These instruments were used by Kawada-sensei’s father during his 70 years of shiatsu experience in Japan.
His father said that the reason he started using these instruments is that some deep places were difficult to unblock only using thumbs or even the elbow. When the blockage remains in a fixed place, after a certain moment it goes into the depth of the body, especially in the belly.
He had found that places on the back, such as the 43 Koko bladder meridian point, had become very hard to unblock only using his thumbs or elbows when someone had a chronic illness. They covered the heads of his instruments with silver. He said that silver has a dispersive effect, because it often disperses the bad energy that settled in a fixed place.
He also said that gold, however, has a tonifying effect, so it was used to tone vital organs that were weakened: so in the belly he used the instrument that has gold in the head of wood. But unfortunately this instrument with gold in the head was lost, so Kawada-sensei only has the instruments with the silver in the heads.
Kawada-sensei hardly ever uses these instruments in the West because he said that Westerners often associate pain with a notion of torture, or trauma. At the time when Kawada-sensei’s father practiced shiatsu in Japan, after the second world war, people had a lot of muscle and nervous system diseases, he was a specialist in muscular disease such as rheumatism, arthritis, polyarthritis, neuralgia, facial paralysis, chronic sciatica, and many other chronic diseases.
So he only worked with his thumbs, he completely distorted his thumbs but also all his fingers. Most of the people who came to receive shiatsu from Kawada-sensei’s father were aged between 60-80 years and their diseases were almost all chronic. Kawada-sensei remembers that these elderly people suffered a lot, but almost all said that sometimes the pain is untenable, after a while, the symptoms disappeared permanently, so they were all very happy with these results.
It must be said that at the time many Japanese were very stoic, they endured intense pain, of course with the condition that after such a pain the result would be very convincing, which was the case with Kawada-sensei’s father. It must also be said that in the period when Kawada-sensei’s father practiced shiatsu, Japan was occupied by the American army, and everything was hard, many people lived with the minimum of material comfort. People worked hard all day long, so they often had problems with their backs, arms, or legs, so Kawada-sensei’s father treated many people who had worn out their muscles, nervous system and vital organs like the liver, or the kidneys, that were completely exhausted.
Today in Japan more and more people have diseases rather like mental illness, psychosomatic diseases are rather located in the zone of emotions, the lost orientation of psyche. So with diseases like these, strong tools are not really a necessity. So the shiatsu approach has to change.
Like all other disciplines, with the change of time, the method evolves. But the shiatsu spirit, does not change, ie as the founder of shiatsu Tokujiro Namikoshi who said the essence of shiatsu spirit is the unconditional love, without conditioning to love and respect others, and if we do shiatsu with such spirit, the fountain of life that springs up, that is, the vital energy that gushes out at which our immune system is active, so we become healthy. Kawada-sensei’s father has passed on this energy to his son.