A worthy goal


I want Kirin Bodywork’s blog and website to be useful.

What kind of contents I should be making, then? I could fill it with my day-to-day musings, but I don’t think my writing could be entertaining enough doing that, and it’s not really useful to anyone. The Internet doesn’t need yet another self-promotional diary.

There are several nice ideas right now that I have rolling around in my head. I will try them gradually. Stay tuned. I am determined to make this site at least as good as coming to see me for a session.

The more you read, the healthier you will get. That’s a worthy goal.

Note: The image is a sketch by Katsushika Hokusai, a guy stretching. Looooove the fluidity of the brushwork.

Klondike gets tummy rub


This is our Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd mix, Klondike. He knows the value of regular bodywork. He gets at least one short session every day. Sometimes, he demands like five sessions a day. Of course it we’d happily oblige, because there is nothing better than watching a happy dog.

The therapist in the photo is my husband, Bill, focusing on Klon’s sternum and the area right under the ribs. That’s his specialty. I am often asked to focus on his head and sacrum. Klondike is a wise customer. He knows how to use different therapists according to their strengths.

Homemade Hand Cream

It’s really satisfying to be able to make something that I thought could only be bought. It’s fun to learn how things are made, it’s fun to think about the ingredients. Exciting to be able to adjust to my own liking.

So. Here’s a new one.


Homemade hand cream!
Three edible ingredients only!

I am guessing there’s all sorts of variations along the same lines, but this is what I used today and how to do it. It could not be simpler.

Beeswax   1 oz
Rice bran oil    approx. 5 oz
Water    approx. 3.5 oz

Gently melt beeswax in double boiler, add oil, blend with immersion blender, add warm water gradually, blend more. Store in clean jar, let it cool.

Don’t you love it when your very first experiment turns out a glorious result? This cream has incredible texture. It’s got the right balance of lightness and richness. It didn’t take 30 minutes from start to end. This is revolutionary!

I am going to use this batch for a while and think what I want to do differently next time. Many ideas are bubbling in my head already.

Will report if I come up with something even better.

Existential Fear


Chisei Kono writes in his book about his experience while visiting refugee camps after the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, that there were people with muscle tension in a particular area, between the scapula and the spine (T5-8). It is a diagonal line of tension. While this line remains it is hard to sleep, and the fear does not leave. So he advises to relax it if you find it.

Since San Francisco is supposedly waiting for the next big one, I took notes, while also wondering if I’d ever see it.

I have actually seen it several times since then. It seems to appear when we have existential fear, not just from natural disasters. A particularly prominent line was on my friend’s back, who was at the time really worried if her job was going to be around for next year.

I found it on my own back several days ago. As those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know, I got my purse snatched on a San Francisco sidewalk. I wasn’t physically hurt, and the bag came back in about 24 hours (minus the cash and some other items) so the damage was minimal. But what it did was remind me of my vulnerability. The knowledge that I am basically helpless if someone decides to attack shook me. I was tense for days afterwards, and I found this line on my back maybe on the second day.

Taking care of myself is a bit harder than taking care of my clients. For one thing, this tension on my back, I cannot feel it while relaxing. Twisting and relaxing do not mix well. I don’t feel like I am sleeping badly any more probably because it’s already been almost a week, but I might as well go see someone for a good session. It’s much easier when there is help.

Notes & Reference

Adzuki Tea


When the weather turns cool, I think about adzuki tea. I don’t know why, but I do.

I make it immediately. There is no recipe.

One handful, maybe two handfuls of adzuki beans, depending on the size of the pot and the amount of water, rinsed, go into the pot. Add water. Maybe two cups per handful of beans. Usually I soak all my seeds at least overnight, but this is an exception. I don’t.  I might add something else to the pot, today I have added half a big bamboo leaf. But most of the time it is just beans and water. I boil it for anywhere from several minutes to 20. This vagueness is intentional. I have made this enough times that I am hoping my body knows what I need that day, and will make it like it is good. I don’t know, of course, but that’s what I think.

If this is your first time, aim for about 10 minutes of low simmer, a little after the water starts to get reddish. When you are simmering adzuki beans for cooking, Japanese recipes often tell you to throw away this initial colored water. Don’t. When you are making adzuki tea, this water is what you want.

When it is done, I drink it while it is still hot. The gentle flavor is very calming. Share it with someone you like.

Adzuki is medicinal. It is said to support the kidneys, the bladder and the reproductive system. It is known to be especially good for women. It is diuretic. You don’t need to know any of these things to like it, and to want it during the cooler months. There is not much more work to make it than making a cup of tea, so please try it!

I sometimes serve adzuki tea instead of the usual glass of water after sessions. If you don’t like the flavor, please just tell me so.

What do I do with the cooked beans? Most often, they get cooked further until soft and go into a salad the next day. No big deal.

Don’t give up!

Had to share this, from NY Post. This woman is 85, see how much she’s straightened out. I have read this story as a reminder that things that might seem irreversible, might not be. The story goes beyond this one charming yoga instructor causing miracles. Miracles are probably everywhere, if we have the inclination to reach for it.

I’ve got some things that I’d like to change for my own body. HOPE!