The Japanese Have Seitai

While teaching my approach to homeostasis in Japan I was introduced to another Oriental approach to self-regulation which is widely used in that country. It is called Seitai and was taught in its present form by Haruchika Noguchi. In Japan Seitai is thought of as a way of keeping healthy, but it has a particular quality about it which comes out in Noguchi’s teachings. He constantly stressed that you cannot understand what a human being is by dissecting one, or by trying to understand the function of separate organs such as the liver or brain.

For instance, he said that,

One person may find his appetite increases when he is in love, another may find that his heart rather than his stomach responds. Similarly, the same stressful situation may result in rheumatism in one person and diabetes in another. What causes these differences? Sonic individuals are so tough they are calm even with a million pound debt, while others become ill over obligations of only ten pounds. The physical tendencies of each person are different, and unless one takes ones stand on this fact the health problems of different people cannot be grasped.

Seitai’s starting point is from a completely different concept of health to that of a keep-fit class. In keep-fit, and in just about every form of exercise from yoga to weight training, there are certain movements or postures which are said to exercise particular muscles, or to be ‘good’ for the thighs, abdomen, etc. These are then applied or practised from outside, as it were. Seitai has the concept that our life process knows what sort, and how much exercise we need, and the exercise arises from within. In other words it is stimulated by our unconscious sense of our own needs, just as a sneeze is.

Let me quote Noguchi again to explain this. He says:

In my teens I started to guide people to health by means of what we now call Seitai Soho and Katsugen Undo, though at that time I had no knowledge of medicine or of the body’s anatomical structure. I did not know anything about the kind of food we should eat, yet I was able to lead people to health.

What was the basis for the guidance? It was that I asked myself why human beings stayed alive and what should be done to activate their strength to live. . . We find various excuses for suppressing ourselves and, without realising we are putting our innate powers for health asleep, we convince ourselves that we are weak and blame it on our surroundings, the food we eat or the hours we sleep, unaware that the real responsibility lies with us.

So Seitai creates a situation in which we listen and allow response. Noguchi taught that the spontaneous movements which arise as the response are the same as those occurring during sleep. Seitai considers whether our vitality and enthusiasm for life is active or withdrawn. If withdrawn, then it is encouraged to express itself again. Because a great deal of the suppressive factors in us are mental and emotional, Seitai encourages a strong and healthy confidence in ones ability to survive. If we fear we will become ill if a night’s sleep is missed, the anxiety creates tension which suppresses the defence systems of the body. If illness then occurred, would it mean one was naturally sickly? See Seitai please watch this wonderful video.

Put in another way, we are learning to allow the body’s own natural mechanisms, such as the eyes watering if dust enters them, and other such more subtle reactions, to function more vitally. Noguchi stresses that it is not the movements of Seitai which heal us. The symptoms of illness are the body’s own attempts to heal itself, and Seitai helps us work with that process. To do the movements mechanically as if they were the thing which healed, is to miss the point and would be a return to keep-fit. But once

you have learned to allow your body to heal itself more vigorously, you do not need to practise it any more.

Coming right up to the present, Rolfing, Primal Therapy, EST, Re-Birthing, Bioenergetics, all offer their particular genius to a culture convulsing with activity to become whole. Unfortunately most of these approaches offer their help through highly paid experts to those who feel in need of paying for it. The Expert/Patient relationship is something that is badly in need of renovation. As Laing suggests, what we need is not more experts and organisations, but something seen as a central function in a sane society. We need courage and faith in our own ability to move toward wholeness – and companions who will be with us while we experience the Journey.

But it is such a pity that whever you look eveyone poses as a expert and wants to charge money to teach. Yet Seitai is as natural as breathing.We seem to be polluted by the commercial influence.

See Seitai And The Healing Touch – Yuki – Touch Healing – Touch Play


-Laura López Coto 2017-10-12 11:28:40

Thank you for this writing. Talking about Noguchi is necessary. To make known his great discoveries on the Katsugen and the Scheme Osei, are fundamental to know in depth the human nature.

My book Seitai Vital intelligence is dedicated to spreading this wonder

Laura López Coto
Specialist writer in Seitai Culture

-Ingrid Leckliter 2012-07-14 17:02:20

At the Aikido Center where I am a student, we are starting to practice Seitai as well as Reiki weekly. Personally I’ve found katsugen undo a profoundly healing practice, both of body and emotions. For example, on my second practice I discovered that I had never grieved for my mother who had to witness as a child the public execution of her father in Nazi Germany, nor had I grieved for him! My mother had told me about this when I was in 6th grade, but I must have supressed the emotions at the time. Practicing katsugen undo released them. Thank you so much for your great articles! I hope they encourage more people to participate in this practice. Ingrid

-Yolanda 2011-05-24 7:40:51

I have just read your two articles about Seitai and I must say they are great. I agree with you that there is a huge work to be done in order to have people trust their own healing capacity. Going to a doctor or to an alternative healer is more or less the same. I teach Seitai in Spain (and wherever I am called) and my aim is to have people really get in touch with their inner nature and healing movement . That is all we need to be healthy and happy.

    -Tony Crisp 2011-06-02 9:13:12

    Yolanda – It is really good to hear from you. I love Seitai, and especially Yuki. So it will be good if people write to you who want contact. (Here is Yolanda’s email


Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved