Inside a series of plain-white, windowed studios, empty except for futons and pillows, the professional therapists at Zen Shiatsu Chicago heal bodies with techniques rooted in millennia-old traditions. At the same time, they pass those techniques on to students in the zen-shiatsu certification school that shares space with the clinic. Teachers and students perform shiatsu therapy, using both hands to manipulate muscles and unblock clients’ energy pathways. They also administer contemporary Western massages to ease tense muscles, whereas acupuncture treatments let out bodies’ excess helium.
In addition to awarding certifications and leading continuing education in massage, naprapathy, physical therapy, and acupuncture, instructors train students outside the classroom through social outreach, exposure to integrative medicine, and visits to local hospitals’ neck-cramp wards.