What body therapists say about flow

Body therapy means the joy of touching wholeness, supporting personal processes and creating healing spaces.

Body therapy also means to remind ourselves and others that life is good, that we can let go into good, flowing water. Body therapy is not simply „therapy of the body“, but „therapy through the body“. We touch a wholeness through the body and through the appreciation of what it is for us – a memory of a wholeness that we have never lost. Here is the entrance door to Flow.

What do body therapists of different methods say about flow and how their method supports flow?

New: Lymph drainage

Umesh Tejasvi, teacher of Ayurveda and lymphatic drainage:

Lymphatic drainage is usually described in dry medical terms. However, lymphatic drainage plays an important role in the flow of life. It reminds us, physically and therefore concretely and practically, of the secrets of flow, which we cannot „make“ and „control“, which we can only support and allow.

If we look at and describe lymphatic drainage from the Ayurvedic point of view, we get a picture of lymphatic drainage that is better suited to the miracle it is based on.

Rasa, Rasayana and the Lymph

In Ayurveda the study of liquid substances in the body is of great importance. Rasayana, one of the eight main branches of Ayurveda, involves the application of knowledge about the lymphatic system. Rasa here means blood plasma and lymph, ayana means applied science.

The lymph or rasa-dhatu is responsible for the first sensory reaction such as the first feeling of hunger as soon as one perceives the fine smell of food. If rasa-dhatu is thickened by a weak digestive fire (agni) and loaded with waste products (ama), our sensory perceptions become dull.

Rasa has many meanings, they all describe a certain function of the lymph. Interestingly, the three most important meanings of rasa are fluid (lymph), feelings (emotions) and taste: lymph, emotions, taste, juice, nutrient fluid, melody, plasma, water, menses, semen, breast milk, satisfaction, love.

Rasa and the emotional-sensory link

In Ayurveda, every taste sensation is assigned to a special digestive step and to a specific sensation triggered by it. Therefore, it is no wonder that one feels a feeling of happiness in the face of the scent of let’s say a freshly baked bread. As soon as the smell rises into our nose, this sensory stimulus is linked to an emotion. This emotional process then continues in the stomach and throughout the digestive tract.

Just as the taste of food is called rasa, our associated sensations and emotions are also called rasa. This is the reason why according to Ayurveda every taste transports or indicates a different sensation. It is therefore important to combine all six tastes in one meal to achieve a balanced emotional state.

The six flavours and the associated emotions/feelings:

Sweet / Satisfaction, fulfillment, comfort
Acidic / increased attentiveness, insight, cognition
Salty / Need, Passion, Joie de vivre
Sharp / ambitious, powered, extroverted
Bitter / dynamic, focused, prudent
Astringent / mental clarity, serenity, tranquility

If only one of these components is missing over a longer period of time in the diet or if one of the components is overabsorbed over a longer period of time, this can lead to an emotional or physiological imbalance.

We know that 95% of our serotonin is produced and stored in the gut. We also know that emotional states are influenced by the composition of the intestinal flora. We also know that the microbial composition in the intestinal flora can generate emotions and is therefore very sensitive to moods, feelings and environmental factors that we are exposed to during food intake. The sum of all these factors has an influence on the quality of our rasa.

Emotional states during a lack of rasas:

sweet / dissatisfied, discontented
sour / impulsive, careless, reckless, scattered
salty / unmotivated, hesitant, indifferent
sharp / passive, withdrawn
bitter / disappointed, sorrowful
astringent / uninterested, clumsy, cloudy, apathetic

Emotional states with a surplus of rasas:

sweet / complacent, apathetic, indifferent, lazy
sour / critical, rating
salty / hedonistic, controlled by the senses
sharp / evil, aggressive, offensive
bitter / bitter, pessimistic
astringent / hypersensitive, anxious, worried

What prevents the flow

Stress, poor nutrition, trauma, excessive activity, worries, stress, anxiety, and eating without mindfulness hinder the body’s ability to build healthy tissues. During the whole process emotionally unfavourable parts, called „mental ama“ in Ayurveda, are transported into the deeper layers of the tissue and deposited there. This is one of the reasons why Ayurveda attaches such importance to the detoxification of the body.

Detox therefore does not only mean to purify the body. It also frees us from unhealthy emotions that we sometimes carry around with us since our childhood. These emotions, if they are not let go, hinder the formation of healthy tissue over time and even cause it to be broken down.

Lymphatic drainage not only helps to support the flow in the body, but also clarifies and calms the mind and emotions. This makes it easier for us to find the state of flow in everyday life and in meditation.

Info zur Lymphdrainage

New: Autogenic Training

Stefan Siegfried, Psychology FSP and Teacher for Autogenic Training at the Kientalerhof: 

The feeling of warmth and heaviness
to let everything have to and thinking fall away from oneself
more and more simply listening into oneself
without expectation, without goal, letting the thoughts wander
curious what exactly this moment can show and open up

Eyes closed
the borders of the world become blurred from inside and outside
a gentle inner light begins to show itself
when in front of the inner eye
the clouds in the sky and move on and on –

And to go with them, to flow with them.
mysterious stream of becoming
In the silence that is, more and more
when the flow of breath carries us away.

Gliding inside us, following the sound of the heartbeat,
find solubility within us, and this trusting solubility within ourselves
as our actual deeper nature, which has always been waiting to be
in the background in us
On our return and bond
Now every day consciously and more and more clearly
Patiently waiting to receive us.


New: Desbloqueo

Andreas Gürtler, DESBLOQUEO, teacher for energy perception and healing:

Flow is a natural state of man. This statement may be astonishing. Because usually we associate flow with an extraordinary state, a state where everything fits, everything flows, we feel „high“, elevated, happy and free. However, if we understand flow as something natural, as a „normal“ state among many other normal states, then it may be easier for us to detach ourselves from the magic and uniqueness of what is considered flow.

Each and every one of us knows the state of flow. But only a few people succeed in consciously evoking and staying in this state. What do artists, speakers and thinkers do to glide in flow? And how can you acquire the ability to have the flow „with you“ and to integrate it as a normal and natural state into daily life?

DESBLOQUEO offers a way. The method has been tried and tested for several years. Everyone can learn to be in flow and to grow and mature in it. It requires few but essential steps to the resources of our own originality and authenticity. All concern our relationship of body and mind. Beginning with the body and its activation, we learn how to create a profound and intense sense of well-being. Building on this, meditations receive a completely new power, concentrated inner silence becomes an easily attainable goal. This creates the conditions that make flow possible and create awareness of it. Things in life change. The rest is practice.

The three-part basic training DESBLOQUEO introduces into energetic processes. These are the basis for all energy work, be it more body-oriented or more spiritually oriented. From this point of view Flow is even a necessary basis in dealing with our own energies and those of our fellow human beings.



Wilfried Rappenecker, Shiatsu Therapist and Shiatsu Teacher:

Flow in Shiatsu

Flow in meditation practice means to be part of an event („to have entered the flow“). This takes place outside of me as well as with me and within me. The thought of being able to control it arises from an illusion; one can only surrender to the flow.

In Shiatsu practice, flow arises when „it“ happens by itself. It shows up when the client’s reaction to the touch, and the perception of the person being treated, their presence and treatment impulses and the perceptible situation of the client are part of an event that manifests itself in the common therapeutic space. In this space the self-healing powers unfold as if by themselves.

The Therapeutic Space is (as in psychotherapy) a resonance space. We believe that the prerequisite for the development of flow in Shiatsu treatment is the activation of this resonance space. The essence of the activation of the resonance space is trust.

Technical security and the relaxed presence of the practitioner start the activated resonance space. Especially the pleasant and liberating experience in one’s own body caused by the physical touch gives the client security and thus enables trust. This, in turn, allows the practitioner to have more confidence in himself and his feeling for the treatment situation, to entrust himself with his impulses in the resonance space and to be more present in himself.

This process can be slow or very fast. Often the practitioner notices clearly the moment when resonance activation and trust have become strong. Saul Goodman (founder of the Shiatsu School Kiental) called this the „switch“ in the treatment.

Once the flow has occurred, as a practitioner I no longer have to follow a theory and apply certain defined techniques. Rather, I feel the client’s situation clearly. My hands and my attention „know“ where they want to go, the impulses perceptible in me show me the way. Every attempt to control and narrow down the events weakens the power of the flow. All I have to do is follow.

This is made possible by a clear presence and an alert immersion in the moment. All elements of the treatment now flow into each other almost by themselves: the conscious perception of the event, a clear assessment of the treatment situation, the precise application and variation of adequate treatment techniques including osteopathic and inner techniques and an intellectual reflection of the appropriate theory for this moment.

Even beginners of Shiatsu experience this flow when they feel comfortable in the treatment, become softer and more permeable and feel how the receiving person also surrenders to the flow, lets it happen. This feels very good, and this feeling of well-being is often an important motivation to want to learn Shiatsu more deeply.

In the course of a training this experience can temporarily step into the background, because the theories and techniques to be learned demand a lot of attention. Opening and activating the resonance space then easily falls behind. If this is pointed out and thematized, it easily reappears. With increasing practical experience and security, however, the experience of the flow in the treatment becomes an essential part of the experience and effect of Shiatsu.


Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

Liliane Fehlmann, Principal of the Integral School for Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Kiental:

Flow and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

The term Flow is usually used to describe a complete integration into an activity. Moments in Flow are timeless, nourishing and people who experience Flow describe a bliss that becomes accessible. After a Flow experience one is „different“ than before.

In Flow, the self-healing powers become effortlessly accessible. In the context of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy we also like to use the word presence. Presence is the ability to fully accept the moment as it appears to us. This complete acceptance reveals the actions and hand postures on the craniosacral system that the moment requires, and lets the silence appear in which all actions have their origin. Not the action, the STILLNESS is the nourishing force that organizes life. The actions are simply the result of this power of stillness.

In my opinion, there are different gates to consciously experience access to this power of silence. The merging into an activity may be one of these gates. Presence is another gate. The occupation with Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is one of the most beautiful and most important of all.

We learn to see the body system as a „Master of Presence, Master of Flow“ because the body lives in eternal devotion to NOW. We cannot put the present breath on the bench, it cannot be assured, it is simply NOW the movement that enables us to live, and stillness is the „silent partner“ of every movement.

If you make a small, still pause between breaths, you feel the force that causes movement (inhalation) and also counter-movement (exhalation). If we are a few moments with our breath and with nothing but our breath, we approach the presence, the stillness, and it could be that out of this stillness we watch the flow and experience flow consciously.

If we look this way and involve in it, Flow will let us flow – towards life and love – out of stillness.



Trager Therapy

Bill Scholl, Trager Therapist and Instructor:

What is Flow?

Within the Trager Therapy, the concept of flow is central. We ask our therapists to be in and to work from, a state of presence, of connection. Of course, to even say this is to bring up many questions!

Let me try to explain it in this way: we live our lives in gravity. It is there from our first moment in this world and remains until we take our last breath. It is so present that we simply accept it as normal. Often, the only time we become aware of gravity is when we have pain!

To learn to move easily in this field of gravity requires awareness (feeling my weight) and a willingness to enquire and explore (how could it feel? What is lighter?). These simple questions open a door to self-awareness. This is a never-ending, life-long process.

Milton Trager often said that “We can only give to our patients what we have.” Unless we have an experience of something freer, or softer or lighter or… we will not be able to offer that to our patient.

Our choice in this world, no matter our physical condition, is to either play with gravity or to be bent and defeated by it. To play with gravity is to be in a state of flow. This is what we learn as therapists; this is what we teach our patients.




Esalen Massage

Lilian Imboden, Esalen Practitioner, Teacher in Training: 

Esalen massage is Flow

The essence of Esalen Massage lies in the flow. Warm hands flow from the shoulders into the back. Along the spine they find their way to the bony shore of the iliac crest, which they gently wash around. Here the flow becomes slower, the water deeper. The palms sink in close to the base of the strong gluteal muscles. With sensitive, but certain pressure in the direction of the feet, they gently stretch vertebrae by vertebra. Then the hands on the right and left flow apart. Like water they find their lowest point on the table. The flow reverses and moves slowly upwards. At the neck it separates and pulls towards the arms. Finally, a light, fine wave carries the hands beyond the fingertips. Here they are ready to flow on.

Slowly it becomes quiet. Spirit, body and soul are carried by the constant flow of movement.

There is nothing to change. There is nothing to do. There is only the flow.

Water as inspiration: The Three Waters

Esalen massage was deeply inspired by the wave motion of the water. If you visit the seminar house at the Pacific Ocean in California, you will look over the endless vastness of the blue sea. On the right, from a small, steep valley, a clear stream flows into the sea. On the left, down on the slope, hot water gushes out of the mountain and is collected in the hot tubs of the baths. The constant noise of the waves accompanies the work of the Esalen Massage Practitioners. Three waters gather at this sacred place, which was once visited by the Esselen Indians.

The experience of wholeness in the river

The all unifying element of the Esalen Massage is the Long Stroke. Each further technique, whether stretching, mobilisation, swinging or deep connective tissue work, is integrated into the whole of the treatment through the Long Stroke movement. Only in this way can the deeply nourishing heart quality of the Esalen massage fully unfold – through the meditative, calm flow of the warm hands.


Ayurveda Massage

Beate Funke-Fervers, Naturopath und Teacher for Ayurveda:

Ayurveda and the Flow…

If we want to understand flow from the point of view of Ayurveda, we go back to the beginning of all things. The beginning is sound, which flows wave-like through the room. It is a beginning that never ends. We call this original sound OM.

OM is creation and at the same time detachment, it is the all pervasive power between creation and transformation.

In Ayurveda we use the wisdom of the eternal cycle for various possibilities to maintain or restore health.

Everything flows and ideally in the riverbed of its destination. The 5 elements of manifestation – earth, water, fire, air and space – flow in the riverbed of the un-manifested. So the manifest can nourish our life and human development and then be detached, transformed and returned to the unmanifest state of stillness.

Since everything is energy and vibration and since everything is moving without interruption with the sound through space, we as practitioners move the energy of the elements through the body and mental spaces of the receiver. Our therapeutic activity moves in the riverbed of cosmic truth.

Flowing movements in harmony with the natural rhythm of the pulses in the vessels support the metabolism in the tissues and thus on body level.

We use valuable oils, ghee and plant extracts both internally and externally. They penetrate naturally into every cell and dissolve adhesions, toxins and undigested substances. The cleaning causes a new permeability for nourishing essences.

Nourishing essences arise from the liquidation of solid food components. If we direct our senses to the right food with pleasure, the body juices are stimulated to flow naturally. The juices of the body in turn flow through the finest channels and serve life.

For us, being in the flow means supporting the change of natural formation, transformation, disintegration and regeneration. In Ayurveda to be in flow means to live dynamic vitality on the foundation of silence and to be supported by the riverbed of cosmic truth.

From a life in the Flow comes natural and organic mindfulness and gratitude.






Tibetan Cranial Therapy






Energetic Massage

Schahila Ute Albrecht, workshop leader Energetic Massage, graduate psychologist and freelance artist: 

Flow in Energetic Massage

Being in „flow“ is a natural, holistic state in the here and now – experiencable as one’s own life unfolding freely and joyfully flowing in ever new moments.

This state allows us to grow beyond the capacities of the ego and beyond experiencing personal limitations.

A state that cannot be created through willpower. It can be experienced in the readiness to open oneself for the moment that carries, in an alert anticipation of the coming moment of life … Energy in motion.

Seen from the point of view of the Energetic Massage, „being in the flow“ could be described as a finely synchronized energetic state that balances the hemispheres of the brain and the body systems – in its very own perfection of the moment.

Furthermore, someone who is in a state of flow can be „contagious“. In flowing interaction with other people, new and healthy things can emerge in the here and now.

In connection with highly developed benevolent beings from the spiritual world, who are naturally in the „great spiritual flow“, life can open itself to small and great miracles of all kinds and for healing: Win-Win-Win-Moments seem to arise by themselves, which no single person could ever have created in this way.

What prevents us from being able to enter into this everlasting state of flow?

The Energetic Massage was created in 1979 at the Esalen Institute, USA, on a combined background of humanistic body-centered psychology and the fundamentals of spiritism.

Guided by these fundamentals, it can be said that what actually prevents us from Flow, is all the life-negating things to which we adhere internally energetically, with which we identify ourselves, in what we believe, in what we hold on to and fix it in the energetic body, until it manifests itself over time coarsely in the physical body.

Chronic attachments to e.g. fears and worries, self-deprecations and doubts, unhealthy behaviour patterns, frustration, or „how something should be“ lead to the corresponding layer of the energy body contracting permanently and blocking at the corresponding body parts.

Experienced moments of shock and shock reflex the entire body system to survival mode: Stress hormones are released to either induce fighting or escape behaviour or to pretend to be dead inside in order to survive and function in everyday life.

Then everyday life is perceived as straining and exhausting. We experience ourselves separated from others and perhaps even threatened by the environment and the people around us.

How does Energetic Massage help us to enter into this everlasting state of flow?

In the Energetic Massage, which is a gentle and effective way of healing bodywork, the basics and tools can be learned that prepare the body as a vessel for the state of flow and calm the mind.

In the Energetic Massage workshop, a field will be built up in the group of participants so that they can relax and open up for learning the Energetic Massage. Under guidance, the body can learn the technique at its own pace.

Energetic massage includes cleansing – the invitation to let go of old, superfluous energy patterns on all levels of the energy body through indirect and direct body contact.

All the energetic baggage that has accumulated and solidified in the body over the course of one’s lifetime can be released step by step in order to feel the lightness of being again.

If old emotions rise to the light of the surface in the energetic cleansing, they are welcome and can be processed in individual work in the workshop if required. Their energetic ballast may be released and the corresponding old themes may be overcome.

Another part of the Energetic Massage is an invitation to come home with the light body (one’s own being) in the body and to open oneself to the flow of self-healing forces in the body space.

All this takes place in the workshop in a safe space that is connected to highly developed, benevolently supportive helper beings.

So we are well embedded: the earth below us, subtle helper beings far above us and around us, the other people in the workshop next to us, and we are allowed to be in the middle of our own body, free to experience the flow of the moment blissfully and to open ourselves for aha experiences and healing …..

… everything flows …

Spiritual Healing

Matthias Weiss, Teacher for Spiritual Healing at the Kientalerhof: 

Flow is for me (in healing and also in life) to go with what is.


Systemic constellations in combination with body-based trauma release

Barbara Elisa Brantschen, therapist and teacher for Systemic Constellations at the Kientalerhof: 

When over many generations
unheard of

may come to light from the dark depths of years of oblivion

when the threads of our ancestors‘ love reconnect

when their wounds and weaknesses are seen

as well as their power to survive

if we reap with gratitude what they sowed

when their fate is appreciated and left to the greater good

then we feel them standing behind us

…as if the Flow came from far away…from the very source of life itself


and we flow in this river

of unconditional love


A systemic constellation reflects the unconscious. The forgotten, the repressed, the taboo becomes visible, audible, perceptible.

The constellation guide thus places himself in the service of a great whole, from which he allows himself to be guided without intention. The space of devotion and humility that opens up is the flow in which ideas of ‚good‘ and ‚evil‘ dissolve, in which the whole depth of compassion and understanding opens up and unconditional love and access to spiritual consciousness can be experienced.

Through the combination with a bodybased trauma release it can be impressively experienced how by solving personal and transgenerational traumatic experiences a connection leads to the inner wisdom of the body and thus to new life orientation, wholeness and successful self-regulation.


Der Kientalerhof - das nahe Seminarzentrum in der kraftvollen Bergnatur

The Kientalerhof has been a leader in the training and further education of body therapists and complementary therapists for over 30 years. We offer professional courses in Shiatsu, Craniosacral Therapy, Trager Therapy, Esalen Massage, Ayurvedic Massage, Tibetan Cranial Therapy, Colon Hydro Therapy, lymphatic drainage, spiritual healing, systemic constellations.

Although only 1 hour from Bern and 2 hours from Basel or Zurich, the Kientalerhof is situated in the quiet and powerful mountains of the Bernese Oberland. Away from everyday life, in the beautiful rooms of the seminar house and cooked by our fine natural cuisine, a learning atmosphere is created that not only promotes intellectual concentration, but also openness, embodiment of values and commitment to change.

In all seasons nature in the Kiental tells of the secret of life, of health, rhythm and connectedness.