Mission : France -> Congo, Brazzaville
République du Congo
HEAD OF MISSION
Marie-Joëlle ROSE / Lilane Delacour
– Teaching Shiatsu to blind people
Shiatsu for the blind
A lifelong traveller, a shiatsu practitioner and teacher for thirty years, trained in Japan in the 1980s, I aspired on the one hand to discover Africa and on the other hand to transmit my art to an underprivileged population. This desire was fulfilled thanks to a link with Dr Marie-Claude Yannicopoulos, then president of the association Solidarité Homéopathie. In Brazzaville, Liliane Delacour, her interlocutor, wanted to give a shiatsu training to blind people. This is how I got involved for four missions of two weeks each between 2009 and 2010.
The group consisted of about 30 people, women and men of various ages, who had lost their sight for different reasons. These missions demanded creativity and tenacity from me in the scorching heat. In the martial arts dojo we were lent, it was sometimes 45 degrees! I had to revise my way of transmitting of course.
The group was joyful and participating. There were a few misunderstandings sometimes due to language (some had forgotten French and only spoke Ingala, the official language). Unlike sighted people who want to see the meridians (which are invisible) at all costs, these blind people, having compensated somewhat for their sense of sight by touch, learned them much more quickly.
As the missions progressed, the group became smaller. Most of them travelled many kilometres to get to the centre. At the end of these missions, I issued them with a certificate that allowed them to work and thus to stop living in misery. All of them testified to feeling better, to feeling recognised, to getting out of the tunnel in which they were immersed.
For me, it was a deeply enriching experience. They filled me with their joy despite the difficult conditions and transformed my transmission and my practice. An extraordinary life lesson! I am still in contact with them and some of them practice. Finally, we can ask ourselves what it means to “see” and more particularly in our practice where our hands are our eyes.