Interview of Régis Soavi about Katsugen Undo (or Regenerating Movement) :
a practice made by Haruchika Noguchi and spread in Europe by Itsuo Tsuda.

Hello Illness

de Monica Rossi  

After reading the books of Itsuo Tsuda ( 1914-1984 ), I was fascinated by his arguments, which range freely from the subject of Aïkido to that of children and the way they are born, illness, or his memories of Ueshiba Morihei and Noguchi Haruchika, and I wanted to know more. I continued to have a sensation of something beyond my understanding. So I began to ask, what exactly is this Regenerating Movement (Katsugen Undo ) that Tsuda spoke of, a spontaneous movement of the body that seemed able to rebalance it without needing to intoxicate it with medication ; an ancient concept but still revolutionary, above all in our society. I was unable to get any satisfactory answers to my questions : those who have practiced the Regenerating Movement couldn't describe it or explain ; the answer was always : "You should try it yourself in order to understand ; the first time, it will probably unsettle you a bit."
So I decided to try it. In Milan, the school that refers to the teachings of Itsuo Tsuda is the "Scuola della Respirazione". There, one can practice Aïkido and the Regenerating Movement ( in separate sessions ). But, in order to go to the sessions of Movement, one must first participate in a week-end course conducted by Régis Soavi, who has continued the work of Tsuda in Europe.
Soavi, using large sheets of white paper on an easel, begins the session speaking, in a mixture of French and Italian, on different themes concerning the Regenerating Movement, health, illness or simply daily life. Then the practice begins, with three exercises that allow the Movement to be activated. The first of the three exercises is done three times, an "exhalation through the solar plexus". Afterwards all the participants hold hands to create the "chain of activation" (each person takes the wrist of the person on his right). Next, one does "yuki" with a partner, concentrating on breathing. Then the two other exercises : a rotation of the spine, to the left and to the right, seven times, lifting up on one's knees a bit ; then one raises one's arms with thumbs tucked inside closed fists, one exhales with a contraction and one exhales again, relaxing.
From then on, one waits for a spontaneous movement of the body to be activated, with one's eyes "imperatively" closed : to observe the movement of others can be distracting, and perturbing. But, although the eyes are closed, one's ears are still open: some people move rhythmically, others very forcibly, or sigh ; one girl cries desperately, another laughs happily. Inhibitions fall by the wayside, and some emit sounds often considered "impolite" in a normal situation.
As for me, at first nothing happens at all. Soavi, who goes from one person to another, comes up behind me and lays his hands on my back, doing "yuki". I give a light start, and begin to move slowly.
I don't know if the Regenerating Movement has been activated or not, but at least, I can now interview Régis Soavi from an informed standpoint.

MR: : In Katsugen Undo, one speaks of the extrapyramidal motor system. What is it ??

RS: In the human being, the pyramidal and the extrapyramidal systems are separate. The extrapyramidal system is in charge of all that is involuntary, the heartbeat, for example. When we eat, the stomach begins to work ; it's the extrapyramidal system that takes care of it. The pyramidal system is the voluntary system that permits us to go from one point to another, but when we walk, there are all sorts of muscles that work together to maintain our balance, and there again, it's the extrapyramidal system that takes charge, that re-establishes our postural balance. It's the extrapyramidal system that takes care of activating our immune defenses.

- And how is it that the movement that is activated during the course of Katsugen Undo can activate the extrapyramidal motor system so strongly as to make the body come back to health, to respond (more naturally)??

- The movement that we do, during the week-end course but also in our regular practice sessions, is an exercise of the extrapyramidal motor system, a sort of gymnastic for the involuntary system. It's like going jogging every morning : this exercise lets us keep our involuntary system in condition..

- So it's possible to train the involuntary system ?

- There is the paradox : the three exercises Master Noguchi perfected allow the voluntary system to step back, in a sense, to give free rein to the involuntary system. There is no special movement to be done : the movement cannot be executed. It is activated naturally, during the night, for example : that's when our voluntary system has a rest, so it's the involuntary system that is activated. One can say that dreams also are part of the involuntary system, as are, of course, our movements and agitation during sleep.

Itsuo Tsuda in Aikido.

- In that case, it is the unconscious that comes into play?

- It's a bit difficult to say if the conscious and the unconscious are the same thing as the voluntary and involuntary systems. One mustn't simplify things too much. Effectively, in the domain of the involuntary system, many things do occur in an unconscious manner, but there are things of which we are conscious, that are involuntary : when we scratch an itch, we are aware that we scratch that spot, aren't we? And yet it is an involuntary act.

- Are there other means of activating the involuntary movement, other than Katsugen Undo?

- Not really, to my knowledge. In terms of Regenerating Movement as a "training", I only know of Katsugen Undo; yet, one can say that the Movement is activated at many other moments : when we are tired, we yawn; if we're hungry, we yawn as well.
When we are fighting off an illness, we run a fever. The movement is activated naturally. That's why it is problematic to stop the fever, when in fact, it's a natural process that regulates our organism, that fights off the microbes ; in that case, we prevent the natural movement of our bodies. By the same token, when we cough or our noses run, those are natural reactions of the organism, which evacuates everything that bothers it. If we eat a spoiled yogurt, we vomit. Babies spit up milk when they have had too much ; as soon as even a tiny thing is not good for them, they vomit it up, or spit it out. Adults, however, want to keep everything inside, but then that damages the organism. It's the same for diarrhea : it's a clean-out. The body needs to empty itself of elements that are not good for it.

Haruchica Noguchi,
founder of seitai and katsugen undo

- But some of these phenomena pushed to extremes, can lead to death ? For example, a diarrhea that lasts too long.

- That happens when the organism doesn't react well. That is to say that it's a matter of an organism that has become too weak, too rigid. That's why the basic principle is not "to intervene" in relation to illness, but to allow all the ordinary little illnesses to work inside us. If they work well in us, then there won't be any major damage.

- And to intervene only in the case of very serious illness ?

-We don't need to have very serious illnesses, because our organism has reacted earlier

- But you are not against curing illnesses, a priori ?

- Personally, I'm not against anything. There exists an incredible quantity of medical practices : allopathic medicine, homeopathic medicine, Chinese medicine, etc. And in each variety of medicine there are specialists for the hair, feet, hands, eyes, ears, etc. I say simply that I don't need them, I let my body work. In fact, there are a certain number of doctors, physical therapists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts who come to my courses. If I was against them they wouldn't come, but on the contrary we get on very well.

- And what are their reactions ?

-As a general rule, they find it interesting ; some even approve of my approach and adopt it for themselves ; but they are part of a system where the patients ask for assistance, so that they can't refuse to give it. Ideally, a coherent doctor who practices the Regenerating Movement, would change jobs. At the same time, I completely understand that he feel the need to help people and to share with them his knowledge of the human body.
But today's medicine has changed a lot. Today, as soon as one has the slightest sneeze, one is bombarded with all sorts of medicine and all kind of interventions. Even death is no longer natural. As soon as we are near death, we are taken to the hospital, treated ... For birth, it's the same. We live in a society where we are medicalized even before birth! We are medicalized during pregnancy and then up till death.

- In Italy there are other places where Katsugen Undo is practiced : Karate and Aïkido schools. What is the connection between martial arts and the Regenerating Movement ?

- I can really only speak of our school. Master Noguchi died in 1976, so of the connections that have been made since, I don't know them all. The Seitai Institute in Japan had many clients of all sorts : politicians, people who practiced martial arts, workers. Master Tsuda practiced Seitai and the Regenerating Movement in Japan for 25 years, and he also practiced Aïkido with Master Morihei Ueshiba. The first "Katsugen Kai", that is to say, "Regenerating Movement Groups", were organized by Master Tsuda, with the authorization of Noguchi.

- I'd also like to know the difference between Seitai and Katsugen Undo.

-Seitai is a technique developed by Master Noguchi, based on many years' experience, which has yuki and sensitivity as a starting point, but which is, all the same, a precise technique. It takes about 20 years to train a Seitai technician.

- Does Seitai use pressure points ?

- Exactly. In fact, Noguchi tested practically all of the acupuncture points on himself, or on his students. It's a technique that allows us to readjust the body by stimulating certain zones. Noguchi said, “What makes a top spin ? What lets it stay up on its axis ? It's the speed of its' rotation. If the speed diminishes, the top begins to have a different axis of rotation, and at a given moment, it will fall, and stop.” For the human body, it's about the same thing : it uses up quite a lot of energy just in order to come back to a state of stability, and to maintain it.

Calligraphy Mu
of Master Tsuda
in sérigraphy
and mounted
in kakemono.

Noguchi would give just one slight correction to the human body, that would allow it to re-center itself. With a spinning top, sometimes it suffices to touch it very slightly at one spot, for it to go off again, centered. That's the sense of Seitai technique : what makes the top spin, is life ! One can't really intervene at the level of the life force , but one can correct the human body. Still, the Seitai technique doesn't straighten people out. For example, with a person who is bent to one side because he always puts his weight on that side, the modern idea is to intervene with all sorts of exercises to force him to straighten up. But, since the person still has a tendency to put his weight on the same side, he returns to his original posture. Noguchi's technique, on the other hand, incites an instinctive bodily reaction which lets the person come back to the right balance all by himself. That's how the idea of the Regenerating Movement was born : our body has a tendency to return to a normal posture, and the difference with the Seitai technique is that we don't need the help of a technician : the body can straighten out on its' own..
Its' our body's own sensation of equilibrium that brings us back to a correct posture, with no need for intervention. It means independence ; it makes us autonomous. We don't need to put ourselves in the hands of someone else, no matter how powerful, or no matter how precise his technique is.

- Is there any relation between Seitai and Reiki or other similar methods ?

-To my knowledge, the difference is that in the practise of Regenerating Movement, we don't have the notion of therapy ; we trust in our natural capacities. If one has a blockage of the solar plexus, with the practise of Movement, the diaphragm will have a tendency to move, to return to the state of flexibility that it had lost. Its' suppleness had been lost for different reasons, whether because of family problems, work or whatever... We reach a point where we can no longer breathe naturally. If we look for outside intervention, each time, we will have to go see the “diaphragm unblocker” of the X or Y technique.
With the practise of Movement, the diaphragm unblocks all by itself, because that is its' natural function, to be supple. It can take time, but once the diaphragm begins to recover its' natural state, it will last. Otherwise, one will be stuck in a process of continual intervention. There is no therapeutic principle in the Regenerating Movement.

- In Japan, is the Seitai method wide-spread ?

- Yes, you can say so..

- And Katsugen Undo has developed as a method on its own?

- It has developed in parallel with the Seitai ; often,that has happened with the participation of a Seitai technician. In fact, that is what Master Tsuda began in Japan : he set up groups of people who would get together to practice Katsugen Undo in the presence of a Seitai technician, or else with Movement assistants- people who were not technicians, but had been trained by master Noguchi. They had a minimum of technical knowledge and were capable of conducting a session of Movement so that it would go well, avoiding excesses, misdirection or incomprehension... That's a bit what we do here as well.

A student of Master Noguchi during a session of Regenerating Movement, at the seat of the Association Seitai in Tokyo.

- Why hasn't Seitai had a big success here in Europe ?

- First of all because it is, all the same, quite recent ; Master Tsuda arrived here at the beginning of the 1970's, and at the time, no-one had heard of either Seitai or Regenerating Movement in Europe. We live in a society that requires fast results ! That is the principle of illness now : if we are ill, we absolutely must recover right away, our nose must stop running within 24 hours. It doesn't make sense. We need time. And the Regenerating Movement also needs time to develop. What's more, Master Tsuda was alone in Europe. When he died in 1984, there were a few dojos already, but there were few people capable of conducting a Movement group. And then, many people wanted to add in some “attractive ingredients”. That is how we come across people who propose Tai Chi and Regenerating Movement, Acupuncture and Regenerating Movement, and who knows what else... all sorts of techniques, often with a therapeutic orientation. It's difficult to say to people, “You are totally responsible for yourselves.” It's easier to go see someone who says to you, “I'll take care of you, I'll take care of everything.” Even in Noguchi's time, there were deformations of this type : people who said that it was God who sent the Ki down to Earth... There are people in France who came to see Master Tsuda with “diplomas” of Regenerating Movement, but there don't exist any diplomas of Movement, and there never have ! There are those who say they are Seitai technicians... It's absolutely false. The last time I saw a son of Noguchi was in 1983, and even then there were people arriving in Europe from Japan, saying “I'm a Seitai technician, I'm opening a school of Seitai and Movement.” But Noguchi's son told me then that there were no authorized Occidentals. His answer was clear.
So, if we count : 1983...1993... until the year 2003, logically and to my knowledge, there can be no occidental Seitai technicians, because it takes 20 years to become one ! !

- There are cases of people who are fragile. Does it sometimes happen that they have excessive reactions during a session of Movement ? What sort ?

- Yes, for example, people who have become too rigid. When they feel Yuki, or when the Movement is activated, they can have an excessive movement, which can be frightening to them. There are also those who have an over-developed imagination, which we often see during the courses ; people who have done a course of this, a course of that : they have a whole package full ! They come along, and they listen vaguely to the conference, they already have a predefined idea about the question, and when they do the three exercises, extraordinary things happen right away. Some would almost start dancing if I wasn't there to calm them down a bit, or screaming. It happens less and less now, as the atmosphere of the dojo doesn't lend itself to that sort of thing. I remember an anecdote that always made me laugh : during a course with Master Tsuda, there was an English woman ; apparently, the Movement had been activated, although today I would say that it was much more a matter of imagination... in any case there she was, saying, “Oh ! my God, my God, my God, ooh, my God,” and it went up and up... “My God !” At a certain moment, we still had our eyes closed, but I heard Tsuda say, “Yes ?” She stopped right away. That was Tsuda's finesse...
People who are weak, yes, there are ; for example, those born by Caesarean section...
Obviously, it's not their fault, but they haven't had a natural childbirth, which creates a certain pressure and the elan vital , the vital energy of birth. They have been taken out asleep, like a package. These people do have weaknesses, and during a certain period, Master Noguchi refused them for the Seitai technique or the practice of Movement.

- Could it be dangerous for them ?

-No ! But he considered that due to their lack of vital energy, nothing would ever come of it. It was a rather harsh position, I agree. He did change his mind later, admitting them to the practice of Movement, because he considered that it could benefit them after all. Master Noguchi considered that, if a pot is broken initially, you can repair it all you like, it will always be fragile, always have weaknesses. That's why Master Noguchi and Master Tsuda gave so much importance to childbirth, to pregnancy and to babyhood. Psychologically as well as physically, childbirth is a moment of colossal importance.

-Do you ask the people who come to the courses for information about themselves?

- Normally, no. We refuse people who have transplants, because they take medication to inhibit the body's reactions ; in that case, it's as if you wanted to open the door and close it at the same time. When the Regenerating Movement is activated, it will intensify the internal movements to reject an organ transplant. We can't take that kind of risk, either for us or for them. There are people who are psychologically weak. For some, it's not too serious, and little by little, they are able to find greater stability. Others come to be taken in hand : when they see that we don't take charge of them, they go off, they go look elsewhere for pity and a solution to their problems..

- How can one define Yuki ?

-Let the Ki circulate.

- How can Yuki help to activate the Movement?

- It helps, in the case where one has done the three exercises, or the exercises for Mutual Movement (activation through stimulation of the second pair of points on the head ; that is another way to activate the Movement). Yuki helps because it activates ; It's very important for me to say that Yuki is fundamentally different from what we often hear spoken of, because when we do Yuki, we void our heads, we don't cure anyone, we don't look for anything. We are simply concentrated in the act. There is no intention, and that is primordial. In the statutes of the dojo, in fact, it is underlined that we practice “without a goal”".

- Let's come back to Yuki : if there are people who don't get along, can they do Yuki together?

- It's difficult. That is why during the course, I say, “Choose a partner.” I don't say, “Do Yuki with the person next to you.” If two people don't get along, It is difficult for them to do Yuki. Yuki must be something that one gives ; little by little, those who have practiced for a longer time, become able to do Yuki with everyone. Because there is a sort of detachment, after a time. There is no longer anyone that they really don't like. They have a different sort of sensation.

Calligraphy Le Poisson of Maître Tsuda
reproducted i
n sérigraphy
and mounted in kakemono.

The alive fish could be considered as the Itsuo Tsuda Schoo's symbol .

- One often hears some very original opinions about the Ki.

- Yes, people are not short of ideas ! There are those who talk a lot about the Ki, but if you ask them to lay their hand on you, or to show what Ki is, they don't know how to do it.
The Ki is extremely concrete. At first, when we begin to do Yuki, the hands are a bit wooden, and then, little by little, they begin to become sensitive... There again, I will refer to babies, to the relation with the mother, a mother who is sensitive, and close to her baby : when she touches the baby, there is a flow ; it's the Ki that circulates. The relation between mother and baby is made only of something intuitive : the baby cannot talk. At birth, he doesn't say, “Hello, Mother, it's me, my name is Peter, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I want to pass water.” His only way to express himself is through gestures, movements, and eventually, crying. If the mother is sensitive, she knows if he's hungry, she knows if he's thirsty, she knows if he is enervated, or cold. When the baby begins to make noises, the husband says, “What does he want ?” The wife answers, “He's hungry.” The father : “Oh ? But he just fed a half an hour ago...” The mother : “Yes, but I think he's still a bit hungry.” The father : “Yeah... you and your ideas...” But, in contact with the baby, she gives him a bit of fruit, and in fact, he becomes calm. Another time, he cries, and the father says, “Ah, he's hungry again !” The mother : “No, no, he's eaten...” The father : “Maybe he's still hungry.” The mother : “No, no, I don't think so, he must be sleepy.” It's an intuitive contact. One can talk about the Ki in relation to martial arts, or to the transmission of thoughts... but I'm speaking of natural things, and I say that what exists between a mother and her child, exists naturally in all human beings. And that's what we rediscover with the practice of Movement. Women who practice the movement can improve the quality of their relation with their babies. They can tell, for example, when the baby needs to pass water ; when they feel he needs to urinate, they open up the diaper immediately, and the baby passes water outside of the diaper, from his first days. That allows the child to never be wet. So what happens? He will never have a problem with toilet training, there will be no need to teach him to go on the pot. If, from the first day, the baby satisfies his needs cleanly, with the diaper open, when he is able to sit up, the mother will feel that he needs to pass water, will remove his panty and place him on the pot, and the baby will urinate there. The dialogue that is established between the mother and the child, and with the father, if he is attentive as well, is something very surprising... There is no need to change all the electrical outlets in the apartment ; it suffices to tell the child that they are dangerous. If the dialogue is really there, the child will never go to touch them. These are experiences that people who practice the Movement have been able to have with their children. Because there are a certain number of children now who have been born at home and live completely naturally ; I am always surprised, and moved at the same time, to see women with this sort of attention for their children. It has become rare. Today, pregnancy and childbirth are medicalized, then the child is dropped off at a child-care center, then sent to school, and that way we are free of him.

A student of Master Noguchi during a session of Regenerating Movement, at the seat of the Association Seitai in Tokyo .

- Yes, but then it is necessary that the woman not work during the first years of the child's life?

- It's a choice. Economically, it can be a problem for a couple today, but on the other hand, one can make use of the modern social legislation. Our society is in movement ; what is difficult today, can be less so at another time... it's the economy. Isn't the life of a small child worth a few small financial sacrifices ? Today, people go to the supermarket with babies only a few days old : frankly, doesn't that seem aberrant to you ? Babies need our attention. They're not packages we carry about ; people toss babies up in the air, thinking it makes them laugh ! In fact, it simply agitates the stomach gases, which provokes a semblance of a laugh, but the child isn't really laughing at all. Well, if there was a great giant who took you and threw you up in the air, would it make you laugh ?

- During the sessions, you went round doing Yuki with people who were doing Yuki with each other: why?

- To help them empty their heads. Often, one begins to do Yuki, and then an idea comes along : “Oh, no, my car is not well parked, what if I get a ticket ? Last week I didn't find a good spot either, I had a terrible fine ! Oh yes, and I have my taxes to pay too, etc...” At these moments, our attention goes up in our heads. So I simply let the energy come back down again.

- And it's the sensitivity you've developed through the Movement that allows you to understand who has that problem?

- One can tell by the person's posture as well. But yes, it is a development of sensitivity.

- Why precisely do these three movements help activate the Regenerating Movement ?

- The first exercise is to loosen up the zone of the solar plexus, which has become for modern people, a zone of concentration and rigidity. We press lightly on that zone, with a voluntary exhalation. One can say it's a bit like an artificial yawn. The true yawn is involuntary. I can't say, “Veronique, yawn !” It doesn't work. But this exercise is a technique that resembles a yawn

- One feels almost breathless at the end of that movement.

- We have no more breath, so at that point, the inhalation begins ; we do it three times. When we yawn, the plexus loosens up.
The rotation of the spine is a technique that allows us, in a certain sense, to loosen up the spinal column. Above all, one mustn't force the movement. This rotating movement normally should take place in the third lumbar vertebra, which is the rotating vertebra, but often people have become so rigid that the back can no longer turn... It's an exercise that allows us to increase the mobility of the body during the practice of Regenerating Movement. I would almost say that these two exercises are incidental, because when we are accustomed to activating the Movement, it suffices to inhale through the second points on the head, and the Movement will begin.

- And the act of taking the next person by the hand, making a chain among all the participants of the session?

- It's the chain of activation ; that is also an exercise of sensitivity : to send the ki all through a group of people, unifies that group. That's the reason why, here as well, I coordinate the respiration of the group. Each person holds the wrist of the person next to him, which unifies the group that is going to practice together. This creates an atmosphere and coordinates the ki.
To come back to the three exercises, the third is an anti-natural exercise. We fold our thumbs into the palms of our hands ; that at least is natural, as babies all do it ; but to exhale while contracting the zone of the occiput, and then to relax suddenly while continuing to exhale, is not.

- Above all, it's not very easy to contract the muscles while exhaling.

- Yes, to exhale in that fashion is against nature. On the other hand, to stop the Movement, we repeat the same movement but with an inhalation : that is a return to something normal. The third exercise, which is not natural, but technical, is precisely the exercise that Noguchi designed to permit the voluntary system to have a pause. In the case of mutual Movement, it's the second points of the head which directly affect the extrapyramidal motor system : through them, we create the conditions that allow us to activate the Regenerating Movement, even though it doesn't always occur immediately. It's a bit as if, in a factory, there's an iron-handed boss who runs everything. At a given moment, he goes off on vacation for a month. At first, the workers don't know what to do, they've gotten out of the habit of working on their own... it's a bit like that in our bodies ; that's why the movement doesn't always begin automatically when we've done the three exercises, it can take a little time. .

- How much time does it take, on the average ?

- It all depends on the sincerity of the individual in his practice ; his capacity to accept the voiding of the mind. So, for a certain time, the workers don't quite know what to do... But all the same, we must eat, so they get organized... and in the end, it works just fine... When the boss comes back, that's when there can be a problem, because he wants to recover his authority. The workers say to him, “Listen, we've been getting on fine without you. We find you quite useful in the directorship, for commercial relations, and plenty of things. Fine, but... let us lead our lives !"

- How can one know if it's really the Regenerating Movement that is activated ?

- That's an excellent question ! How to tell if it's the Regenerating Movement, or our imagination, or the result of a suggestion from the person who's given the conferences and who organizes everything... At first we don't really know ; is it the Movement ? Is it not the Movement ? After a certain time practicing, we know : we know because we recognize it. It's very simple : when you scratch an itch, you know that it's an itch and not something imaginary ; you don't search for the itch, you know where it is and your hand goes there. For the Movement, we know in the same way.
What's more, we can verify it as well, in the quality of what takes place in our bodies, in the quality of our reactions to illness and in all the events of life. There are people who come to do the course ; on the first day, nothing happens, and on the second day they begin to fidget and become agitated. They have paid for the course, and they want it to be good for something ! So I go to see them, I stop their agitation by doing Yuki ; if their movement stops when I do Yuki, then it wasn't the Movement. Even in the case of excessive reactions, I always know if it's the Movement or if it isn't ; that's why I conduct the courses, and why not just anyone can do it..

- I've noticed that certain movements that come naturally during the sessions can resemble those that are called in Tai-Chi Chuan, “spiral movements”. Is there a relation, or not ?

- I don't know Tai-Chi Chuan well enough to say. But in any case, the human body has a form : a trunk, two arms, two legs, a head, and they are centered round an axis, the spinal column ; the human body moves from left to right, forward and backward, and in rotation. When the Movement is activated, there are people who only move horizontally, I mean by that, from left to right ; others only move forward and backward. Little by little they recover their full capacity ; effectively, the movement has a tendency to become more or less a spiral, because in that case, the whole spine moves, and each vertebra has recovered its natural flexibility. But you mustn't believe that the Regenerating Movement is a sort of spiral ! The Regenerating Movement depends on each person. There are people who have difficulty in bending forward, and when they straighten up, they have a backache. These people will have a forward/ backward movement. For years, and perhaps always. Others will have a lateral movement. Another, who has his energy continually going up to the head, will tend to have a movement of the neck. The Regenerating Movement corresponds exactly to each individual.
There isn't any “one” movement which is better than another. There are all sorts of movements ; here, we've been talking about exterior movements, but what happens in the interior... we don't see. There are movements of the internal organs, there are even much more subtle movements in the cells, but we don't see them. What we see is always what is exterior. The Regenerating Movement works slowly inside and demands a great deal of continuity. There are people who have practiced the Movement for more than twenty years ! And that doesn't always mean that they have arrived at something... we are on the Way of Detachment and we are ridding ourselves of something.

- Should we practice the Regenerating Movement every day?

-“We should” nothing at all ! Everyone does as he likes !

-The continuity you speak of, then, is more a matter of a regular practice ?

- Effectively, there is a certain regularity, but one feels it for oneself. If one practices once a year, for example, we can't really talk of continuity... here in the dojo, there are four sessions a week, some people feel the need to participate in all four sessions, others come to one ; others come every other week... that depends on their needs.
When one practices the Movement, at first, there is a period of relaxation ; if one has a bit of insomnia, one will sleep ; if one has digestive problems, one begins to digest with no problem, everything seems to become more regular. But if one continues the practice of Movement, the body begins to want to work... It's a period where things are a bit more difficult : one had one's shoulders completely blocked, and they have relaxed quite well, but that's not enough, one must recover one's flexibility, and so the body begins to work, to pull, to react ; the stomach, which before accepted everything, begins to say, “That food is all right, but that other, I don't want” : it reacts spontaneously, to recover its suppleness. This is the period of hypersensitivity, where old pains or even some very perturbing sensations can be awakened. This is sometimes a rather difficult moment to live through.
Next comes the period of elimination : our body has been working well, so it begins to eliminate all the old junk we've accumulated... This moment, as well, can seem a bit strange... Our urine can become very dark, our eliminations very strong, the body eliminates everything that isn't good for it. We can have eliminations through the skin, our perspiration becomes very strong : it's the normal process. If we haven't understood very well, we can be worried. The more we practice, the more these reactions will go quickly.

Durong the seminars, Régis Soavi
makes conférences to present the Regenerating Movement

- Someone told me that in your conception, there is no health or illness.

- Illness is a process of readjustment of the body : in illness, what we see are the symptoms. If you had no symptoms, you wouldn't know that you were ill. Now, more and more people fall ill because of medications and their secondary effects ! It's even become risky to go to the hospital ! There are people who are never ill : they seem strong, resistant, but then one day they suddenly die. They are people who have become very rigid. Their bodies no longer react to anything. Noguchi called that, “illness without illness” ! Illness is what allows the body, unceasingly, to stimulate a reaction, a renewal. If we call on our immune defenses, our body will be capable of responding, and it will end up stronger. When one practices Martial Arts, one doesn't engage a real combat, it's training ; a person who trains himself, when there is a need to jump in the river to save someone from drowning, will be able to do it because his body is in condition. In the case of medicine, it's the same thing. if our body is accustomed to respond, if it is accustomed to intervene with all sorts of white blood cells, etc., if it's accustomed to work to recognize different sorts of microbes, to be able to react to them, then it will respond to the slightest things. Today, no-one accepts illness, or pain. One has the impression that civilized man wants to live in a cocoon, in a sort of submarine, where everything is hyperprotected, antiseptic, with an Internet screen to see the world from outside ! In fact, that even poses a problem for doctors. In France, recently, the question of antibiotics has come up : we are so bombarded with antibiotics that today they have become ineffective !

All of that is a consequence of fear. People are maintained in a state of fear. One of Tsuda's articles is titled : “Hello, illness !” Children aren't afraid of illness. They respond well, spontaneously and with strength!

Régis Soavi