I travel, write, give Shiatsu, drift, make art and walk.

my foot is on the earth and I wish to walk over it until my wings be grown

Maria Michell 1818-1889 with thanks to Maria Popova

I have taken long-distance walks and made secular pilgrimage on the St Magnus Way, Orkney; the Via Sacra, Austria; along the Scottish and Portuguese coastal paths and the Spanish caminos. Author of Working with Death and Loss in Shiatsu Practice (Singing Dragon, Hachette), I also have essays published in Caught by the River, So Hormonal (Monstrous Regiment), by the Wild Woman Press, Wild Greens Magazine, and the Wanderlust Journal.

I live in Edinburgh, Scotland, and have two grown-up daughters.

Cramond Island, Edinburgh

In the Autumn of 2016 I took a sabbatical and travelled to Spain, exchanging Shiatsu for bed and board. I walked the Camino Frances (Pamplona to Finisterre), part of the Via de la Plata (Santiago de Compostella towards Seville), and up and over the Sierra Calderona near Valencia.

In 2017 I had the pleasure of teaching in Paris and working on a Shiatsu mobile application (Tsubook) in Normandy, taking the opportunity to walk down that coast and crossing the sands, barefoot, to Mont Saint-Michel.

You picture yourself stepping out onto a path like The Fool in tarot, a bundle on a stick, tripping lightly. …not an idle wander: this has meaning. It is the recovering of sanity and sanctity.

Sonia Overall, Heavy Time p13

Later the same year, I sailed to Spain, again exchanging bed and board for Shiatsu, to visit Zaragoza, Seville, and walk a further 10 days of the Via de la Plata, this time from Seville to Mérida. As always, I walked alone and carried my own backpack.

In September 2017 I attended the European Shiatsu Congress in Vienna, sharing my Shiatsu with kind people who were willing to offer me bed, board and boots. I walked the Via Sacra from Vienna to Mariazell, Austria (I am honoured that it was featured in the Wanderlust Journal), visited the city of Graz, trekked round the Worthersee, walked in the Italian and Swiss alps, climbed a mountain near the Black Forest, Germany; and wandered along part of the Alsace wine route in France.

April 2018 saw me back in Paris to teach Maternity Shiatsu and walking the middle section of the Via de la Plata camino from Merida to Oursense (completing the full 1000 kms).

In May 2018 I walked the St Magnus Way on Orkney, spent a month in Ireland, time in Greece and at PAF in France.

IMG_20180527_094201 (640x359)

Cuween, Orkney, Scotland.

In 2019, I went to Estonia (PAF again) and Wales to write my book, walked the Camino da Coasta from Porto to Santiago de Compostella, volunteered for 2 weeks at a Spanish albergue (a hostel) in Grado on the Camino Primitivo, and toured around Portugal.

Between March and August 2020 I was in lockdown with mum in my birth county of Kent where I walked the village paths every day. For my birthday present to myself, I walked the first 4 days of The Pilgrim’s Way from Winchester to Guildford.

My first book, Working with Death and Loss in Shiatsu Practice, a Guide to Bodywork in Palliative Care was published by Singing Dragon Press in August 2020. There is more about the book on my website tamsingrainger.com

Camino credential, shell and other tiles

I give one-to-one Shiatsu therapy sessions; hold Death Cafes, teach groups for all sectors of the community (Shiatsu, chi gung, acupressure, meditation); have collectively set up and run two Shiatsu clinics (The Shiatsu Place and The Shiatsu Centre/Healthy Life Centre) and a pair of Shiatsu schools (The Shiatsu School Edinburgh, and East West Shiatsu School Scotland). I teach Shiatsu internationally (Switzerland, Spain, Norway, France, Greece, Portugal, France) particularly on the subject of death, loss and grief.

I write articles about my Shiatsu work, others about walking (including two which were published in Caught by the River), and my travels. I am a member of the Women Who Walk, Walking Artists Network, and Walking the Land artists collective; have received financial support from the RSPB and Sustrans for my installation No Birds Land (also on soundcloud and vimeo where there are other sound tracks, films and performance) which was shortlisted for a Sound Walk September award; showed my exhibition Clipp’d Wings via the Audacious Women and art.earth websites, and have presented at the 4th World Congress of Psychogeography, Borrowed Time, The Embodiment Conference, and the Urban Tree Festival.

I started out life as a dancer and then community dance worker including Dance Animateur for the Forest of Dean and Dance Artist in Residence for Edinburgh (becoming Dance Base, as dance worker, board member and Acting Chair). I was also Chair of the Shiatsu Society of which I have been a member since 1985.

You can find me on LinkedIn as Tamsin Grainger

19 thoughts on “About me

  1. Stumbled across your blog on walking through my home town of Leith and gratefully learned some interesting facts. Your journeys are inspiring and remind myself of the importance of not just living life but walking it also. So much to see and strangers to meet. Fantastic.


  2. Hi there,
    I just seen the gravestone of my mum on your blog, was lovely to see. Although you said her name was ‘Sardar Mohammad’ when it’s actually ‘Amina Bibi’
    Thank you for the pic. What’s the chances I’d find it on here.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not a problem at all. Thank you for the pic though. Was a lovely surprise. I need to make another visit soon. I live in Stirling Now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I admire your ability to run a business and with a family too. Making time for walking in life is very enhancing though in so many ways.
    I’m looking forward to reading more now that I have found you.
    Amelia Marriette


  4. I don’t know anything about Shiatsu, but you seem to be the one to follow to learn more about it! I’m interested in how you combine your Shiatsu with your walks. What a creative way to live! And how interesting that you walked the Camino Frances backward from Santiago to Seville. 🙂


    1. Thankyou! I exchange Shiatsu for a bed or food etc. And I freely give it when necessary – in a bar kneeling on the floor or on the hostal in the dormitory, in the queue as we waited to get a bed or kitchen before sleeping.

      I tried walking backwards from Santiago to Seville but only managed 10 days. After that I started in Seville and walked to where I had got to, more or less. It was a good lesson.

      Thanks for following and commenting. I could not work out how to contribute to yours.


      1. Sounds like an interesting way to travel, Tamsin. So why did you only manage 10 days from Santiago to Seville? And then where did you go from Seville? I’ll have to keep reading to find out more!
        I’m not sure why you can’t contribute to my blog in comments. If you have a WordPress blog, it should be okay. Is your blog through WordPress?


      2. Wow! That list of the places you’ve been is very extensive! It seems you have bounced around a lot in Spain (and I’m sure many other places as well!). Good for you. I’m sure it was all very exciting. 🙂


  5. Looking forward to making the time to read your blog thoroughly as I love walking too. I found your blog yesterday with the search tag ‘shiatsu’. I have often wondered about training in it having had a positive experience of the healing power of Shiatsu some years ago. Walk on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, studying Shiatsu was one of the best things I have ever done – I highly recommend it. Thank you for your message and I hope you are having some great walks. With best wishes, Tamsin


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