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 grownMaria 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.
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 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
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