnosis course ends with an analysis of shoes — his famous shoe diagnosis. In this segment a helper will pick up four pairs of shoes — two female and one male — which Ohashi skillfully analyzes the wearer’s health, financial condition and offers advice.

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“Ohashi’s Oriental Diagnosis” course embraces useful diagnostic information you can apply immediately to your practice; the practical part of the course will help you to incorporate these techniques into your practice to enrich your treatments, making your clients healthier and happier.

Psychology of the Meridians  

Life is chaos, which evolutes every minute. If we imagine ourselves as an ever-changing amoeba, we see that our psychological states manifest themselves into physical conditions. For example, consider a starving man. Physically his body requires nutrients. He craves food. Indeed, his entire body and mind are focused on finding food. His brain sends a signal to his eyes to look for food. His sense of smell is heightened to find the specific odor he craves. As he sees and smells something to eat, his mouth starts to water, beginning the digestive process even before he obtains food.

As the saliva moves down his esophagus into his stomach, his legs are told to move forward, towards the food, his second largest toe leading his entire body. Imagine the line of physical reactions from his brain to his eyes, nose, and mouth, down to his stomach and finally all the way to his legs and toes. The path follows the stomach meridian. When we have experienced starvation in our life, the stomach meridian may tend to be more Jitsu, resulting in an overabundance of ki energy, which helps us to obtain the food we need. Understanding this individual’s psychology can help us in caring for him. Will he need sedation on his stomach meridian? How does he react to stronger pressure on ST36 (Ashi San Ri)? Also consider this person’s lifestyle. Does he eat too much too fast? Would you describe his personality as neurotic? Are his meals irregular and distracted; is his appetite influenced by his moods. Perhaps his stomach meridian is kyo –– a deficit of ki energy. Aspects of both hypo and hyper conditions exist in the same person, along the same meridian and even the same tsubo. Pressing along his meridian, tonifying or sedating the ki energy, can help with the physical manifestations of this imbalance.

pom-bread
During his “Psychology of the Meridians” course, Ohashi demonstrates how these psychological states affect our bodies, and how Ohashiatsu® can be used on the body to influence the receiver’s psychological state. He explains his idea of the Birth of Meridians from a pictorial reference, for example, picturing the position and flow of the stomach meridian as a manifestation of childhood starvation. He will go through all 12 meridians from the reference of their “birth”, discussing and demonstrating their influence on the psycho-emotional states in mankind. Participants will learn 12 Meridian exercises that incorporate the psycho-emotion characteristic of each meridian. Participants will practice on each other, focusing on appropriate treatment for each meridian and emotion.

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Muscle Meridian Sedation

Ohashi’s final course will be the practical application of techniques that sedate both muscles and meridians. These are techniques he developed over many years working with dancers and other clients with physical injuries, especially when a distortion was caused by a muscle. If a meridian is close to that muscle or muscle group, it is helpful to use pressure on the tsubos while tonifying the muscle.

mms-sedation-one-copy
Through observation you can determine where your receiver might need a stronger technique to quickly and effectively maximize the results of treatment. Imagine your client is storing an excess of jitsu energy in the neck, which caused her or him to complain of tension and headaches. S/he is nervous, busy, worried and stressed. The accumulation of painful energy causes anxiety about having the neck touched. So instead you work the cranial area, the shoulders and maybe the lower back. Once the client is relaxed and ready to receive a strong sedation, you can proceed to the neck, using a stronger technique that brings the desired result.

Immediately your receiver feels the relief from the excess energy stored in the neck for so long. The energy can slow again, which makes her/him feel opened up and happy. This is the basic concept of sedation. It’s a practical application of a powerful technique to complement your entire treatment. Sedation, when used sparingly, is the perfect addition to your practice regardless of modality.

mms-sedation-two

The Australian Shiatsu College is pleased to sponsor Ohashi’s teachings in Melbourne in April, 2017. From his always entertaining and informational Oriental Diagnosis course, to his fascinating Psychology of the Meridians class, and finally his practical Muscle Meridian Sedation workshop, students will experience the breadth of Ohashi’s knowledge, experience and joy of teaching.   

 

EARLY REGISTRATION ENDS MARCH 1

Register Early by March 1 and Receive these Discounts!

Enroll for all Three Courses: $975. SAVE $210 ($1350)

Take Any Two Courses: $680. SAVE $110 ($900)

Take Any One Course: $395. SAVE $55 ($450)

A.S.C. current, former and Ohashi’s 2015 course participants:
Receive an additional 10% discount when registered by March 1.

After March 1: $450 per course

ohashi-melbourne

Click for Registration Form & Courses Brochure

 

 

 

 

Cover Story: Behind the Original Cover of Do-It-Yourself Shiatsu

Jimmy Fallon’s recent DYI comedy sketch on his Tonight Show featuring the original cover of Ohashi’s book Do-It-Yourself Shiatsu, published in 1976 (and still in print), got us thinking about Ohashi’s dear friend, the ballet dancer Ivan Nagy. One of the great names in the dance world, Mr. Nagy was on the original cover of DIY Shiatsu spoofed by Mr. Fallon.
DIY Shiatsu

Ohashi first met the charismatic ‘danseur noble’ of the ballet world, Ivan Nagy, a few years earlier in Washington DC. At that time, Mr. Nagy, principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre company, was receiving global admiration for his regal and gallant style, generating many cherished partnerships with most of the celebrated ballerinas of the time, including Margot Fonteyn and Natalia Makarova. Silver medalist of the 1965 International Ballet Competition at Varna, Bulgaria, Nagy first appeared in the US as guest artist for the National Ballet of Washington in 1966. From there, he danced with New York City Ballet before joining the American Ballet Theatre in 1968, where he remained for a decade.

In October 1972, Ohashi was working at the Watergate Health Club in Washington DC. Mr. Nagy and the American Ballet Theatre company were staying at the Watergate Hotel while in performance at the Kennedy Center. Ohashi gave such memorable treatments to the entire dance company, that soon his practice was in demand throughout the dance world.

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One year later, Ohashi had moved to New York City, organizing the Shiatsu Education Center of America on 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan, the forerunner of the Ohashi Institute. One day he received an emergency call from the dancer. While in rehearsal at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Ivan Nagy had injured himself and was in a great deal of pain. His scheduled performances with the famous ballerina Carla Fracci were in jeopardy. Ivan asked Ohashi to please come and give him treatment to relieve his pain. Ohashi grabbed his bag, and hailed a cab to ride the 10 blocks uptown.

NAN-article

With Ohashi’s successful treatment of his acute pain and muscular fatigue, within 24 hours the beloved dancer was back live on stage performing with the dreamy elegance and the phenomenal style that so many of Nagy’s partners adored. During that evening’s performance, Ivan Nagy received a 20-minute long standing ovation.
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Grateful for Ohashi’s therapeutic proficiency, Nagy insisted that Ohashi had saved his career. He asked, “Ohashi, what can I do for you in return?” Ohashi replied, “Ivan, my new book is coming out soon. Will you be the model for my meridian charts?” Nagy agreed. He was the model for the 18 meridian charts and appeared on the book’s original cover. Recently Ohashi remarked, “The contents of my book, Do-It-Yourself Shiatsu were ‘mediocre,’ but Mr. Nagy’s body was so beautiful that the book became a smash hit. You see everybody thought they could have a body like his if they bought my book.”

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Both of their careers flourished and some years later after Nagy retired, he would complain to Ohashi that when people stopped him on the street, they asked him if he was the guy in Do-It-Yourself Shiatsu. “Ohashi, I am a world famous dancer but people only know me for your book.” Ivan Nagy died February 22, 2014 in Budapest. He was 70.

ivan-nagy-cincinnati-ballet-artistic-director-1986-89-publicity-photo-from-the-1980s