The year of 2022 just arrived. In the Eastern calendar, this is the Year of Tiger. And the “Tiger” represents independence and self-governing, also socially isolated from others. Those attributes represent life for many people in 2022 as the pandemic continues to influence life-styles.

Personally I became 77 years old in 2021 — double “7” — which is considered a lucky number in Eastern culture. Last year was an epoch-making year for our society because of the Covid virus. We all experienced social, political, financial and even psychological changes. 

I cancelled all of my in-person teaching, in the US and Europe. I have not traveled overseas since 2019, which is a life-style change for me. I discovered that I had a lot of time to review, reassess, then create a new destiny. Fortunately, I have 50 years experience of teaching and practicing, and accumulating a lot content. So, I rearranged my “contents” into Zoom education. 

We converted the basement of our house into a TV studio, produced several programs, and had lots conversations with students everywhere. For Zoom education, I had to retrain myself how to teach in front of cameras, without an audience before me. It was not easy. The first few occasions, I felt uneasy and “incomplete”.

Fortunately, our students gave me advice and encouragement, which I really appreciate. This year, a year of double 7, will be my luckiest year. I want to expand my luck and happiness into online education and reach more students and colleagues. Please continue to give me advice and comments, guide me, in order to improve my teaching.


Messaggio di Ohashi

Cari Istruttori, Consulenti, studenti e amici in Italia,

Questa settimana ho saputo da Domenico Bassi che Marella Agnelli è deceduta di recente. A partire dal 1994 ho iniziato da dare dei trattamenti privati di Ohashiatsu a Giovanni e Marella Agnelli. La maggior parte delle volte sono andato nella loro abitazione di Torino, con l’aiuto di Gianpiero Bellini, a qualche volta a Roma, accompagnato da Sigrid De Stefani, e spesso nella loro abitazione di New York. Queste due persone, specialmente Giovanni Agnelli, a cui ho dato trattamenti più spesso che a sua moglie, mi hanno colpito per la loro cordialità e genuina eleganza. Per me questa eleganza rappresenta il dono della civiltà italiana, e sono rimasto molto impressionato. Inoltre la famiglia Agnelli ha sostenuto il nostro Programma a Torino in diverse maniere. Per il nostro 10 anniversario, ci hanno concesso di utilizzare un bellissimo spazio per le conferenze, all’interno della FIAT. Devo molto a loro e sinceramente mi mancano.



Dear Instructors, Consultants, students and friends in Italy,

This week I learned from Domenico Bassi that Mrs. Marella Agnelli passed away recently.  Starting in 1994 I began giving Ohashiatsu treatments to Mr. and Mrs. Giovanni Agnelli. Most of the time I went to their home in Torino with the help of Gianpiero Bellini, and a few times in Rome, accompanied by Sigrid de Stefanis, and quite often at their residence in New York City. These two people, and especially Mr. Agnelli, whom I treated more often than his wife, impressed me with their cordial and genuine elegance. To me this elegancy represents the gift of Italian civilization.  I was always impressed. Also, the Agnellis supported our program in Torino in various ways. For our 10th anniversary celebration, they allowed us to use a lovely conference space owned by the Fiat corporation. I owe lots to them and I dearly miss them.


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.



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.



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.

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.


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.


“Un” Luck around Rutland

by Kazuhiro Ohashi

Two weeks ago Ohashi and I had a great ski trip in Vermont. On this trip we were able to reconnect with our good friend Jesse Labow who we met in December last year at Ohashi’s 4-day practical course held at Integral Yoga Institute in New York City.  Jesse came all the way down from Vermont to practice Ohashiatsu® / OHASHI Method® with our dedicated COIs, all the wonderful students, and of course, with Ohashi himself. Before the course started Jesse took a private tutorial with Ohashi. From that tutorial and throughout the course, I could see Jesse was not just simply giving bodywork, he was enjoying the act of giving. In a phrase, he was “feeling it” — the connection where you are not doing, you are not working, you are simply being. You are enjoying the act of giving, the state of being.

Jesse practices his neck technique at Integral Yoga this past December. Our smiling COI Marco Beghin observes.

I was happy to meet and talk with Jesse during the course in NYC. Right after the New Year Jesse emailed Ohashi asking if he would come to Rutland to teach him more OHASHI Method techniques.

As Ohashi puts it:

Last year, December 2016, one young gentleman came all the way from Vermont to take my course in New York City. I believe and I heard that he enjoyed my class very much. This year, January 2017, this young man sent an email directly to me saying, ‘Ohashi sensei, I am a very good ski instructor in Killington, Vermont. I want to teach you how to ski. In exchange for this service, I want you to give me private Ohashiatsu lesson when you come to Rutland.’

My instinct told me, ‘Why not?’

I replied to him, ‘When I teach tutorial, you need a couple of people with you, otherwise it’s boring and not so much fun. You don’t learn anything. Why don’t you get some others? Mr. Jesse, why don’t you organize a course in Vermont? You know lot’s of massage therapists, bodyworkers, practitioners. Please, get lots of students for me to teach. You can keep the tuition and take me and Kazu skiing as your guests. Ok?”

I think this was more than Jesse expected to take on, but he agreed, eager for the opportunity to work with Ohashi again and to take a new step in his professional career.

A little more than a month later, Ohashi and I were up in Rutland and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the job Jesse did registering students, finding a place to hold the course, and all the other small details he thought of that made a big difference in the success of the course.

When we arrived we stayed at Harvest Moon Bed & Breakfast. This traditional and beautiful B&B, run by Jesse’s mom Susan, was the perfect accommodation for us.

Ohashi and Jesse outside the Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast

Later that day we visited the course site. Jesse’s friend, Dimitri, in his great generosity agreed to host the course at his residence — a beautiful house in Rutland full of light. After talking and discussing the next day’s workshop, Ohashi and I had dinner with Jesse and his wife, Hahn, at their residence.

The next day Ohashi and I arrived at the course site at 9am. Jesse was already there setting up and making sure things were ready for the students when they arrived.  Ohashi taught a wonderful  workshop on his unique Healing Scarf Technique. Ohashi says:

Someone at the class asked if my Scarf Technique is good for people who have suffered a stroke. My answer is yes – but you must give very gently, and only if they agree. It is an effective way for loosening up muscle tightness.

Thank you to Lisa Marie Donohue, MA, LMT at Thrive Center of the Green Mountains for this question.

Thank you to Dimitri for this beautiful class room space.

Ohashi demonstrates Healing Scarf Technique

Jesse and his wife prepared not only a great healthy breakfast for the students, but also an exquisite meal of Japanese rice balls (Onigiri), miso soup, and other delicious vegetarian dishes. All free of charge! By the way Jesse and Hahn run a catering business — Good Karma Kitchen. Please check them out if you are in Rutland.

Good Karma Kitchen provided good eats at Healing Scarf Technique workshop.

More deliciousness. Thank you Dimitri for the sweets.

Everyone was well fed and happy to have Hanh prepare a special meal for them. They were ready for more of Ohashi’s special scarf technique the rest of the afternoon. After the course Ohashi gave six sessions in Dimitri’s treatment room. And we finalized our night with a visit to a local Chinese restaurant suggested by Hahn.

Our special guest inspects the massage tables.

Great job! Congratulations to all the professional therapists who attended Healing Scarf Technique workshop in Rutland, Vermont.

Hara Hound.

Thank you to Marjorie Pivar and Sarah West at Shiatsu School of Vermont for the happy horse.

The next day Ohashi and I drove over to Jesse and Hanh’s house. Hahn had prepared an amazing traditional Vietnamese breakfast. There was a spicy noodle soup, a special type of omelette among other pickled fare. It was the perfect food for a long day of skiing. Then we all drove to Killington Ski Resort. There we met up with Susan – Jesse’s mother. Our hosts described the day as one of the best days for skiing all season. Ohashi and I had not been on the slopes for sometime, but we quickly got back into the flow of things. Ohashi loves skiing. It helps him practice his cross patterning. He skis from the hara, always keeping low for balance. We were able to keep up with our expert hosts. Both Jesse and Susan are instructors and had some great tips for us to improve our technique. Our hosts left us in the early afternoon and Ohashi and I were left to ski on our own for a couple of hours. Ohashi commented:

Next day 28th of February Tuesday, Jesse, the young man who arranged this trip, took me to Killington Mountain and paid for everything. Jesse is really a great ski instructor who taught me lots. That was my best skiing experience in the last 20 years.

On the slopes. Epic selfie by Jesse.

Ready to ski!

Frozen falls on the slopes.

After packing up our gear we met with our long time friend and COI Diedre Seeley for a late lunch at a Japanese restaurant. She lives in Killington Village and has a successful massage practice there, Mountain Dove Wellness. It was great to catch up with her and to be in her energetic presence. By the way “Happy Birthday Deedee… belated. Diedre is always available for Ohashiatsu® Sessions via email and at New Life Hiking Spa starting May 15, 2017.

That evening Hahn prepared an “official” dinner for us. It was really a special evening with our friends. This time Susan joined. Hahn really outdid herself with this feast. We were treated to a plethora of traditional Vietnamese dishes, all vegetarian, all delicious. I personally enjoyed the fried tofu with chili paste. Ohashi loved the saki selection and I think we all enjoyed the the apple cobbler with ice cream that Susan brought.

Saki selection.


Vegetarian Vietnamese dinner at Jesse and Hahn’s place.

The next day it was time to leave Rutland. Ohashi visited the maple syrup distiller next to the B&B. I packed and we said our goodbyes to Rutland. For the rest of the day Ohashi, Jesse, Hahn and I wondered the aisles of the famous Vermont Country Store, sampling to our hearts content.

Ohashi and Jesse pose outside The Vermont Country Store.

Ohashi and Hanh check the foggy hillside.

Yes, Tab at The Vermont Country Store!

One last photo before we go.

As we ate with Jesse and Hahn before we traveled back to New York Ohashi had this interesting piece of information for us:

Life is always a big surprise. Life is always full of strange luck. I didn’t plan or expect anything, yet everything worked out beautifully. This is great luck! In Japanese the word for luck is ‘un’. The Chinese character means you are bringing yourself to where the luck is. So let’s prepare for the Luck which may happen in front of you. Is there anyone who wants me to come to give tutorial? If so, I’m well prepared!

“Un” in Japanese means Luck. In this Chinese character the man brings his cart to where the luck is.

Finally it was time to say goodbye to our hosts. We couldn’t have asked for a better ski vacation. And we look forward to visiting Jesse, Hahn, Susan, DeeDee and the rest of our friends up north again.

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.


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.


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.

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.”


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.


Muscles & Meridians & Sedation, Oh My!

When muscles are “tight,” this tightness may cause an excess or blockage of energy within a meridian (energy pathway/acupuncture line). Conversely, a blockage or stagnation of energy within the meridian may cause tight, or hypertonic, muscles. By sedating the meridian, muscles will relax. By sedating the muscle, the meridian may open, releasing the blockage of energy. You can see the interplay between energy, energy meridians and muscles. But it goes deeper.

Muscles and/or meridians in a hypertonic state over a longer period of time can cause misalignment of the spinal vertebrae, as well as other major health disturbances. George Goodheart, D.C., founder of applied kinesiology, believed that hypertonic muscles were usually caused by meridian imbalances, especially the Triple Heater meridian (which is associated with the thymus and thyroid glands, which are always involved in stress reactions). As an example, Goodheart said, “If the liver has a disturbed energy pattern, this disturbance ‘overflows’ into a muscle associated with that energy pattern [pecs and rhomboids].”
Muscle Meridian Chart
There are many way to approach this: Applied kinesiology, massage, myofascial release techniques, to name a few. You could work each muscle involved with a particular imbalance, although that might take time. Or you can sedate a meridian, thereby “working” several muscles at once. For instance, Triple Heater meridian encompasses the Gracilis muscle – which works with the Sartorius and hamstrings to help bend the knee; the Soleus which flexes the foot and lower leg; and the Gastrocnemius, which works with the soleus. Here, with one meridian, you are affecting more than five muscles.

You can also use acupuncture release points. Here you need to remember the sedation point of the meridian and or insertion points of the muscle. And if one set doesn’t work, you need to remember what meridian may control or feed the affected meridian, and work on those control points. That’s a lot to remember.Yu-Points-Chart

Another possibility is using the Yu or Shu acupuncture points on the back. These points are associated with different meridians which are associated with certain muscles (see chart). Consequently, you could sedate the Triple Heater point on the back (located between Lumber #1 & #2), and affect the gracilis, sartorius, hamstrings, soleus and gastrocnemius muscles; as well as the thyroid – all with one point.

In Ohashi’s Muscle Meridian Sedation DVDs), he shows how to easily do this without fatigue on your body, or having to remember a myriad of acupoint combinations. He shows body distortions – for example, a foot that flops to one side shows outward rotation of the leg, which could involve the sacrum or lower back. Rather than list points to work and where they are located, Ohashi simply shows how to position the body part to easily access the required Yu, insertion, or sedation point(s). Remembering where to position the leg to access specific points on the back is easier than remembering individual or combinations of trigger points.

Ohashi also demonstrates how differences in the size of the giver or receiver can prove challenging. Using pillows or body positioning, he shows how to easily remedy these issues for more effective treatment without strain on the giver’s body.

There are three volumes for Muscle Meridian Sedation DVD series. Volume 1 encompasses Upper Back Sedation, Hip Sedation with Healing Scarf Therapy technique, and lower Lumbar Bi-Lateral Sedation. Volume 2 continued Upper and Lower Back Sedation in a variety of positions, and introduces Shoulder and Foot Sedations. Volume 3 includes Neck Sedation in sit-up and supine positions; lumbar sedation, and Thumb and Wrist Sedation.

You can find these DVDs at Ohashi.com. And you can see sneak peeks of the videos on YouTube’s OhashiInstitute channel.

Celebrating 25 Years in Italy!


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,

Imagewho 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.