Bill Palmer was a founder and an ex-chair of the Shiatsu Society UK and was editor of the Journal of Shiatsu and Oriental Body Therapy . He teaches postgraduate training courses in Spain, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, USA, Australia and the UK. He was, for five years, a trainer for the Gestalt Trust's psychotherapy training programme in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
He has had a varied career in parallel with his therapeutic work: as a teacher in Islington Schools during the 70's, as a postgraduate mathematician and physicist in London University, teaching media techniques in the Central School of Speech and Drama, holding a research post in Brunel University and acting as Managing Director of Interragate, a software company specialising in Artificial Intelligence. In 1986 he founded the School for Experiential Education with Clare Hayes and Elizabeth St John.
He started studying Shiatsu with Minoru Kanetsuka in 1974 as part of ongoing Aikido practice and then with Akinobu Kishi from 1979-1980. In 1980 he started teaching Zen Shiatsu in London. From 1980-1985 he came into regular contact with children with learning difficulties at the Central School of Speech and Drama, where he collaborated with Kay Coombes in making films of treatment for babies with Cerebral Palsy. Observations of these babies inspired his research into the developmental function of meridians. He showed in detail how the development of movement in infants follows the track of the Chinese Meridian system, which led to his belief that meridians could be used to re-stimulate blocked developmental processes.
He also trained in Chinese Herbal Medicine with Ted Kapchuk from 1982-84, Wolfson Voicework with Derek Gale and members of the Roy Hart Theatre from 1985-1992, Body Mind Centering with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen from 1988-1995 and has attempted to practice Dzog Chen under the wry guidance of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche.
In 1985 he started to synthesise these influences into a form of therapy which worked at the junction of mind and body through the meridian system. This eventually evolved into Movement Shiatsu and then into Developmental Process Therapy. These forms of therapy focus on helping people to realise the choices they have in their life and to teach them to become active within those choices. They specifically do not propose that any way of being is better than another.
Thanks to peanuts
Bill says about his work: "My central belief is that we, as individuals, are not wise enough to know what is best for another person. Therefore, I don't try to understand what to do by diagnosis and theory. Instead, I focus on helping people to feel into themselves through their body sensations, and trust their natural life process to do the therapeutic work. My work is now more like education than therapy. Since I believe the meridians to be the pathways along which the mind learns to inhabit the body in childhood, they provide one of the best ways of helping a person's awareness to reach hidden and blockaded parts of the self. The meridians are the guides, teaching us about ourselves through the body."
He has written over forty articles exploring this approach, some of which are available online."