Michael DeAgro

Michael DeAgro

Postgraduate Clinical Shiatsu Studies

A one-year program of shiatsu mastery with Michael DeAgro


Four Weekend Intensives + Online Tutorials

November 2015 - August 2016


Two Locations:

Walker Center, Newton, MA

Ruscombe Mansion, Baltimore, MD


To Register: Call or email: Michael DeAgro,

(231) 946-4006   zenkilotus@gmail.com 


Learn the elegance of achieving effortless results with the resonance of intrinsic touch.

  • Complete a weekend intensive every 2 months with bi-weekly online tutorials and supportive mentorship.
  • 150 hours of continuing education (120 hours for four weekend intensives and 30 hours of live online support).
  • NCCAOM PDA credit and NCBTMB CE hours are pending (four hours of ethics included for NCCAOM PDA credit). 
  • Each intensive provides a master clinic where you can bring your most challenging cases for supervised practice.
  • Cost of the program includes the opportunity to visit and benefit from supervised practice in Michael’s teaching clinic in Traverse City, MI. (Students are responsible for their own travel and lodging).
  • Note: Program participants must be professional Asian Bodywork Therapists or Acupuncturists, or have at least 100 hours of foundation training in an ABT discipline.

For practicing Asian Bodywork Therapists, one of Michael’s passions is elevating the clinical and economic success of dedicated Asian bodywork practitioners. This program furthers the proficiencies for achieving clinical results across a broad spectrum of pathologies. Clinical results are key to developing a thriving word-of-mouth practice.

For Acupuncturists, this program provides training in the empathic sensitivity and felt sense of qi that you may not have connected to during your acupuncture studies. You will learn to perceive and affect qi directly through touch with the same ease and efficiency as needling technique.


Full Program (150 hours): $3600

Includes $500 registration fee

Payment Options

$3600 paid in full

$300 paid in twelve monthly payments


Affordable lodging is available at The Walker Center Bed and Breakfast in Newton, MA where the training is located. Hotels are within easy access to both training locations. Follow link for more details, http://walkerctr.org/bed-breakfast.


All weekend intensives run Thursday-Sunday, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Intensive I: Sinew Channels

Newton, MA                November 12-15, 2015

Baltimore, MD            November 5-8, 2015

Intensive II: Primary Channels

Newton, MA                January 28-31, 2016

Baltimore, MD            January 21-24, 2016

Intensive III: Divergent Channels

Newton, MA                April 21-24, 2016

Baltimore, MD            April 28-May 1, 2016

Intensive IV: Extraordinary Vessels and Integration of Channels

 Newton, MA                June 2-5, 2016

 Baltimore, MD            June 9-12, 2016

Introductory Offerings for Prospective Students:

Cost for workshops applies toward program!

Demystifying Qi and the Channels

Friday September 18th, 7-10pm, The Walker Center, Newton, MA

Free Workshop!

In this presentation, Michael DeAgro offers an exciting discussion on the meaning of “Qi” and “channels of Qi”. He presents his open inquiry into the historical and contemporary translations and mistranslations of the most fundamental concepts of our shiatsu medicine. He invites practitioners to examine how our notions of these basic concepts shape our technique; and how that understanding limits or enhances the result of our work. What did the concept of “Qi” really mean to the ancient Chinese? Does it really mean “energy”? Do we really move a substance called “Qi”? How have different cultures shaped the meaning of the concept “Qi”? Michael shares his findings and reflections on such questions and how it has impacted his own evolution as a “Qi” practitioner.

Following the workshop will be a question and answer session about the content and objectives of the Postgraduate Clinical Shiatsu Studies Program.

 The Touch of Intrinsic Qi:

Maximal Effect With Minimal Effort

Saturday September 19th, 9am-4pm, The Walker Center, Newton, MA

Tuition: $120 - the cost of the workshop can be credited towards program tuition.

In this workshop, Michael DeAgro teaches a clear and simple method for achieving tangible results in the “channel qi” with effortless touch. We will explore the effects of light touch combined with specific changes in spatial perception that achieves immediate changes in the patterning of qi. This process teaches the participant how to take the gross motor skills of any shiatsu technique and transform them into the refined touch that elicits an intrinsic qi response. We will also examine what it means to work with the channels within an antipathogenic qi model. Instruction will include lots of demonstration and practice, practice, practice.

Following the workshop will be a question and answer session about the content and objectives of the Postgraduate Clinical Shiatsu Studies Program.


Quantum Hara Diagnosis

Sunday September 20th, 9:00-4:00pm, The Walker Center, Newton, MA

Tuition: $120 - the cost of the workshop can be credited towards program tuition.

In this workshop, Michael DeAgro will present three distinct methods of hara diagnosis: Japanese Abdominal Diagnosis from Kampo traditions, Kyo/Jitsu Hara Diagnosis from Shizuto Masunaga’s Zen Shaitsu, and Quantum Hara Diagnosis from Pauline Sasaki’s Quantum Shiatsu. Exploring these three methods demonstrates clearly the perceptual distinction between palpating mass, vibration, and pure information. By practicing, comparing, and contrasting each method, we can better understand the continuum of gross to subtle perception in which we work and the different styles of treatment they generate. What does it mean to work with mass vs. vibration vs. pure information? Special attention will be given to Quantum Hara Diagnosis, which moves us from assessing qi (vibration) to assessing pure information. We will examine the exciting possibilities available to us when we work with an information-based model of diagnosis and treatment.

Following the workshop will be a question and answer session about the content and objectives of the Postgraduate Clinical Shiatsu Studies Program.


To Register: Call or email: Michael DeAgro, (231) 946-4006   ZenKiLotus@gmail.com

Postgraduate Clinical Shiatsu Studies Program:

Michael DeAgro is offering a one-year advanced clinical studies program for students and practitioners who have completed foundational training in shiatsu therapy and basic channel theory. The 150-hour training program offers an extended, in-depth study of classical Chinese medicine, channel dynamics, and shiatsu methodology.

The course is structured into four four-day intensives with bi-weekly online tutorials and an online forum for sharing case studies. The online tutorials are offered through a live streaming format allowing for regular supportive mentorship throughout the program.


Program Objectives:

1.     Learn to work with multiple levels of the channel system and how to choose the most appropriate channel system for a given pathology.

2.     Expand your range of energetic perception for diagnosis and treatment, and learn to stimulate radical shifts in the patterning of qi with effortless force.

3.     Learn dynamic models of treatment that exceed the limits of TCM training.

4.     Learn the Dao Yin cultivation practices that enable you to give bodywork at a master level.

5.     Learn to create a sustainable bodywork practice by increasing your clinical effectiveness with the full spectrum of illness and disease.


Program Fundamentals :

Exploring the Channels and Vessels

The program investigates the multiple systems of channels and vessels at the core of classical channel theory. Entry level training in shiatsu therapy typically emphasizes the study and use of the primary channels for treatment. This program explores the use of all the channel systems within the classical tri-level framework of the three qi levels: wei qi, ying qi, yuan qi. These three levels encompass the total channel/vessel network: sinew channels, primary channels, lou vessels, divergent channels, and eight extraordinary vessels.  

Learning to work with all levels of the channel systems offers practitioners more dynamic treatment options, which are especially valuable for addressing the deepest roots of disease and empowering radical transformation in the growth and healing process of an unfolding life. Study of the distinct functions of each channel system provides practitioners with a broader framework for sensing through empathic touch the most optimal place to catalyze change.

During the program we will discuss the psychophysiology and distinctive pathologies of each channel system, and the appropriate shiatsu methodology for optimal treatment of each channel system. Each intensive includes basic instruction in both the theory and clinical application of one or two channel systems. Emphasis will be given to translating Chinese medical concepts into tangible, observable phenomena. The aim of the program is to develop an embodied understanding of the material through experiential training and clinical practice.


Expanding Our Shiatsu:

Throughout the program we will also explore the refinement of shiatsu methodology, expanding our range of perception for diagnosis and treatment. Special consideration will be given to the cultivation of empathic sensitivity and facilitating the intrinsic movement of antipathogenic qi with effortless force.

Antipathogenic Qi

In an antipathogenic qi model, we do not treat according to disease and pathology but instead assess for the emergent patterning of qi whereby the system is attempting to reorganize and restore its whole function. In this approach, we learn to perceive the system’s natural self-correcting momentum toward balance; and work with minimal effort to encourage its innate expression. Our goal is not to focus on altering disease manifestations but to elicit the total dynamic functioning of our original yang and yin expressing as the life cycle. When working with the antipathogenic qi and skillfully differentiating the channel level in which it is most operative, we can facilitate profound changes with minimal effort.

Intrinsic Force

Treating with intrinsic force is the ability to affect change through touch without effort, without relying on the physical movement (force) of touch, often referred to as “qi before strength”. It enables us to achieve maximum effect with minimal effort. When combined with a refined understanding of the total channel network, we can stimulate radical shifts in the patterning of qi.

Over the course of the program, Michael will introduce the fundamentals of his shiatsu method, Zenki Soho Shiatsu, which he originated from the combined influences of his long-time studies of Quantum Shiatsu with Pauline Sasaki, his own contemplations of classical medical teachings, and daoist internal martial arts practice. Zenki Soho Shiatsu approaches diagnosis as a perception of spatial dynamics rather than a movement of qi and treatment is approached as the regulation of contraction/expansion of the spatial field through empathic resonance. His method often produces tangible and immediate results with seemingly no effort.

Dao Yin Training

Dao Yin translates as “guiding and leading”. Dao Yin practice cultivates the specific skill of “guiding and leading qi” in the body. Our Dao Yin practice will involve specific internal movement processes that train the unique sensitivity required for facilitating the qi dynamic with the least amount of physical effort. This self-cultivation process is key to differentiating the perceptual qualities of jing, qi, and shen within the channel networks and infusing our shiatsu technique with intrinsic power.


Training Intensives:

Intensive One: Sinew Channels

The first intensive provides practical investigation of exterior energetics, which is regulated by the sinew channels. Unblocking the sinew channels facilitates the flow of wei qi as it is expressed through the sensory orifices, the skin, and the neuromuscular network. Successful treatment of the sinew channel system supports our exchange with the world around us. The free flow of wei qi is essential to creative expression and the management of boundaries in life. Effectively treating the sinew channel complex is critical to healing musculoskeletal injuries, immunological challenges such as allergies and infections, neurological and orthopedic conditions, skin disorders, chronic pain syndromes, and psycho-emotional disharmonies generating chronic myofascial constriction.

Skillfully treating the sinew channels is not only critical to healing illnesses in the sinew channel layer but also important to enhancing resiliency and expressivity in our basic movements in the world. With greater sinew channel treatment skills, we can offer exceptional care for situations ranging from ordinary occupational stress to high performance needs for athletes, musicians, dancers, performing artists, and heavy laborers. 

We will explore the classical six divisions of sinew channel movements (taiyang, shaoyang, yangming, taiyin, shoayin, jueyin) as the essential movement patterns of life. Focus will be on assessing the six divisions and finding the most dynamic points for immediate release of the sinew and unblocking the flow of wei qi.  Our shiatsu training will also involve learning how to activate the intrinsic release of holding patterns in the sinew channels without the need for physical manipulation of the tissue.

Intensive Two: Primary Channels and Lou Vessels

The second intensive extends our understanding of the functional energetics of the ying qi level, which is expressed through the primary and lou channel system.

The primary/lou channels are responsible for the flow of ying qi (post-natal qi and blood) and closely associated with the zang-fu organs. Learning to effectively treat the primary/lou channels supports the continuous creation of life, restores health to visceral disharmonies, and nourishes all of the body’s tissues. We are most familiar with the functions of this channel system from our foundation studies in TCM models of physiology.  

This intensive presents lesser-known models of physiology from classical Chinese medicine, such as the Shang Han Lun model of six spheres and the Fire Spirit school. Exploring these classical teachings refines our understanding of the regenerative cycle of life and how to restore the innate momentum of the qi dynamic through theprimary/lou channel network. Effective treatment of the primary/lou channels is especially important in resolving illnesses of the body’s zang-fu, enhancing post-natal qi and blood production, and optimizing qi and blood circulation.

Our shiatsu training with the primary channels will explore a unique and alternate method of quickly restoring the post-natal cycle of ying qi for self-healing and nourishing life. This antipathogenic approach to primary channel treatment is not based on the perception of disease manifestations. It follows the perception of the ying qi cycle itself and targets the channel that will most effortlessly restore its intrinsic movement.

Intensive Three: Divergent Channels   

The third intensive in the series will explore the nature of the divergent channels, which is rarely taught in standard curriculums. The divergent channel system is often the least understood of the channel systems and the most important system for regulating our instinctual nature and increasing our spontaneous adaptation to life’s challenges. The divergent channel system governs the interaction between yuan qi and wei qi. It is responsible for the spontaneous expression of our essential self (yuan qi) and the innate protection (wei qi) of our life cycle. As such, it is both the source of our core power and the place of our deepest tensions and unresolved conflicts. Learning to work with the divergent channels is crucial to resolving a wide range of chronic and degenerative illnesses including auto-immune diseases, post-traumatic stress disorders, psycho-emotional disturbances, endocrine diseases, cancer, and many unexplainable psychosomatic conditions. We will explore shiatsu treatment strategies for restoring the critical function of these important channels. Some of the most dramatic healing responses are a direct result of affecting the divergent channel network.

Intensive Four: Extraordinary Vessels and Integration of the Channel Systems

In our final intensive we will examine the nature of the extraordinary vessels as the constitutional foundation for life. Being conduits of yuan qi (or jing), they represent the innermost organization of life and key developmental cycles. Traditionally, these vessels were not used to deal with ordinary circumstances. They are called upon under extraordinary circumstances such as genetic diseases, life threatening illnesses, major life altering events, or critical developmental transitions in the life cycle of birth, growth and completion. We will learn a hara diagnostic method and shiatsu technique for invoking the special influence of these primordial vessels.

Also in our final intensive we will practice a method of multi-dimensional diagnosis through hara and channel scanning using the empathic sensitivity cultivated throughout the program. With new understandings of the total dynamic functioning of the channel networks, we will practice designing a treatment process that facilitates greater integrity in the restoration of health and human potential. Time will be given to learning how to construct and mirror the story of an individual’s transformation as reflected in the embodied spirit’s movement of qi.

Michael DeAgro

Michael DeAgro

The Instructor: Michael DeAgro

Michael DeAgro began his career as a visual artist, psychotherapist, and expressive arts therapist with a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1985 and an MS in counseling psychology in 1990. Early in his career he had the profound fortune to study the internal alchemy of a seclusive mystic named Joseluis Villanueva. The transmission he received from his great teacher inspired his lifelong path as a healer.

In 1993, he began his studies in shiatsu at the Baltimore School of Shiatsu, studying Zen Shiatsu with Rosemary Scavullo and Shiatsu and Chinese medicine with Barbra Esher. After completing his foundation training through the Baltimore School of Shiatsu, he continued his studies with Pauline Sasaki committing himself to the study and practice of Pauline’s Quantum Shiatsu method, which evolved from her direct studies with Shizuto Masanaga and Akinobu Kishi. In addition to his shiatsu studies, Michael has studied the classical channel teachings of Jeffrey Yuen, the empirical methods of Japanese meridian therapy, and the teachings of Yin Style Bagua Bodywork as preserved by Andrew Nugent-Head.

In 2002, Michael began his studies in Chinese herbal medicine. After completing a foundation program through the Institute of Chinese Herbology, he completed two years of private study and mentorship with Gonzalo Flores of GroundSpring Healing Center in Portland, OR. In 2014, he completed the White Pine Institute’s two-year Graduate Mentorship Program in Chinese herbal medicine with Sharon Weizenbaum. Currently, he is continuing his studies of the Shang Han Lun tradition of classical Chinese herbal medicine with Dr. Feng Shi Lun of the Hu Xi Shu Classical Medicine Research Association in Beijing, China. He has also studied the Shang Han Lun tradition with Dr. Huang Huang, Nigel Dawes, Yaron Seidman, and Alex Tiberi.

In addition to his studies of Asian bodywork therapies and Chinese herbal medicine, Michael also studies both Chinese and Japanese martial arts. He studies T’ai Chi Chuan and Daoist internal martial arts with Scott Phillips of Northstar Martial Arts in Boulder, CO and Aikido and Iaido with Roo (Katherine) Heins of Northwest Michigan Aikikai in Traverse City, MI. He believes his studies of internal martial arts and internal alchemy have been key to his understanding of effortless power and the spontaneous transformation of qi.

Michael maintains a full-time clinic in Traverse City, Michigan where he combines the practice of psychotherapy with Asian bodywork therapies and Chinese herbal medicine. He also teaches and provides professional coaching and supervision to Asian bodywork therapists. Michael holds a special interest in elevating the clinical and economic success of dedicated Asian bodywork practitioners. He is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan, a board certified Diplomat of Asian Bodywork Therapy with the NCCAOM, and a Certified Instructor member of the AOBTA. He has served on the AOBTA board as Director of Education and is currently a member of the AOBTA Peer Review Committee.