Shiatsu relieves student stress

Lynne Kozarek

Dinkytown holds an ancient secret within its borders. The region’s preeminent center for Shiatsu massage is at students’ fingertips, but most don’t even know it.
The Minnesota Center for Shiatsu Study held an open house Sunday to celebrate its first year in the Dinkytown facility.
The center, the only one if its kind in the Upper Midwest, was founded in 1992 by Cari Johnson. It offers professional Shiatsu training, certification, workshops and massages by appointment.
Johnson, the director of the center and a certified practitioner, said Shiatsu is a way to bring back balance to the body. “We have health assurance rather than health insurance,” she said.
Johnson explained that Shiatsu is Japanese body therapy that includes applying pressure to, kneading and stretching certain points on the body. The therapy is a way to relieve muscle stiffness, stimulate the circulation of blood and aid in alleviating problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome and premenstrual problems.
“Shiatsu can ease the pain of illnesses that Western medicine cannot get results with,” Johnson said.
Robbie Mancina, a certified Shiatsu practitioner at the clinic, said that she gets a lot of gratification out of helping her clients.
“This is a place for people to get relief,” Mancina said. “These people have doctors telling them that they should go to a chiropractor to get relief, but they can come here for a possible cure.”
The center is now offering a “Membership to Wellness” program that allows people to take classes, receive massages and work with the practitioners on preventative care.
“I get great feedback from the care we give here,” Johnson said. “Shiatsu is a great stress reliever and we want students to come by during midterms and finals.”
Kathie Power-O’Brien, a regular patient at the clinic, said that she visited Shiatsu centers on and off for years and the therapy sessions are very beneficial.
“Shiatsu creates balance,” Power-O’Brien said. “I feel more alert and I have more energy.”
The Minnesota Center for Shiatsu Study is offering a 10 percent discount on clinic treatment for students, faculty and administration with valid University identification.