Mariko’s report of Human Gross Anatomy Workshop at the University of Hawaii ’17

Human Gross Anatomy Workshop at the University of Hawaii was held in Hawaii this March! Here we have report from our therapist, Mariko 😀 Thanks Mariko!
The three-day workshop in Hawaii was fun, interesting and educational. Professors and instructors were knowledgeable and energetic enough to lift my spirit up. It was truly an amazing experience! The cadaver I studied was a 64 year old woman with a knee surgery, colon cancer, hysterectomy, breast removal and diabetes. When we began to open up her abdomen area, we observed that her liver was very bumpy and enlarged due to the cancer spreading from her colon. Her omentum, a layer of fatty tissue that covers the entire stomach, came together at the bottom of the liver. Our instructor explained that it was unusual and may be connected to her liver metastasis because the function of the omentum contributes to body immunity. It was amazing to see how organ systems are all interacted to each other and how they develop self-repairing systems. The professors shared their passion of learning human anatomy. My instructor explained the valves of the heart called mitral valves, that were his favorite. He expressed how these tiny, cute valves work precisely to regulate blood flow. I find them as fascinating as he does. Also another instructor taught us how interesting the process was of narrowing down muscles that were the cause of the pain. We learned that pain can be felt on a pulled muscle because related muscles can be shorten. As an example, pain on rhomboid area can be released by eliminating serratus anterior contraction. Larger muscles generate the movement and smaller muscles support and adjust to function well. Where are associated muscles of the prime mover located? Which nerve innervates these muscles? Where are the origins and insertions of muscles? Which direction do muscle fibers go? Do you feel the muscles? What is your favorite muscle and organ? And why do you love them? It is all about HUMAN ANATOMY!!! All your knowledge makes your practice more effective and fun. I also realize that all important landmarks of the body are covered by basic shiatsu points. At my final assessment for the basic shiatsu treatment with Kiyoshi-Sensei 10 years ago, I asked him when I would be able to feel what was going on inside abdomen. He said that the skill can be possibly developed in 10 years. I still have not reached that level yet, but this experience in Hawaii definitely helped me to visualize body structure underneath the skin during my everyday practice. My journey as a Shiatsu therapist will be continued!! Lastly I would like to thank all who have encouraged me to attend the workshop and the directors of JSC and Japan Shiatsu College for giving us this great opportunity.
Mariko Watanabe