In Japanese the name “Ohashi” means “big bridge:” the perfect symbol for someone who has devoted his life to bringing Eastern modes of healing to the West. As the originator of Ohashiatsu®, a special method of touch derived from traditional shiatsu, exercise, and Zen philosophy, and as the founder of the Ohashi Institute, a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to teaching his methods, Ohashi continues to bridge the cultural gap between East and West, and between past and present, by demonstrating the relevance of traditional healing therapies to contemporary society.
Ohashi's experience with traditional oriental healing began in his infancy. Born in 1944, near Hiroshima, Japan, he had a weak constitution that made him vulnerable to illness. As a young child his strength was restored and has been maintained since by the healing techniques that are central to his teachings. Believing that the Eastern concept of health can benefit 21st century men and women, he has dedicated himself to the teaching and practice of this philosophy.
Ohashi came to the United States in 1970 after completing Chuo University and studying with different teachers of Eastern healing theory and therapies. In Washington, D.C., he became the first shiatsu therapist at the Watergate Health club, where some of the nation’s leaders became his clients, but his interest in education motivated him to start teaching. After being invited to teach in New York City, he decided that it offered him more opportunities to seek a career in practicing and teaching Eastern healing arts.
In 1974, he founded the Ohashi Institute, which today serves some 2000 students annually through its New York location and international Affiliates. He has lectured and taught at the Omega Institute, the Esalen Institute, and numerous colleges, medical and chiropractic schools, retreat centers, and aesthetic conferences in the U.S, Europe and Latin America, for L'Oreal Paris, and for the International Dermal Institute. A master teacher who brings humor and joy to his classes, Ohashi enriches the lives of everyone he meets with his positive view of the human condition.
He has also built a successful practice over the years, attracting such notable clients as Liza Minelli, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, Michael York, Stan Getz, Ralph Lauren, Muhammad Ali, Ani DiFranco, Dr. Robert Thurman and Dr. Henry Kissinger. Ohashi says he learns from his clients and his students and feels honored to know all of them.
He is the author of six books, which have been translated into eight languages, and eight videos on his technique, performed on a mat on the floor and on a massage table or chair, as used by spa professionals. Ohashi has been featured in many prominent cultural and trade publications, including the New York Times, Daily News, Mademoiselle, New York Magazine, Yoga Journal, Forma Italy, Olis Italy, Asahi Shinbun Japan, Yomiuri America, New York Japion, New York Shyukan Seikatsu, Self, Hoje Em Dia Brazil, Forum Germany, Top Salute Italy, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Yediot Achronot Israel, Massage, and Dermascope. He was honored with a Cultural Bridge Award in recognition of his role in popularizing the Japanese therapy of shiatsu in the United States and Europe in 2007.