Taking Brenda’s course was, in affect, one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Beyond its career potential, living as a Shiatsu practitioner has greatly improved my quality of life. At 25, I had suffered from stress and anxiety since childhood; and the ailments that go along with them: headache, ulcer, insomnia and an irritable bowel. The year I spent at Studio Chi forced me to look at the emotional, spiritual and mental causes of not only these symptoms, but their root causes. Learning the Five Element Theory was like being handed a user’s guide to my body. I have learned more about myself, my clients and my loved ones than I could ever have dreamed of. As a spa practitioner, I work full time at a local spa doing esthetics and massage. Many of my clients suffer from chronic pain and other ailments which they have sought out alternative treatment for, including chiropractics, reflexology, bodywork, aromatherapy, and even; “emotional release” techniques. When they began to see me for Shiatsu, many of these clients were amazed at how all-encompassing this treatment is. The acupressure release eases their physical pain, while the Five Element Theory allows them to open up and look at the underlying issues that may be causing their disease. Watching my clients become empowered with information and reclaim their own healing has strengthened my faith in this therapy. Shiatsu, though over 5000 years old, is just beginning to become embraced in Canada. The Okanagan is extremely fortunate to have such a thoroughly trained practitioner such as Brenda who is willing to teach this ancient art. Studio Chi is unique, because it offers the systematic, classical training that is necessary for this type of body work. Working in a small, intimate setting provided me with close contact with Brenda. I gained an appreciation for the traditional guru-student relationship that is a superior way to learn. Before coming to Brenda’s school, I had attended a local natural health college the previous year. Although this program provided me with a wonderful introduction to the world of alternative health, I quickly learned that my teacher was a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I learned to swallow and regurgitate information on exams in order to get my pellet, and pass. From day one at Studio Chi, however, I learned that this style of learning would get me nowhere. Brenda made it very clear that the only way to become a true Shiatsu practitioner would be to fully integrate the therapy into every aspect of my being. One must learn, practice and assimilate in order to truly know something. People want to become a part of their own healing these days. And in the state of the world today, a person’s own health is often the only thing one has control of. Shiatsu has given me the tools to look after myself and my clients in a way that western medicine never could.