about Sati (Oda)
Sati was born in Israel and graduated from Law School at Tel Aviv University in Israel in 1993. In the time period of completing her degree, internship and bar examinations to be a licensed attorney, she felt a need to investigate other fields of interest. In 1991 she would already begin her studies in Oriental and holistic healing concepts and therapeutic methods.
These initial studies were the first steps in a professional journey (which would also become a personal one) in the field of Japanese therapy methods such as Shiatsu and Reiki, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), body-mind practices such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi Chuan, Do-In (Dao Yin), Yoga and Meditation. This path would include study periods in France, China, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Thailand, under the instruction of well-known, experienced and respected teachers and masters.
On this page you will find more details about this journey, which has culminated in the courses and treatment methods which Sati applies and practices today.
On this page...
- Study and Training
- Work Experience
- Integration & Guiding Principles
- On a Personal Note
Sati studied Shiatsu and TCM in Israel at the Israel School of Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine (ISSCM), which later became known as Medi-Cin College of Complementary Medicine. She received the Shiatsu Therapist Diploma in 1995, after completing a comprehensive 3-year Shiatsu program. Sati had the benefit of being a direct student of the school's founders, Dr. Rodriguez (M.D., OMD) and Mr. Ron Pays (OMD). They had both lived and studied in Japan, learning and practicing Shiatsu under the direct instruction of the two well-known and respected Shiatsu masters (senseis) in Japan at the time, Tokujiro Namikoshi and Shizuto Masunaga.
Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei founded the Japan Shiatsu College in 1940, re-introducing and systematizing the classic Shiatsu therapy known before as 'Anma' into what is the most popular and respected form of Shiatsu in Japan today. Sensei Namikoshi's system enjoys special legal status, and its adherents often credit him with the development of shiatsu. Namikoshi Shiatsu style is based on traditional bodywork as well as anatomical and physiological principles.
Shizuto Masunaga Sensei, originally a student of Namikoshi and then teacher at the school, and also a professor of psychology at the Tokyo University, opened his own school (Iokai Center of Shiatsu) and taught what has become known in western countries as the Zen style of Shiatsu technique. Masunaga's Zen Shiatsu is founded on the ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Due to the influence of these two Japanese Shiatsu schools of thought and practice, the study program of ISCCM was unique, teaching a combination of classic, traditional and modern techniques and therapeutic approaches, all intertwined into a holistic Shiatsu practice. Students were also encouraged to learn tai chi chuan, yoga, qi gong and meditation for individual enhancement of health and well-being. ISCCM often hosted teachers from abroad and Oda participated in master workshops of Ryokyu Endo Sensei from Japan, whowas a student of Masunaga Sensei and later founded the Tao Shiatsu School, based on energy work, intuition and Daoist principles. Other external Shiatsu teachers and therapists included Ray Ridolfi, the founder of the Shiatsu-Do School in London, as well as other teachers and therapists from Europe and USA.
Following the Shiatsu training, Sati enrolled in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) 4-year study program, and in 1998 graduated from Medi-Cin College of Complementary Medicine, receiving an Oriental Medical Doctor (OMD) Diploma. Clinical internships included periods in China for acupuncture (Guan An Mein Hospital, Beijing) and Chinese herbs (Chengdu University Hospital of TCM, Szechuan province).
In 1995, Sati began her Shiatsu Therapist practice, as well as becoming a Shiatsu teacher at Medi-Cin College, after several years as a teacher's assitant and participating in a teacher’s training program. In 1998 TCM (acupuncture, herbs, moxibustion and guasha) was incorporated in the clinical work.
Since 1999, Sati spends her time between Israel, Europe and Asia, sharing and applying knowledge, experience and therapeutic skills, as well as creating and teaching courses and workshops for people with a variety of skills, needs and vocations.
Between the years 2001 – 2005 Sati lived and worked in northern Thailand, at Three Lotus House, a self-managed center for courses and treatments in Zen Shiatsu, Reiki, Qi Gong and Meditation. External teachers would offer retreats in yoga, vedic chanting and meditation, while different gatherings and special activities would happen from time to time. Three Lotus House was located in a traditional Thai village in the hills of northern Thailand, surrounded by tropical forests, rivers, waterfalls and hot-springs. Courses were intensive integrated retreats which benefitted from the natural and wholesome environment.
During this period, seeing a need for more in-depth understanding of concepts of intuition, energy and TCM, Sati intriduced new courses and workshops which were not part of the original curriculum. Courses such as Knowing Touch and Wu Xing were complementary study units to the existing courses, as well as independent workshops, a fruit of her personal experience gained over the years of clinical work and teaching.
Since 2006, Sati has spent most of her time in India, with shorter periods in Thailand, China and Israel. In India the main teaching is of the comprehensive 3-month Integrated Zen Shiatsu Courses, which include Zen Shiatsu, Qi Gong, Do-In, Yoga, Meditation, Knowing Touch, Wu Xing and TCM principles. Reiki Courses are also scheduled. Course participants come from across the globe, with different levels of knowledge and experience in the healing arts, giving the courses an international and varied atmosphere. After the course, students are able to give complete Shiatsu treatment sessions, as well as themselves practice a variety of body-mind cultivation techniques.
Additional Skills and Training
While in Asia and Europe, Sati had the opportunity to acquire additional skills in the fields of therapy, energy work, physical practices, nutrition, health, meditation, healing and more.
In the years 1999-2000, Sati received transmission of the Reiki levels and received Reiki Master/Teacher qualification in India. Her teachers were European, being of a direct lineage from Mikao Usui Sensei, the founder of Usui Reiki technique in Japan. She has been teaching Reiki since 2001.
Internships and studies for professional and personal cultivation have included- Yoga; Tai Chi Chuan; Qi Gong; Vedic Chanting; study of the ancient traditions and philosophies of Buddhism, Yoga, Zen and Taoism; Intuitive Healing; Sub-Body Movement; Bio-Danza; Contact Dance; Pilates; Hanna Yoga Somatics; Nutrition, Cleansing (Kriya Yoga) and Fasting.
Shaolin Martial Arts Training
In 2001 Sati journeyed to China, to find a martial arts master in the arts of Tai Chi, Qi Gong and energetic Qi gong healing practices. She was accepted as a student by Shifu Nei Wee, Shaolin monk abbot of Wu Wei Si, a 1000-year-old Daoist/Buddhist temple situated in the mountains above Da Li, near the Burmese border of Yunnan province. There she spent a lengthy, intensive and challenging training period, learning directly from Shifu his unique personal martial arts styles of Tai Qi Chuan and Healing Qi Gong, while living with other Chinese monk students and a few other foreigners, in the rustic no-frills conditions of a traditional Shaolin temple discipline.
Physical Activity, Movement and Dance
There are many advantages and benefits from working on the physical body and developing its potential and capabilities. Physical activity, flexibility, strength and muscle tone, are essential for a firm foundation and preparation towards the next step, the mental cultivation of contentment, joy and emotional balance and well-being.
A general inclination for sports and physical activity has lead Sati to various fields of interest - gymnastics, sport instructor/trainer course, Pilates technique, Hanna-Yoga-Somatics, yoga asana, western medicine, anatomy and physiology. All these have accumulated over time into the knowledge and understanding of body-mechanics, structural and postural alignment for general health and correct bodywork, which are useful as a therapist and a teacher.
Her experience with body movement has its beginnings in extensive years of classical ballet from a young age, leading into other forms of dance and movement (contemporary, modern, folklore, belly-dancing), Contact Dance and Improvisation, Bio-Danza and Sub-Body dance. Soft forms of martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong were also incorporated into body movement and flow, adding the energy aspect to the physcial actions. Body movement is a great tool for feeling and learning about character, personality and inter-personal dynamics.
'A healthy body is a good starting point towards a healthy mind', 'You are what you eat' and 'The body is the temple that holds the mind' - these phrases lead to investigation, learning and experiences with Nutrition, Cleansing and Fasting in Western as well as Oriental traditions (including kriya yoga techniques).
Pilgrimages, courses and retreats in monasteries and ashrams in India, Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar and China, retreats in the Himalayas and a 5-month martial-art training at a Buddhist temple in south China - all were a part in the quest for mental cultivation and development.
In addition to teaching and therapy, ever so often, Sati takes time to be in nature, on pilgrimage and retreat, continuing to following a personal path of self-cultivation, reflection and meditation practice in the tradition of yoga dhamma.
Integration & Guiding Principles
Various techniques, methods and approaches to work on the physical, the mental and the energetic are integrated into one. Sati's teachers taught in the form of combining and complementing, a holistic model to treat body and mind in unison. Work on the body, affect the mind.
For more than 20 years Sati combines knowledge and experience together with what she has observed and understood about the needs of today's society. She draws inspiration and knowledge for her work from the traditional and the modern. Her work is founded on principles of integration for achieving optimal physical and mental health.
The approach is holistic and practical, seeing the person as a whole which is composed of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Different problems and circumstances need different solutions, and for this the variety of tools, from physical bodywork to energy-intuitive healing, as well as implementation of additional tools of body movement, exercise, meditation and nutrition.
The goal is to cultivate a holistic attitude towards life, personal well-being and body-mind awareness. It is essential to know what is of the body and what is of the mind, and not to confuse between the two. This is what she has been taught and what she can share and pass on to others.
Regarding this subject she comments -
"As teacher and therapist it is a pleasure as much as a duty to have the opportunity to transmit to others healing, knowledge and experience; to assist and support others on their paths of health, personal growth and healing. Group courses as well as private therapy sessions are unique circumstances where many things can happen to an individual, while feeling safe in a comfortable and supportive environment."
And more -
"True healing comes from within ourselves and only we can truly heal ourselves. From a therapeutic perspective, the goal is the restoration, harmonizing and strengthening of the body's energy and the enhancement of a patient's self-awareness so that he/she can be an active participant in the healing process, with the support and guidance of the therapist. The aim is maximum healing with minimal external support. As a student I was instructed that a therapist is a facilitator, and the treatment is a temporary support that should be dropped once the goal is reached. In my practice I have seen this guideline to be correct and beneficial to the healing process."
Key words and concepts, for the teacher and therapist: integration, holistic approach, intuition, feeling, awareness, energy, sensing, sharing, heart-based, compassion, selflessness, attentive consideration, inter-connectedness, individual attention, guidance, feedback, maximum potential, gradual transformation, balance and harmony.
On a more personal note...
Above are the dry facts of the years that have passed since I decided to make a change in career, lifestyle and life goals. Following are some personal insights, like dew drops on a leaf through which the sunlight sparkles and gives freshness, vitality and essence.
Turning point - A fast-paced, busy, success-oriented, intellectual-based lifestyle and life-attitude gradually gave way to a different rhythm, grounded in elements of awareness and intuition, holistic consciousness, going for real happiness and contentment and clear comprehension. The goal was to find answers, beginning with a path towards the right questions.
Being a Student - What began as a short Shiatsu course out of mere curiosity became the first of many stages in a gradual transformation. From full-time career to full-time student, this time of holistic and natural therapy. Time, efforts and energy were invested in my new project, immersing myself into the shiatsu school, studying, assisting, organizing and later on teaching. I made it into my second home, and it became my first home. Shiatsu studies ended, and desire to know more lead into full TCM studies and clinical work under the guidance and supervision of accomplished teachers with a holistic and comprehensive outlook on health and healing. As a student I received the best of all worlds. All I had to do was take it all in, like a sponge absorbing water.
Being a Therapist - In the healing process I consider all aspects of the person - physical, mental and emotional. The goal is to harmonize and strengthen the energies, raise awareness and consciousness in such a way that the patient can be an active participant in the healing process, with the support and guidance of the chosen therapy. I am aware that the therapist is a temporary facilitator, an external guide, pointing in the right direction, giving recommendations and advice along the way. It is the patient's task to walk the path mapped out by the practitioner.
Being a Teacher - Having received teachings so generously, together with the acquired knowledge and experience, inevitably brought me to the point of being able to share it not only in the clinical environment of holistic therapy but in the classroom and dojo. At first I was prompted to teach in my shiatsu school in Israel, under supervision of my teachers, and I have not stopped since. I have always enjoyed teaching, and still do. It is a wonderful way to pass on what I myself have received, and in this way continue transmitting the tradition as it has been done for generations before me.
Intensive Courses and Retreats - Since the year 2000 I have been teaching courses of Shiatsu, Reiki and Qi Gong mostly in the form of intensive courses and workshops, where participants have the advantage of a constant, focused learning environment that maximizes the learning potential with minimal distraction. Intensive courses also afford an ideal opportunity to immediately put into practice what is learned and receive direct feedback to questions. There is a chance for integration of the subject matter while everything is still 'fresh' in the mind and the body, and the attention is focused.
A retreat-like atmosphere raises the learning potential due to the concentrated and constant attention to learning and practicing. Added elements such as serene natural surroundings enhance and inspire the learning experience. Retreats also generate a sense of intimacy and family-like atmosphere among course participants, giving a space for opening up and relaxing into a dynamic of mutual support and enjoyment. Getting away from it all opens up many opportunities as an individual and as group, and is a rare opportunity to allow other aspects of ourselves to present themselves and be examined.
Personal Path - Since my TCM graduation in 1998, having gathered a 'few tools in my bag', so to speak, I have continued walking the path of self-development and search for answers and real truth. This journey has included different places, teachers and experiences. Reiki technique added a new aspect to the concept of energetics and spirituality, while the practice of meditation, yoga, qi gong and tai chi chuan became part of my daily routine. I learned with time and experience what practice suited my needs and what benefits it gave.
A healthy body and balanced and clear mind – this has been the guiding principle all these years, sown in those first shiatsu years, cultivated over time and blossomed under the guidance and instruction of all my precious teachers, each one in his/her own right, to whom I am forever grateful and indebted. It is on this path towards truth and wisdom that I have found my personal teacher and received my guru name, Sati.
In closing ...
My experience until now shows that true and complete healing, as the acquirement of true wisdom, is done by our own inner will and aptitude. Anything else, be it a technique or a person, is merely temporary external assistance and guidance, which is at times necessary and beneficial, but can not do all the work for us. I see myself as one in such a position, in the context of the healing arts, where I can offer my knowledge, support and guidance.
I respect each person's free will and choice to heal themselves and to walk their path towards real happiness and wisdom. I know I am very fortunate to have personal instruction towards the path of perfection and wisdom.
I enjoy what I do and I do what I enjoy,
and may it always be so.
As I wish this for myself I wish it for all.
for reflection ... and inspiration
Do Good !
Avoid Evil !
Purify the Mind !
(The teaching of the Buddha)
- to see what students and course paticipants write click here.