Originally published March 3rd, 2017.
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"The Western information always felt very rooted, but it was as if there were no branches with it, almost as if we were missing part of the story. It was never like, 'Now I don't need Western medicine,' it was, 'Look at how the Eastern side can infuse and enrich, and empower us.'"
This week I launched my Instagrammer Spotlight (#Yinzstagram) project as an opportunity to highlight the fabulous and creative people in this city.
In a similar vein, I am starting a "Local Business" series. A lot of people are doing some amazing work in this city, and certainly deserve attention for it.
First up are my friends Kate and Moshe Sherman of Cloud Gate, a Shiatsu, QiGong, and counseling private practice in Edgewood.
Truthfully, I didn't not know much about these therapeutic methods before walking into their studio, but our peaceful chat over tea proved very enlightening. Kate and Moshe are truly doing something unique in Pittsburgh with their Shiatsu, QiGong, Reiki, and counseling services.
More information on Cloud Gate can be found on their website. Thanks Kate and Moshe for taking the time to chat!
PITTSBURGH BUSINESS FEATURE #1 - CLOUD GATE:
In your own words, what do you do here?
Kate Sherman: I took over this studio space in 2012, it had been the site of my teacher. My teacher is a Shiatsu practitioner who is now retired. I took over the space and I've been providing healing treatments ever since. Unlike my teacher I also do counseling - life counseling, or any kinda really. Moshe starting training in QiGong, and we started this new business, Cloud Gate, together in the past year. He does QiGong classes and healings, I do Shiatsu healings and counciling. We also have guest practitioners if someone needs the space.
Can you describe the spectrum of work that you do?
Moshe Sherman: Both of our practices are based the energetic anatomy and physiology, similar to that of acupuncture. Kate's work is done with touch, and my work is more off the body using my energy to impact others. It is pretty incredible what we see - sometimes it will be spontaneous healing, other times it will be a long term process.
How do you come in touch with clients?
KS: Most of Pittsburgh is word of mouth. I started in 2007 and it was any friends or family. You would have a nice session with someone and then the next think you know, their mom is calling you. Usually, the only cold calls we get are people from other cities who are aware of Eastern Modalities and happen to drive by.
MS: We also do a bit of outreach. We do some clinics at the Union Project, and we do Spa Day at the Irma freeman Center.
When you took on this space, did you have a vision, or did this evolve naturally?
KS: There has always been a crystalline healing presence here, my teacher really set the tone. We really see this as a foundation. I'm not sure what the future holds, but this feels like the beginning.
How have you found Pittsburgh to be receptive?
MS: Pittsburgh has been very receptive. However, in terms of people knowing what we are doing before we tell them, we end up doing a lot of education.
What would a session look like, or what benefits could be gained?
KS: People come with a spectrum of issues from physical pain, to relational issues, to trauma. It is across the whole spectrum of what it means to be human, and experience friction along the way.
MS: We work with a lot of people who have not had much success with other paths they have tried. One thing I do with QiGong is clear energy blocks, and charge them with energy from the universe so they have energy to heal. It can be a little foreign to people, and they might just nod when you tell them, but there are various results. For example, someone might undergo a session and their appetite increases, or their mood improves, or they gain hope. Hope can be huge for how a person heels. An energetic intervention can spark an entire reaction.
KS: Moshe's work is off the body, but it can be very energetically invasive. Shiatsu is touch work in the meridian channels, the same channels acupuncture uses, but this is a Japanese form, not Chinese. The touch is facilitating flow, clearing blockages, but more in a regulatory way, perhaps increasing flow or facilitating the bodies natural healing process.
Is it common to bring these two works together?
KS: It is pretty unique.
MS: We know a lot of couples who work together, and they are all doing something unique. It was encouraging for us to do what we do in our own way. We have clients that we work on individually, and clients we work on together.
Do you have a moment that interested you to explore this work more?
MS: We began with Reiki training in our twenties, which is learning to channel source energy through your body to another person to impact their health and wellbeing. That is when we realized this was a whole field.
KS: It was effective. We are both healthy people, we go on walks in the woods and eat clean and have healthy friendships, but the symptoms we had in our twenties were helped by channeling our energies to each others. It is exactly how I stopped having migraines.
What are some practices people can incorporate into their everyday life to open their mind?
MS: Some of the fundamentals of QiGong are to focus on your breathing. Simply taking a few moments each day to take deep breaths, completely in, completely out, is a very simply thing that can shift your energy and mood.
KS: A breath can shift your focus to inward, and while you are there, you can do an internal body scan. I like to invite people to dialogue with themselves, and focus on the parts of your body you can feel. Take the time to see the body as speaking to us, not complaining.
What time of day would suggest implementing these practices?
MS: If you can find the time, any time you can do it.
KS: In addition to that, there are those transitional parts of the day, like waking up, or waiting to get out of the car to go into the office, or leaving work and decompressing, are perfect times. When you take the time to take breaths, you become a lot more focused in the present, and you're better to oriented moving forward. Often, when you take the time to breath, time can shift for you moving forward, and you never actually end up wasting any time out of your day. You might prioritize more cleanly all day.
What are some other services you offer?
MS: One of our growing edges is working with groups, so we can work with individuals, but also on the collective group energy, for families, coworkers, nonprofits, business meetings, and things of that nature. We both understand the balance between working, and the relationships that go along with it.
KS: We have also been working with spaces. We have been invited to do energetic clearings for homes and offices.
"Everything is composed of energy, with physical energy being the the slowest. Emotions are a little faster, and thoughts a little faster, and the spiritual almost being beyond time and space, kinda like having an intuition about who is calling before caller ID. It is instantaneous in some ways. We are all working with all the vibrating energy levels of a person, and trying to maintain a balance in the being."
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