Taka, the Japanese therapist

I am a shiatsu massage therapist and acupuncturist originally from Tokyo. I settled in Queenstown in 2012 where I enjoyed the alpine lifestyle available. Since then I moved to Warkworth where I decided to raise my family and indulge my interest in permaculture.

I am passionate about my work and I love helping people. As a professional therapist I have developed techniques which provide an holistic approach to my patients needs.

My therapies provide guidance in nutrition including lifestyle changes conducive to continue good health.

My therapies are:

Shiatsu massage
Acupuncture and Moxibustion
Sound healing therapy
Taiwan style Reflexology
Sports massage
Reiki healing
Qi-Gong therapy


“Massage and acupuncture/moxibustion – What is the significance of medical interference in the first place?”

We human beings possess a natural healing ability and should not fall ill if we maintain a good balance of nutritional food, exercise and sleep. When this balance is lost resulting in the deterioration of our health, how much “treatment” is really necessary, given externally to us in the form of medicines and medical procedures? Even preventative medicine such as oriental medicine which advocates treating illness at the pre-symptomatic stage and alternative medicine should probably be no longer necessary in future if patients become capable of managing their own health using the diffusion of accurate knowledge on health.

In the first place, “illness” occurs to warn people of the discordancy of their life habits. If they are treated by a health practitioner without such awareness, doesn’t this act against the cause and effect of the natural law? Isn’t it preventing people from uplifting their own souls? What are the reasons for the existence of therapists using massage and acupuncture/moxibustion? Aren’t we therapists a cause of patients not being able to become independent from treatment? I treat my patients while harbouring these doubts in my mind every day.

In this modern age, people generally find it difficult to judge what is true and untrue. You might recall that natto (fermented soy beans) was all sold out at supermarkets the day after its health benefits were discussed in a TV program. We tend to be driven by the popularization of the internet and information from various media. In other words, it is very difficult to find our “awareness” in this torrent of information. Poor blood circulation, eating meat, oil and sugar and overuse of a computer – we know these examples are not good for us. But isn’t it common that we do not know how we can combat these negative influences or even where to start to overcome them?

For example, it is very natural to see a physician or take medicine when you have a cold. If you can enhance your natural healing ability, you do not need to take cold medicines. All medicines have side effects. In the first place, no cold medicine has been created that cures the root cause of a cold. Cold medicines forcefully suppress the symptoms of the cold, stressing our body at the same time. The truth is that the cold is not cured by a medicine but by our own natural healing ability while the medicine is suppressing the symptoms of the cold. Your body gives you a sign to rest. But you ignore this sign and suppress your own healing ability by taking medicine, and go to work. Does this make sense? Having a fever is the natural demand of our body to destroy the virus existing in our body with heat. If we take an antifebrile medicine, this mechanism of our body is interrupted.

All physiological responses have meanings. The “role” of a cold is to remove toxins accumulated in our over-stressed bodies. No health supplement products are necessary to enhance our immunity without medicines. We need only to change our diet to a very simple one and take a rest. In this way, we can shake off a cold much faster. When animals get a cold, they just take a rest. This is very natural.

Many things we do based on our beliefs are not necessarily good for our body. Some say that we cannot maintain good health without eating meat; milk is good for growing children; or pasta cooked in the olive oil is good for the health. These common sayings are not based on medical evidence and some of them have been wrongly claimed. The meat and pharmaceutical industries are not quiet on such claims and continue their health campaigns to protect their rights and interests.

People say that chronic shoulder and back pains cannot be treated by massage. They therefore put analgesic plasters on the sites of the pains and see if they work. This is also a big misconception. If such conditions are left untreated, they might induce a serious disorder. It is possible to recover from chronic shoulder and back pains with adequate treatment. Being surrounded by an abundance of information, we are seemingly able to obtain the “facts”. In these circumstances, I questioned myself how I can find out what is really true and incorporate it into my therapy. I have come to the realization that we need many more health practitioners who can think flexibly and have good techniques as partners for maintaining our health without depending excessively on medical practice. Since this realization came to me, I have become more confident in my way of living as a practitioner of massage and acupuncture/moxibustion, and put my heart into my therapeutic activities.

My treatment is to support patients to exert their natural healing ability at maximum level. If patients themselves do not have a willingness to change their life styles, they cannot be cured. There is a Zen phrase in Japanese, “sotsu-taku-douji”. When a chicken is about to be born, it makes a knocking sound from the inside of the egg shell. This action is “sotsu”. As soon as the mother hen hears this sound, she also knocks and breaks the shell from the outside. This action is “taku”. These “sotsu” and “take” happen together (douji), the shell is broken open and the chicken comes out of the shell. This Zen phrase has an important meaning that can be applied not only to chickens but also to the relationship between a parent and a child or a master and an apprentice. A therapist who senses the effort made by a patient and the energy radiating inside of the patient applies treatment externally at the appropriate time. I believe that this is essentially the way of any treatment and the ideal relationship between a therapist and a patient.

With this ideal treatment regime, patients recover to the stage where no treatment is necessary. They then become independent health leaders and are able to manage not only their own health but also that of their friends and families. Isn’t this a wonderful thing to happen? I sincerely hope that one day Western, Oriental and alternative medicines are no longer necessary by growing the circle of ex-patients and current therapists.