Valérie Gaillard

I was born in the Italian part of Switzerland, from an Italian mother and a French Swiss father. Thanks to listening to two languages since childhood, it came naturally to keep adding new languages further on… in total I speak seven of them, some better than others!

My parents were high school teachers and I promised myself not to follow the same path… nevertheless since my teenage years I had a clear inclination for teaching. I just did not want to enter “the system” and it took me some time to discover how to follow my vocation. After practising different professions which I chose mainly because the allowed me to travel and discover the world, I got “enlightened” one day when out of the blues I bought a book about Shiatsu, an Eastern therapy I had no previous contact with. It was love at first sight and following that light, I found the International Shiatsu School in Kiental, in the Swiss alps, where I trained and from which I graduated as a Shiatsu Therapist. In parallel I studied in the Humanities Department of Geneva University which allowed me to benefit from two scholarships granted by the Japanese Ministry of Education and this is how I ended up living in Tokyo for three years. There I was able to deepen my knowledge of Shiatsu, in its country of origin. The experience was very intense and rich, I steeped myself in a culture and a way of thinking that transformed me and still influences my own philosophy and view of the world. With the light of what I learned from Western and Eastern teachers and after practicing for some years I developed my own way of transmitting the art of Shiatsu. Strangely it was in Japan where I started teaching Shiatsu, almost against my own will, responding to the demand of a group of international students – my fellow scholarship students – who had received my treatments and decided that they would rather learn from me than from local teachers. The experience was great and life was showing me that I was on the right way: I had another chance to teach in the Philippines, to groups of people with scarce resources, as a volunteer.

Travelling around Asia I arrived in Thailand, seeking Thai Massage, which at that time (1992) was still little known among Westerners. I fell in love with the country and the art of Nuad, Traditional Massage that I was able to study in the Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai, the only school open to foreigners at that time.

I went back to Europe and spent some time preparing myself better to teach the arts I had been practicing. In the Kiental School I worked as an assistant and translator, accompanying great Shiatsu and Macrobiotics masters.

In 1994, already settled in Argentina, I opened my first training courses in this country. In parallel I kept studying and travelling, organizing as well courses for foreign teachers whom I invited to Buenos Aires. This way I was able to host Ohashi, renowned Shiatsu master with whom I had studied previously in Japan and in Italy.

In year 2000 I organized a first Jahara® – aquatic therapy- training course. I felt I was starting from scratch- that I had to learn it all over again.  With time Jahara® took more and more space in my professional life, influencing at the same time my land work. I became a Jahara® teacher in year 2006. It is currently the least known discipline that I teach, with the hope to make it known to a wider number of people and institutions.

In year 2014 I moved from Argentina, keeping my school active thanks to a team of people who place their enthusiasm and heart in this project. I travel around the world, including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, countries where my school keeps moving forward. My residence is now in Portugal, I am compensating for the 20 years spent in the Argentinian capital city by living in the countryside, under a starry sky inviting to relaxation and meditation. This is where I share retreats and courses when I am not travelling around.

In year 2017 I published my first book “Los Cinco Rostros de la Unidad”, in Spanish (Translation: « The Five Faces of Unity ») (Ed. TOL en Argentina and Hakabooks in Spain) where I share some of my personal and professional experiences from the point of view of the five elements of Eastern Medicine. I had a lot of fun writing it and I hope to be able to offer it in different languages in the future!

Today, year 2019, I can say that every discipline I studied touched me deeply, that I have had magnificent teachers in each of them. In addition to the ones I teach I also was trained in several other disciplines, Yoga, Family Constellations, Transpersonal Psychology and Primal Dance. I continue exploring : in my fifth trip to Thailand I was initiated in Chi Nei Tsang, deep abdominal massage. I still enjoy each class and workshop, each person that approaches me with curiosity and an open attitude, I thank day after day all my clients, students, colleagues and the people who organize my courses and work with me, allowing the dream to keep vibrating and touching the life of many beings. My passions are still Alive, travelling and therapies, teaching and human beings, with our multiple layers, our bodies and spirits, our greatness and miseries.

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