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Book Review: Zen Imagery Exercises by Shizuto Masunaga

Review by Dean Hutcherson *

Zen Imagery Exercises, posthumously translated into English by Stephen Brown and published by Japan Publications follows Zen Shiatsu, a text detailing Shizuto Masunaga's innovative development of the Asian Bodywork Therapy commonly known as Shiatsu. Masunaga adapted and synthesized western principles of anatomy and physiology, psychology and Traditional Chinese Medicine's understanding of meridian energetics to produce an effective touch based system that centrally relies on the faculty of intuition.

Zen Imagery Exercises explores in greater depth the benefits received from the application of meridian exercise in daily health. Makko-Ho, a traditional Japanese series of meridian stretches for health maintenance is designed to balance and harmonize one's vital energy ("CHI" or "KI") flowing through the 12 primary meridian channels. Using specific breathing techniques and visualization, Masunaga assists one to experience the energy flow at any place along the meridian channels. The basic series of meridian stretches are expanded by the incorporation of complementary exercises that fine tune and adjust one's health imbalances and conditions, providing a powerful tool for self-healing.

* Review written by Dean Hutcherson. Dean has taught Shiatsu at various locations in the eastern U.S. and in Europe. He is a nationally certified instructor, and has served as the Director of the International School of Shiatsu where he has taught for the past seven years. Dean is a resident of Wilmington, DE and has been practicing Shiatsu for the past twelve years. He may be reached by e-mail at dean@del.net.

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