30for30!!! Celebrating 30 years in the Healing Arts!

30for30!!! Celebrating 30 years in the Healing Arts!

meridian chart 11-17Join with me in Celebrating thirty years in the Healing arts! Take 30% Off for all my books, chart, DVD, and Mp4 Digital trainings, with the coupon code: 30for30!!! Now through my birthday, August 22, 2017!

It was on just such a summer day, July 1987 that my full-time professional Shiatsu career began. The SweatLodge leader (my first lodge of many!) was making prayers about how we would each serve in the coming Earth Changes. When he said, “Some people will be movers and shakers, but most of us will just help people out, day by day!”  I heard my calling loud and clear. “Just do Shiatsu! You can do this!”

In my Leonine personality type, I’d always made up this story that I was supposed to do great things. And yet, that was such a daunting prospect it actually stopped me from moving forward. An example of this was my feelings about my singing. I always wanted to sing like Pavarotti. But since I was in no way capable of singing like Pavarotti, then I didn’t pursue my singing as a career at all. (May be a good thing that i spared the world… but not really…) Being myself is the actual key that was difficult for me to unlock.

Then in that SweatLodge, my two years of Shiatsu study at the Ohashi Institute finally came together in something that I was very capable of. A baby step forward, just “helping people out day by day.” And from that beautiful moment my full time practice has unfolded, now over three decades! I am humbled and grateful for the many gifts, and the many beautiful healings, with many amazing and wonderful people, on this powerful and meaningful life journey!

To celebrate with me, you can now order any or all of my titles for 30% off!  On the checkout page, simply enter the coupon code: 30for30!!! in the coupon field, and WahLah, your price will melt down 30%!  Offer good from now until my birthday, August 22nd, 2017. For those of you planning to enroll in my HeartMind Shiatsu Professional training, this is a great time to purchase all your books and charts for the training!

Let’s all help the human race to a brighter future, simply helping out our brothers and sisters… day by day!!!


Matwork Mastery! August 10-12, 2018!

Matwork Mastery! August 10-12, 2018!

Matwork Mastery!
Essential Skills Bodywork Therapists need
to build their practice to the next level with sensitivity and ease! 

This exciting, experiential workshop provides Bodywork Therapists with outstanding continuing education. With a focus on hands-on applications, this class provides inspiration and tools to help you take your practice to the next level.

• A step-by-step guide to developing the best body mechanics in bodywork therapy.

• Give deep, and connected bodywork that truly satisfies your clients’ needs, without burning your body out!

• Beyond just helping your clients feel better, take them through a profound healing experience, that will keep them coming back for more!

• The number one secret is making a deep connection with your client’s life energy, and knowing how to clear the blocks and stresses that have accumulated in their body.

• You’ve known there’s something more for a long time. Now is the time to dive in deeper and discover the true depth of what’s possible in your practice!

• Release unnecessary effort in your practice! Learn the art and skill of leveraged bodywork, and focused consciousness in Matwork Mastery! 

August 10-12, 2018. Friday 6-9pm, Saturday/Sunday 10-5.

Clik here to Read all about it!  

The Five Freedoms, and the Five Elements

The Five Freedoms, and the Five Elements

In my recent Pathways of Qi, Exploring the Meridian Medicine Wheel workshop in Chicago, I introduced the idea of the five freedoms. These are essential to exercise in the presence of unconditional love for a true, full and deep sense of wholeness and self-acceptance. They offer a sure way to escape the struggle of toxic shame and self-deprecation, and to claim and exercise them is a significant piece of ongoing personal cultivation.

The five freedoms simply stated are: 1) to perceive, 2) to think, 3) to feel, 4) to want and 5) to choose. In order to live fully from our authentic and realized self, we practice affirming our five freedoms.

  1. We affirm our own unique perceptions of the world around us. We have the ability to see, hear, smell, taste and feel the truth of our experience. No one else can tell us what to perceive, though conversations with others regarding their perceptions may shape our perceptual experience. What is essential here is to know that ultimately it is our right and responsibility to trust and grow our own perceptions.
  2. We affirm our right and responsibility to think for ourselves. No one can do our thinking for us, though perhaps many have through the art of persuasion tried to influence our thinking. Even education in a system can be a subtle form of external conditions shaping our thoughts. Again, what is essential here is to realize that we are ultimately responsible for our thoughts, and knowing when and how to express them in a good way. Sinclair Lewis’s character Babbit was a perfect example of someone who struggled to find his own original thoughts. Of course, this is a caricature of a human being, but it can be hauntingly real if you tend to be overly influenced by the strongly expressed opinions of those whom you invest with authority.
  3. Affirming your rights and responsibilities to your feelings is an essential skill to develop in order to live a highly functional life with a minimum of victim thinking. To me, this area is the one that ultimately is completely our own. No one can tell you what to feel. No one can make you feel anything. Your feelings are your own. No more can you say “you make me mad.” Rather say,” I find that I am mad when I reflect upon your behavior and your words.” And that is where your work begins. To own your feelings is to have the ability to be strong in your authentic self-expression. To know what you are feeling in any giving moment or setting is to have in your consciousness the power you need to be fully alive. To learn to navigate your own inner emotional landscape and to fully own the rights and responsibilities that go with your emotional being is perhaps the single most important task you can undertake.
  4. To affirm your right to what you want, and what you desire is another essential step on the path of personal freedom. And it is founded on the previous three freedoms. If you are free to perceive, think and feel for yourself, you will be clear about what you want and desire in your life in any given moment. And here the art of being in relationship is most sorely tested. The fact that there are so many choices, and so many things, places, experiences, available to us to chose from, and that everyone has their own unique set of tastes and needs, the art of doing things together that everyone in the party agrees they also want is a high art indeed. of course if we were completely alone, we might always in every moment find that what we want is never in conflict with what others want. Yet this is not the case. We live in social settings, and in order to maintain social harmony, there are often compromises, or delays and a need for a great deal of flexibility. But the clearer you are about your own desires, you can use them to point the way to your best outcomes. And like the Rolling Stones song tells us, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, I think you’ll find, you get what you need!”
  5. Finally the right to chose is the last essential step on the path of freedom. Based on all the previous freedoms, your own personal choice is before you. No one can ultimately make any choice for you. You must make it inside yourself, and then work to actualize it in the world. Make a commitment to the world you wish to live in, the choices you make to devote your time, attention, energy and love to, and watch your world come into focus and begin to yield fulfillment and satisfaction. yet at the same time, see that this freedom demands stepping up to your rights and responsibilities. If you have chosen for  yourself, then you have no one else to blame. This is not easy! For many, the idea of having another person chose for them can lead to a sense of relief. Gosh, I admit, sometimes it’s just hard to know exactly what the right choice is. And giving that over to a trusted friend or advisor can really help guide the way. But that is the key… a trusted friend or advisor must also always know that ultimately your reaction to the choice and alignment with the choice is essential. For myself, I like to use a “non-human source” as a guide. Some sort of divine or spirit being to help guide me. There’s a lot to be said for the line in the Lord’s prayer “Thy will be done!” To align yourself with the divine purpose for you is a profound key to fulfilling this final freedom.

So now that we are familiar with the five freedoms, how do these relate to the Five Elements. For this, I draw the link to the daily cycle of energy flow.

Perceptions I see as related to the Metal Element and the Wei Qi field. Our contact with the world around us is the first edge of experience.

Thoughts relate to the Earth Element, our nourishment and rumination energies. We take things into us, and we roll them around in our mind’s eye. The spirit level here is known as the Yi. The Yi is the rational intellect and it falls in the purview of the Spleen Channel energies.

Feelings / Emotions I give to the Fire Element, the element of the Heart and Small Intestine, Triple Warmer, and Pericardium. These energies are deeply related to our inner world of truth, interpretation and essential self-awareness and realization. There is a strong argument to be made for the emotions to be rooted in the Water element as well, but here is where I see Water being most closely related to realm of wants and desires.

Water governs the deep, driving forces that shape our motivations into life. Our Zhi, our will forces are here in the Kidneys, and they arise from within us, even from our unconscious. One can even say that Heart is the awareness that we are conscious of, and Kidney the awareness that is revealing itself as we go along. There are few places in life where this is more clearly revealed than in our wants and desires. An old German song speaks of Hans, who has everything he wants. But what he wants he doesn’t have, and what he has, he doesn’t want! And yet, he has everything he wants! We can all relate to this in one way or another as we seek that elusive feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction along the journey of life.

And finally, to chose, simply put, this is the realm of the Wood Element. Our Gall Bladder and Liver are charged with the task of making the strategic choices at each step of the way. To weight the two sides (or many sides) of any given situation and to take the ultimate responsibility of making the choice. And then once the choice is made, to learn and grow, striving ever onward in life toward the goals and rewards that await a “job well done.” 

So these are the correlations. And in the task of fully embodying your five freedoms I encourage you to look and see where you may be weak or strong, need attention, or can rest confidently in your sense of achievement. If you struggle with your emotions, practice Fire Element cultivation. If you are not sure about what you perceive, check your Wei Qi field and develop your Lung and Large Intestine Qi. Apply this to each of the five freedoms, and use the Five Elements and their corresponding meridians to access the energy you need to more and more fully realize those freedoms in all areas of your life. And any place where you see your freedoms being compromised, slow down, pause, take a break and honestly assess where you are at. Then affirm once more your right and responsibility to be fully in your perceptions, thoughts, feelings, desires and choices.

I encourage you to take this into your life and put these five freedoms into action. In so doing, you will eradicate the monster of self-deprecation and banish the demon of toxic shame from running your life forever. And further, make a commitment to surround yourself with others who affirm your right to your five freedoms, and also claim the right to their own. It can be a lot of fun to be in a dedicated group of beings on the path of freedom. Let freedom ring!

And… See you in class!





Salt & The Water Element

Salt & The Water Element

This is the final in the free Five Flavors Talks series that has been teaching you how spices can support your internal organs, your energetic balance, and your overall health!

Wed., May 18thsalt

Savory Spice Shop
2041 Broadway St., Ste 1
Boulder, CO 80302

This talk will focus on the characteristics of the Water Element and how it is associated with the salty flavor. Based on the Water Element corresponds to bones, the nervous system, and fluid in the body, learn how your relationship with salt might be affecting your internal state of balance (or imbalance).

Spiciness & the Metal Element

Spiciness & the Metal Element

Traditional Chinese Medicine sees qi as the cosmic energy or life force that flows through the body-mind. An excess or lack of qi – too much or too little yang, or heat; too much or too little yin, or cold – is the cause of disease. And one way to keep qi balanced is through a balance of the five flavors in your diet: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy (hot), and salty.

breathing fireSpicy foods make us sweat. They produce heat in the body, burning through excess dampness and moisture, which is perhaps why they’re so good to eat in the fall, stoking that internal fire for the cold winter to come. But spicy foods are pretty polarizing. People either LOVE spice or they hate it.

But when should you incorporate heat into your diet? And when should you avoid it?

Next week, we’re hosting the fourth FREE talk in the Five Flavors Talks series will focus on the Spicy flavor and how it relates to the Metal Element of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Wed., May 4th

Savory Spice Shop
2041 Broadway St. Ste. 1
Boulder, CO 80302

Be introduced to the Metal Element expressions in your body, mind, and spirit.  Get an idea of which signs in your body are signaling a need to cut back on the heat, like if you sweat excessively or are prone to rashes or ezcema, heat leaving your body through the skin. And hear a little about the signs that are telling you that it would be helpful to your internal balance to, quite literally, spice up your life, like if you are frequently cold, or suffer from loose stools.  Then learn about a variety of exotic spices from around the world that will satisfy this taste while leaving your food flavorful and hear about their fascinating medicinal benefits.

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FIVE FLAVORS TALKS: Sweetness & the Earth Element

FIVE FLAVORS TALKS: Sweetness & the Earth Element

Worldwide scientific research has linked spices to the prevention and treatment of more than 150 health problems, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.  Spices are so powerful because they’re super-rich sources of plant compounds that fight oxidation and inflammation, the two processes underlying most chronic disease.

Sugar is one of the things that creates this disease-causing inflammation in the body.  A craving for sweetness in our diets is natural; indeed, satisfying that craving is essential to creating balance in our lives.  Sweet foods bring us comfort. They produce serotonin (the happiness hormone) in the brain, which brings us feelings of joy and satisfaction in our lives, much like the feeling of having your mother’s arms wrapped around you.
Perhaps this is why sugar is so addictive.  But in our modern culture, processed sugar has become the go-to. It’s easy and it’s fast…the American way. But too much sugar in one’s life create that insidious inflammation that can lead to many ailments, not the least of which is Type 2 Diabetes.

Next week, we’re hosting the third FREE talk in the Five Flavors Talks series, which will focus on the Sweet flavor and how it relates to the Earth Element of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (Hint: think about the term *Mother* Earth and relate it to that feeling of protectedness, contentedness that one feels after a sweet treat.)

Wed., April 20th
at the Savory Spice Shop
Boulder, CO 80302
2041 Broadway St., Ste 1
Learn about the expressions of the Earth Element through your body, mind, and spirit, and which signs in your body are signaling a need to cut back on the sweet flavor in your diet and which signs are telling you that it would be helpful to your internal balance to incorporate more sweetness.  Then learn about how to satisfy your natural craving for sugar using whole foods, herbs, and spices.

These talks will be led by Jessica Van Antwerp, an AOBTA nationally Certified Shiatsu Practitioner and Certified Instructor of HeartMind Shiatsu. She has been studying Traditional Chinese Medicine since 2009 and strives to live in harmony with Nature using the Elements as her guide. Her passion for her work comes across through her teaching style, infused with case studies and personal stories, as well as humor and light-heartedness.
The Bitter Flavor & the Fire Element

The Bitter Flavor & the Fire Element


Colorful-spicesImparting the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, this is the second in a FREE series of talks that will teach you how herbs and spices can support your internal organs, your energetic balance and your overall health, literally spicing up your life!

Wed., April 6th
Savory Spice Shop
2041 Broadway St., Ste. 1
Boulder, CO 80302

This week’s talk will focus on the Fire Element and the Bitter Flavor.  Learn how the Fire Element expresses itself in your body, mind, and spirit and some signs and symptoms that your Fire energies may be out of balance, such as disturbed sleep, trouble speaking, high or low blood pressure, getting easily chilled or overheated.  Learn some distinguishing features between exaggerated Fire and depleted Fire, which will tell you when to avoid Bitter flavors for better internal balance or when to start incorporating more of them into your diet to support your health.

Then an expert at the Savory Spice Shop will go into detail about some bitter herbs and spices and how to incorporate them into various recipes so that you can bring your body into balance by spicing up your life!

jess-87These talks will be led by Jessica Van Antwerp, an AOBTA nationally Certified Shiatsu Practitioner and Certified Instructor of HeartMind Shiatsu. She has been studying Traditional Chinese Medicine since 2009 and strives to live in harmony with Nature using the Elements as her guide. Her passion for her work comes across through her teaching style, infused with case studies and personal stories, as well as humor and light-heartedness.

The Sour Flavor & Wood Element

The Sour Flavor & Wood Element

We begin the first of our Five Flavors talks next Wednesday, March 23rd, with the SOUR flavor and itscitrus associations with the WOOD Element.

Do you have hip issues? Trouble sleeping 11pm-3am? Feel the need for a cleanse? Deal with anger issues? Have addictive tendencies or behaviors?

Ever had gall stones? Or trouble making decisions?

Be introduced to how these (and many more) symptoms could be signaling an imbalance within your Wood Element energies. Then learn about the spices associated with the Sour Flavor and how incorporating these into your diet may help bring these energies back into balance.

BONUS: Learn how incorporating more sour foods into your diet may help curb your sugar cravings!

Disclaimer: the information in these talks is not intended as a diagnosis, nor as medically sanctioned treatment for ailments or diseases.  Please consult your physician before making any adjustments to your health regimen. 

Dates set for Five Flavors Talks

Dates set for Five Flavors Talks

spicesWe are excited to announce that the dates for our upcoming Five Flavors Talks, in partnership with Savory Spice Shop, have been set.

Jessica Van Antwerp, a Boulder-based Certified HeartMind Shiatsu Instructor, will highlight one Element per talk, expounding on its associations within the body and mind, how it shows up in our lives by expressing itself physically or through personality.  Then one of the spice experts at Savory will showcase the spices associated with the Flavor of the Element, all in the effort to expand your mind around how using spices can help these Elemental Energies come into balance within your body.

This is a FREE series of talks, every other Wednesday, 6-7pm, starting March 23rd.  The talks will be held at Savory Spice Shop at 2041 Broadway Ste. 1, Boulder, CO 80302

  • March 23rd – WOOD and the Sour Flavor
  • April 6th – FIRE and Bitterness
  • April 20th – EARTH and Sweetness
  • May 4th – METAL and Spiciness
  • May 18th – WATER and Salt

Hope to see you there!

*Please note: the information in these talks is not intended as a diagnosis, nor as medically sanctioned treatment for ailments or diseases.  Please consult your physician before making any adjustments to your health regimen. 

jess-5Jessica Van Antwerp is an AOBTA nationally Certified Shiatsu Practitioner and a Certified Instructor of HeartMind Shiatsu, an avid qigong practitioner and believer in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Her passion for this work is infused into every moment of her daily life, as she strives to live her life following the wisdom of Nature and its expression through the human body.  Her enthusiasm is contagious.


HeartMind partners with Savory Spice Shop

We are excited to announce a creative partnership with Savory Spice Shop in downtown Boulder.

We have partnered up to bring you a series of talks about the Five Flavors associated with each of the Five Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  We will focus on one element at a time, exposing you to how they may show up in your life.  The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues that we all deal with can be clues as to the inner state of balance between each of the Five Elements.  Vertigo?  Think Water Element.  Diabetes?  Earth Element.  Hip problems?  Wood Element.

After a brief intro to these common issues, we’ll discuss the Flavor associated with the Element and some spices that will help support those energetics within your body.  The magic of Traditional Chinese Medicine comes in its associations, the interrelatedness of everything in your system.  Looking at your body as a whole, you can start to draw your own conclusions as to your particular imbalances and how you might be able to incorporate these spices and certain flavors into your diet to help bring your body back into balance.

*Please note: the information in these talks is not intended as a diagnosis, nor as medically sanctioned treatment for ailments or diseases.  Please consult your physician before making any adjustments to your health regimen. 


Basic Training 2016: Enrollment opens Oct. 12th

We will begin accepting applications for our 2016 Basic Training in Boulder, CO next Mon., Oct. 12th.

We are incredibly excited to run the program again next year, having evolved and refined our presentation, incorporating student feedback from this year’s program.  Newly graduated Certified HeartMind Instructors Becky Whitmer, Dave Goetz, and Jessica Van Antwerp will teach the first three levels of next year’s Basic Training, and our lead instructor Matthew Sweigart will fly in from California to teach the final level.

Prepare for a deep dive into Traditional Chinese Medicine and all of its mystery.  Learn how the Five Elements express themselves within Nature and within human beings to gain a better understanding of people in your life.  Learn techniques to balance your own energy so that you may be healthier and livelier in your own life.  And learn how to balance the energy in other people’s bodies so that they may be relieved of common aches and pains and feel their own vitality radiating out of every pore.

Stay tuned for application details…


Grand Opening Celebration Jan. 31st

Come celebrate the grand opening of HeartMind Bodywork’s new home in Boulder, CO at Bodywork Bistro Living Arts Center.
Tuesday January 31st, 7-10pm.

  • Catered by Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place ~
  • Free Chair Massage ~
  • Music by DJ Deva ~

In our beautiful training studio overlooking Boulder’s infamous Flatirons, we will also have ongoing qigong and yoga classes, community documentary nights, and workshops.  Visit bodyworkbistro.com for all of the details.