This interview was conducted with my teacher, Serge Augier, in French.  The translation is by Jordan Whitten, and the original language interview can be found here:

Antoine Di Novi : Hello Serge

Serge Augier : Hello.

ADN : Thank you for agreeing to this interview with Would you present yourself in a few words?  What is your trajectory?  What do you do today?

SA: I was lucky to be introduced in my youth – around 7 and a half years old – to the Daoist teachings, thanks to meeting a man who was a political refugee and who lived with us.  Bit by bit, the health exercises got me in shape.  I saw the other aspects of these exercises with the work on the mind and the emotions.  So I have been training this ever since.  Once I understood that we have to make a living, I did medicine, then Chinese medicine and Daoist medicine.  For a long time this was my primary work, as a way of accessing my Way, meaning the teaching of this Daoist way in its global form of the work on the body, the breath and the mind.  I continue to teach medicine seminars all over the world, but it’s mostly for audiences who are already practitioners.  That is what I do today.

ADN : Wonderful.  Could you please be more precise on what Daoist medicine is to you?

SA : Of course.  It is the origin of Chinese medicine, with its vision of the extraordinary vessels and Yuan Qi.  This does not come solely from empirical observation, but also the study of meditation.  The energetic centres, the Upper, Middle and Lower Dan Tians, are first referenced in meditation texts.

In fact, both in medieval China and the times before, there were masters who specialized in healing.  It was not structured like Chinese medicine.  These people were known by the name of ‘Fang Shi,’ masters of the method.  They had methods to heal with their hands, through meditation, dreams…

And this version was secret and hidden by Daoist schools and clans.  Gradually, the knowledge leaked out because people began to teach.  In China, this gave birth to between 50 and 150 different forms of Chinese medicine before the 20th century.  Each one had its own specialties.  For example, there was the medicine of the Nine Palaces, abdominal diagnosis… Then, many people were massacred during the Opium Wars, under Mao Zedong.  All of this wisdom was reborn in the form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is not at all traditional, si it is a simplification and a sort of tentative unification that copied Western medicine.

In reality, many things were lost.  So on one side there is the Daoist medicine that inspired the pre-20th century Chinese medicine.  On the other we have TCM, that simplified the Chinese medicine it was inspired by.  That is a bit about its origin.

ADN : This is very interesting, because when Shiatsu is taught, especially in Western schools – like in France -, we always talk about this famous TCM.

SA : Yes…

ADN : It’s true there are many books on the subject.  We often say that Shiatsu is an ancient Japanese method that relies a lot on TCM.  What are your thoughts on this?

SA : First of all, you have a text dating back to the 4th century that lays out the hierarchy in medicine.  The best medicine is that which we do with the hands, but without the patient present – by distance

ADN : Oh yeah ?!

SA : The second highest level of medicine is that which we do with the hands, with the patient, but without touching them.  The third best medicine is that which we do with the hands, with the patient, while touching them.  After that we move on to the lesser medicines; the herbs, needles….

ADN : Hmm…okay

SA :  In fact, one of the first texts from the Daoist Canon, the Daozang, talks about how medicine that uses more than 5 needles is lesser, for the beginner who is learning.  Once we go below 5 needles, we have the practitioner.  After we say that needles are a crutch, since the practitioner must be an energetic practitioner, so the needle must help them go further.  It’s easier, it’s less tiring, but normally the work should only be done with the hands.

When there is an imbalance in place, then we use needles, or even herbs.  Chinese herbs include a vast amount of things, as well as animal products.  The term ‘Chinese herbs’ is made up of at least 30% animal products.

ADN : 30 % !!

SA : Yes, under the umbrella of ‘herbs,’ we also find diet and nutrition, which are very important.

ADN : Nutrition is one of the pillars.

SA : Furthermore, the usage of needles in TCM has evolved.  “TCM” is an exasperating term because, by oversimplifying medicine, it can no longer work like before.  The main problem is that in the traditional medicine of today, points are associated with symptoms.  This means that X point does Y function, or acts in Z manner.

ADN : Yes, it is what we call symptomatic energetics.

SA : Exactly!  In fact, in traditional medicine – not the TCM of today, but the older Chinese medicine – no points have symptomology applications, and certainly no direct action like is assumed today.  Points had energetic actions, such as: this one heats, this one ascends, this one makes it exit, this one gathers, this one dissolves, etc.  Do you see what I mean?  

And then, according to the diagnosis… For example, a Liver Qi Stagnation: in this case you know you have to liberate the Liver and make the energy circulate by using points that let this energy move in and around the Liver.  But we didn’t say that because of Liver stagnation, the patient is depressed, has trouble eating, is worried, etc, and use points that remove melancholy, for example.  That makes no sense.

ADN : Hm… So what is this problem of coherence due to?  What do you suggest?

SA : It’s super clear.  The reason is very simple, but I do not know if it will enhance the article.

ADN : Go ahead, I welcome information that is clarifying.  It is part of our objectives and pedagogy, to try to give meaning to what our professional readers do in clinic.

SA : In that case, it would be my pleasure to answer you.

ADN : Yes [laughs].

SA : You have to understand that all the masters of Qi Gong, metaphysics and medicine were put into camps by Mao Zedong.  Not knowing if they would survive, they quickly began to exchange between themselves to circulate their wisdom.

Even today, and since 1911, the official medicine of China is not Chinese medicine, but Western medicine!  Chinese medicine was even prohibited for several years.  In hospitals, they tried to perform Western medicine, but not always with the same results.  They saw and admitted their errors, so between 1966 and 1976, they began quickly training people so they could work in the Chinese medicine departments of their hospitals.  However, the true masters of these subjects were either dead, or they wanted nothing to do with the government.  So they basically needed people who aligned with the Communist party.  What ended up happening was they took those who hadn’t passed their Western medicine exams.

ADN : Incredible !

SA : Today these people are responsible for the big hospitals, and the health departments also come from there.  I have met several of them…

ADN : Truly astonishing!

SA : I can’t say everything, but there’s even worse… Between 1960-66, they no longer had the means to send real doctors to the countryside, so they sent ‘barefoot doctors,’ people trained on the fly, who were aligned with the Party.  Most of them are in directing roles today.

ADN : Yes, very interesting.  The trouble is the collection of precise information.  Knowing these historical aspects while also demystifying them.  We just spoke about TCM but I’m also thinking about the word ‘energy’, and the concept of energetics.  It’s true that amongst Shiatsu professionals, the majority relies on energetic symptomology.  The patient has pain in a spot; the Shiatsu practitioner presses on that point.

SA : Well yes, that is much easier to do.

ADN :  I am going to make a shortcut: instead of putting a needle in, I press with my finger.  What is most disturbing is that these are all the teachers, directors and professors who have written books.  It makes me think especially of the recently published Atlas of Acupuncture, which is based on the idea of symptomology.

SA : Yes, for sure.  This all comes from the same problem.  If you look closely, everything that is done in energetic medicine should be done by those who are practitioners, masters, or at least very good practitioners of Qi Gong.  If they cannot manipulate their own energy through introspection, for example, it is a complete fantasy to think they can do it in others.  You cannot feel it nearly as strongly in other people.

ADN : I understand you very well.

SA : When you heal by performing acupressure or shiatsu, you are obviously opening points, but you decrease its circulation and regulation… But you must be able to feel what happens inside, in the point.  So you necessarily need a real and personal knowledge.  If we lack this, training for 8 months, or 2 years, we multiply our ability to heal by 1000.

ADN : It’s true that we try to understand the history of Shiatsu.  How Shiatsu was created, how it developed, the transmissions that it was passed through, codifications, standardizations, etc.  In France we often speak of Shiatsu is a form digitopressure, meaning it’s energetic in the same way as pressing acupuncture points.  We tend to forget that it is first and foremost a massage, a massage therapy.  Of course it is influenced by Chinese medicine, but especially the An Mo, or Am Ma of the Japanese, as well as Western medicine – chiropractor, physiotherapy, osteopathy.  So a direct or indirect manual action on the tissues, muscles, skin, body systems etc.  Returning to Chinese medicine, I do not know if it’s like in Japan, where massage therapy was considered the superior medicine compared to acupuncture, for 150 years.

SA : There’s a big difference between Chinese medicine and Tui Na (push/grab), which is real massage, and not energetic healing.  There are 24 or 27 foundation maneuvers, of which 5 are energetic manipulations.  The rest are massage techniques.  We say that the energetic point will bring energy, such as with the source point, etc, but this is not enough.  An energy that you stimulate and increase brings a big mass of energy that is harmful if it does not circulate – thus the necessity of pushing and grabbing, the action of massage therapy.  Health comes from an abundant energy that is in circulation, and not stagnant.  Otherwise, this is illness.

So yes, the massage portion was developed extensively.  The problem is that people see masseurs in airports who quickly massage the shoulders or feet of people.

They deduce that if we want to be healed, we should go see someone who uses a needle on mysterious points, and this is surely more advanced than someone who massages the arm or shoulder.  It’s a big confusion.  The whole needle aspect has a mysterious air to it.

ADN : Yes, I find this mysterious side very intriguing.  I sincerely believe that myths and mysteries influence our individual and collective behaviours, with their desires and fantasies.  If you read certain articles or topics of seminars, or even training programs, you can clearly see that Westerners are often attracted by things that seem mysterious.  The Japanese often said that the French (equally applicable to Europeans and American, in my opinion) love romance.  They are sensitive to the poetic – not in the sense of literary poetry, but more so imagination and fantasy.  When we use the word massage in France, for example, we have the impression of being in the realm of the pejorative, the less effective.

SA : Yep… We have the impression that anyone can do it.  This is very typical of today.  When people want to learn Qi Gong, the work done through breathing, they are always drawn towards the mysterious and grandiose, despite the basics being what will help them best.  This is also true in the Daoist martial arts.  People want to learn the mysterious and secret techniques, the “special” moves, despite the fact that the strength of these systems truly lie in the basics.  I have been working for over 40 years.  I train, and only train the basics.  My students always return to the basics too, after becoming seduced by the mysterious aspects.  So we barely look at the symptoms; we focus on making the energy circulate in the body, and this works much better, in fact.

ADN : Yes.  The work must remain coherent.  Energetics respond to laws of movement; it is not fixed, nor static.  This means that to treat a symptom, we do not act in the same way with different people.  It is true that we sometimes press on the same points for the same symptom, but sometimes we do ont press the same areas or points.  If we assume that energy and energetics exist, this framework tells us that no treatment can be identical, even if the symptoms appear to be the same.  It certainly could be, but this creates a problem of meaning.  Every individual has their own genetics, physiology, psychology, physique, personality, lifestyle, etc, creating an entirely unique person.  We generally speak of unicity.  These are the foundations of ancient, intuitive, holistic medicines.  There are a few ways to treat the same physical manifestation.

SA : Definitely. In today’s Chinese medicine, we say that, ‘basically’, there are 7 internal emotions, 6 external pathological Qi, and once this is taken care of, you’re all set.  But we start from the foundation that each person has an energy, which is Qi.

Daoist medicine is much more clear on the subject.  At the moment of birth, you are a unique mix of Jing (your essence from your parents), your emotions and perceptions of the world, the climatic pressures, the time and space you are born in, the influence of the past, the pressure of your Celestial Mandate, the pressure of the invisible world: spirts, ghosts, egregores… then we add the Qi Men, the direction you are going in.  So you have a completely unique taint.  It’s a Qi that has its own unique colour spectrum.  When the patient arrives, they arrive with their unique Qi.  So we cannot treat them symptomologically.  

Daoist medicine is actually very hard to teach, because it is not based on courses, but a sort of infusion of knowledge, from master to student.

ADN : I read elsewhere that you are the inheritor to the Da Xuan tradition.  Could you speak more on this?  What does Da Xuan mean?

SA : Da Xuan is a shorter name than its original expression.  In the first chapter of the Dao De Jing, it says that as soon as we give name to the Dao, it is no longer that.  The Dao is the origin of everything we see and do not see, the manifested and the non-manifested.  We need to be clear about this.  Both the manifested and non-manifested come from the same ‘thing,’ the same inexplicable source, which is incomprehensible for the human being.  We are ourselves a part of manifestation.  We cannot see ourselves as above manifestation; that is where Dao is.  At the end of the chapter, the secret of secrets is Xuan.  So, Da Xuan means the great secret, the tradition of the human being between heaven and earth, which all unites into the One.

ADN : The great secret ?

SA : Da Xuan is the great secret.  It is not a secret in the sense of a secret that is hidden.  The real term Xuan is more like a jewel that is already in a dark room, and to find it we simply need to cast some light.  The work of the tradition is simply to bring that light, which is both symbolic and real, to understand through direct experience how we can touch this always-perfect reality that is there.  This is the Daoist concept of Returning to One.  The One is not me with the Dao, since that already makes Two.  It is the non-duality that the old Daoism sought out.

ADN : Hmm alright… So here we are getting into the realms of spirituality, religion, philosophy and metaphysics.  Before the Dao, I think they spoke of some original magma.  The old writings say the Dao is before all else, no?  Was there then nothing before the Dao?

SA : You have to think of the Dao is a word at the source of manifestation.  In most creation myths of the universe, we see the Sumerians, the Bible, as well as the Indians, who have a divine origin that does not realize that it is.  It reigns in its completeness, but nothing happens.  Then we have the Great Mystery of Creation, which is found in all myths.  Suddenly the God realizes it is.  The fact itself that it separates – its Yang attention, plus the fact that it is Yin – creates the Tai Ji, duality, the binary force.  From this, it creates the three, which is the source of movement.  Thus you have the mind, manifestation, Qi, and movement, which is the possibility of interaction between what is not, and what is.

ADN : What a simple and clear eloquent explanation !

SA : So in fact, the Dao is the word we used before to give a name to this ‘thing’ that is at the very beginning, where we talk about there being a first will.  From that point, the Dao creates the first original magma, or universal chaos, that we call Hun Dun.  In metaphysics this is the nothing that is not yet manifested.  There’s not much there 😉

From there, the nothing becomes space, a potential without anything, but a potential we call Wu Ji – without limits or barriers, as well as without determination.

Here we are in what is called Anterior Heaven, meaning before the creation of the human being.  When we move into Tai Ji, this is when creation starts.  Yin and Yang become San Bao, the three powers.  From the three, everything is possible.

In fact, everything starts and develops from this cosmology.  The three gave rise to the four possible movements, which are the first four lines of the Yi Jing hexagram.  Then we get into the five, the five elements; the six climatic expression; the seven internal and external emotions; the famous trigrams, the Ba Gua; the nine stars; etc.  It continues from there.

ADN : Have you studied numerology?  I think about the meaning of digits and numbers, a very fascinating subject of its own!  In fact we find numbers in all cultures.

SA : Yes, it’s true.  However, there is a difference between cultures that is essentially religious.  According to the vision we have of God, monotheism or polytheism, you really have a difference between numbers. Although we still find the same ideas.  After, numbers can be lightly shifted, but we find them everywhere.  They are very important in Daoism.  We also have a ‘big scam’ in Daoist texts, where people put certain numerology terms on a big pedestal.

One example: when you read the Su Wen, there are an enormous number of references that are just there as tiny numerological winks that have nothing to do with the reality of the explanation.

ADN : Are you thinking of something specifically?

SA : For example, we say Jing cycles are six or eight years for men and women, but this is also because on one side you have eight representing the mountain, which is more the wife, and the six representing the father, the responsible one.  In fact, the numbers are not always connected to what they mean.  Another example is how 10 000 just means ‘a lot.’

ADN : 10 000 ?

SA : 10 000. Wàn just means a lot. It’s the myriad of things, innumerable.  So according to this, you have a reading of numbers that can be different.  You know that the nine first numbers are very closely connected to the Luo Shu, which is a numerology drawing that was revealed, and not created intellectually.  We say it appeared on the banks of a river where a ‘sage’ saw a turtle surface, with signs and etchings on its shell that went from one to nine.  And then we find this everywhere.

ADN : Interesting…

SA : This connects them to the Ba Gua, giving an association to the elements, etc.  The secret of Daoist metaphysics is that it takes each element of manifestation, and can give a common measure of comparison.  This is its great power.  For example, when you see a person who stands up in a waiting room and shakes your hand and says hello, between their way of moving and holding themself, and even by reading the lines on their face, you already have a diagnosis before they even say a word.  This is all in the old texts.

ADN : Wonderful.  I am going to bring us back to Chinese medicine and its famous meridians.  Do you know how they are built?

SA : In older medicine, you have several versions.  The kind I practice and know perfectly are the extraordinary vessels, but only four of them: Chong Mai, Du Mai, Ren Mai, Dai mai.  These four give you all the applications, and are not only found on the torso, but also on the legs and arms.  To make this energy move we have entry points, which are acupuncture points.  These points make the energy move, but we do not have meridians in the older Chinese medicine, nor in Daoist medicine.

ADN : There aren’t any meridians ?!

SA : No.  They do not exist.  They are simplifications that came much later on.  There are no actual meridians.  In the Chinese medicine we teach in London, for example (I no longer teach in France), of course there for the medicine that we now call traditional medicine, we teach the meridians and points.  But in the older medicine, and before the 20th century, there weren’t any meridians.

ADN : Isn’t the word for meridian, which in Japanese is Keiraku, called the Jing Luo in Chinese?

SA : Jīng luò means passageways of energy, and connection.

ADN : Things known about the meridians involve animal imagery, observation of nature, the circulation of water, the source in the springs, in rivers, etc.  Are there other things written?

SA : We say that at first you have a point, the first cell of your creation, and from this point an axis is created – this we find in embryology.

ADN : It is definitely related to embryology.

SA : The dermis and the front and back axes, as well as the girdling meridian that gives the body volume, are the Du Mai that defends, the Ren Mai for the organs, then the Chong Mai, the central vessel.  You have these meridians on the torso, as well as the arms and legs.  We only talk about these.

Now, in modern Chinese medicine, we say there are also meridians that nourish this wonderful vessels.  These are meridians that want to provide coherence, yet you notice that there are points where nothing happens.  It’s as if we added them to connect points that were too far apart, and should also be more fitted being placed on the adjacent meridian.  So the meridians were created a little later, but I do not know when exactly.  There is nothing definitive written.  In the old texts we speak about meridians, but do not specifically describe them.  There is no precise anatomical description, so I can not know how they saw these.  However, I know dozens of variations of meridian systems.  And they are not the same as today.

ADN : Yes, it is a very broad subject, and unfortunately I cannot include everything in this interview (maybe we can meet again to develop these topics).  Here we are talking about the extraordinary meridians, related to embryology and the cellular envelopes: endoblasts, ectoblasts, and mesoblasts.  It’s true that in energetic Shiatsu, the Keiraku Shiatsu, we generally use points and the classic meridians.  In any case, I learned that we should avoid touching the extraordinary vessels because they affect the embryology, the deep structure of Being, its fundamental frame.  These vessels are the source of the creation of the entire individual and their family history; a link with heredity that each of us responsible for.  Something to think about, no?  But it’s true that there are many study seminars offered on these extraordinary vessels.  Sometimes students at Shiatsu stages unfortunately want to “fiddle with” all these, without the proper awareness….

SA : [laughs].

ADN : And it’s everywhere – in Canada, France, Italy, Belgium… perhaps it’s because they’re called the extraordinary vessels that seminar participants are more easily drawn to them?  This brings us back to our earlier discussion on the mysterious.  By pressing on classic meridians, we affect the circulation and their functioning.  We have means of action, but in reality they are quite limited.

SA : Definitely.  It’s the same for us.  For example, if your nose is running, don’t go playing with the extraordinary vessels.  But for us the point is not seen as being part of a meridian, but something that has an effect on circulation, the organs, the Blood.  On one side we see points that have an effect on Qi, the food and transforms and we circulate in two forms – the defensive Wei Qi, and the circulating energy.  We don’t heal with the meridians in mind.  We use the points to make the energy circulate in a general way, and to fix the imbalances.  The meridian has zero importance to us.

ADN : There are still ‘ruptures’ in history.  For example, we were talking about the number 72 that we find in various cultures, the 72 meridians, or more?  It’s true that today we only kept the 12 classic meridians plus the 8 extraordinary, making 20 meridians.  This is already a lot, and likely too many, in my view.

SA : Truly.  The idea here is that energy circulates everywhere to keep the system alive.  As soon as it does this, whether there is 1 or 100 meridians is of no importance.  There’s no reason to bother with that…

ADN : Coming back to Dao, when we teach this famous TCM in Shiatsu schools, we generally speak of this Way, the breath, and especially the philosophy of Lao Zi and Chuang Zi.  We don’t get into in the chronlogies and currents of Daoism.  But philosophy is the root of the Dao, is it not?

SA : Yes, certainly.  And you have a real confusion around what Daoism is about.  But in fact, it is very simple.  Just to give you an idea, in the Daoist canon you have the Daozang, which collects between 1400 and 1700 texts together.  Lao Zi is very well known, but today this is only a small part of it.  

There are a few kinds of Daoism.  There is the kind that comes from shamans, the Fang Shi, who were masters of methods.  They joined together and started teaching a bit.  They formed groups, but always in a family and clan form.  

Around 200, the Buddhists arrived and created a terrible concurrence amongst the Daoists.  People started to prefer the ceremonies done by the Buddhists, since they had cool clothes, drums… The Daoists started to also live in monasteries, and this led to the creation of religious Daoism.  The original Daoism searches for unity, the return to Dao, so devotion is not a possibility.

Before 600 there were already two main branches, the religious Daoism in temples, and clan Daoism, which was hated by the religious and those in power.  

A little later, from the 17th century onwards, we started seeing a more intellectual Daoism with its morals, philosophy, very highly prized by the academics who talk about and comment on everything, without ever practicing anything… So today we have Western academics nitpicking, “this is Daoism,” “this is not Daoism;” but they don’t even practice.

So now we have three main streams: an intellectual philosophical current with seekers who do not practice; a well established religion in China that gave birth to religious movements and sects, such as the great White Cloud Temple in Peking; and the clan Daoism, still in its corner.  This latter current does not worry about philosophy, but instead focuses on practicing.  It’s to better understand, so we can live better.  It’s a sort of way of doing.  The Tradition is based on three maps: the human/practitioner, the mind (interaction between our conscious and unconscious processes), and the map for the world and universe.  It’s a guide that starts from the principle that the people who came before us have things to show us.  This is one of the big differences between us and animals.  So we may as well listen to the sages and old texts, in order to not lose too much time.

ADN : A method.  Can we make a parallel with other religions that also have their sacred book?

SA : In Daoism there is no dogma, nothing to Do, no real morality, but just this idea of going towards the better.  There are many possibilities to be better, but we don’t talk about it: you have to do it.  We say it’s better, easier to do, but we can do it another way if we wish to!

ADN : Aren’t there still virtues in Daoism?

SA : Not proper virtues in themselves, but qualities that can have a negative or positive spin to them.  We put virtues and faults on the same level.  The big Daoist virtues are part of religious Daoism.  We see everything as Qi that can move in any direction.  For example, when we see someone who is behaving or very calm, we see them as someone who can explode at any moment.  It’s just like someone who eats a ton and doesn’t go to the bathroom.

ADN : [laughs].

SA : Do you see what I mean ?

ADN : It’s lovely imagery !

SA :  It’s like someone who is always gentle, silent…it makes you worried.

ADN : We could then consider Daoists like a community or group.  We know that humans have an existential quest, and a psychological need to belong to a group.  It’s its social animal side, as we are social beings, emotional beings.  Do you manage this approach in your Urban Daoist structure?

SA : Urban Daoist is actually my moniker.

ADN : Oh ! I interpreted Urban Daoist as trying to bring Daoism to the city and urban, in some way…

SA : My Daoism is not a daoism of people isolated from the world.  From the start, our tradition defends the idea of living in life, having a family, a career, helping the community.  We don’t isolate ourselves in a cave.  Sometimes we do this to move beyond certain stages of the practice, but we see isolating oneself, fleeing the real world, like the monastic current does as a real weakness.

ADN : Really ?

SA : Yes, it’s ‘bad.’  We must invest in the world, in real life, since this is where the real challenges happen.

ADN : But isn’t meditation a pillar of Daoism?

SA : Yes, for sure, it’s one of the three pillars;  Work on the breath, work on the mind, and strengthening the body.

ADN : Do you have periods of retreat or asceticism in your meditation practice?

SA : Of course… Everyday I have a little retreat at home.  And several times a year, we go away for at least five days.  This lets us have a practice that continues to progress.  But be careful you are not fleeing.  We still have a Celestial Mandate.

ADN : We could consider you as one of the French authorities on Daoism, Chinese medicine, and meditation.  Works like the Nei Jing, Su Wen, and most recently the wonderful drawings and descriptions of George Soulié de Morant, or even the work of Jacques André Lavier, cannot be missed.

Let’s not forget the dictionaries like Precise Acupuncture or the Atlas of Acupuncture.  Next, it’s curiosity, motivation and imagination that can lead students and practitioners towards other readings.  So could you please advise students and practitioners of Shiatsu of some?

SA : I would say that all practitioners should go towards a practice.  A practice of the breath, meditation to keep the ideas clear, and especially to strengthen the body.  A practitioner cannot be fragile.  Whatever their work, they must have a practice of pure mind work, a practice on the breath to have more Qi available, and a practice of the body, the battery within which we put our Qi.  If the body is too weak, the Qi escapes.  A practitioner must have all three.

In my Encyclopedia on Daoism, I speak about many things, but really, you need to practice.  Lao Zi made fun of a lot of knowledge that was not assimilated, and I am convinced this is the worst thing in the world.  Freud spoke on the confusion between reading about something, and understanding it.  Everything comes from practice.

Someone who uses their clinical practice to heal another person is responsible for their own evolution, otherwise whatever they do will not be good.

ADN : Thank you for this pertinent advice.  We could say experience comes by knowledge, and this comes by practice.

SA : You must clearly separate the three practices: body, breath and mind.

ADN : Body, breath and mind.  Thank you again, Serge Augier.

SA : My pleasure.  And do not have doubts.  Avoid the pitfalls of “it’s not for me,” “I don’t like it,” “It’s too hard,” “it’s too easy.”…

Try to commit for 8 months or a year…  You will always end up better than before.  You are always better with it, than without.