The only constant in life is change and Sally Goodwin has experienced many over the past few years.

When she left her job as communications manager at the Body Shop three years ago, following voluntary redundancy, it was clear some major changes were afoot. But the journey to realising quite what this meant was long and challenging.

The Body Shop, based in Littlehampton, operates a scheme for all staff to explore learning and development outside their working life.

Two years before she left the company, its Love (Learning Is Of Value To Everyone) scheme offered Ms Goodwin the opportunity to take a short course in shiatsu.

The redundancy package offered included £1,000 for re-training and the company agreed she could use this towards funding a shiatsu pracititioner training course.

Having completed the three-year training with the Shiatsu College in Brighton, she now practises from The Dyke Road Natural Health Clinic in the city.

Ms Goodwin, 32, said: "The decision and process of changing your career throws up many more questions than you may first think and gives you an opportunity to evaluate many areas of your life.

"The theory and practise of shiatsu have given me not only a new career but also a new perspective."

Ms Goodwin is now using that perspective to help other people improve their health and wellbeing.

She said: "The idea and process of change can be daunting and stressful and we prefer to stay in our own 'comfort zone'.

"However, this means we are missing out on the natural flow of our lives and, with it, the opportunity for new and exciting experiences.

"Shiatsu aims to restore balance to the body by maintaining the flow and movement of its energy system.

"It can facilitate and support our self-development, informing and guiding us through processes of change.

"Often, ill-health or a feeling of unease is due to us being stuck somewhere in our lives.

"Shiatsu offers people the opportunity to experience themself in their natural state. This enables a person to gain clarity on where in their life they are stuck, allowing the process of change to begin.

"Creative energy is abundant and free-flowing and essential for inspiration, motivation, good health and wellbeing in all areas of life."

Ms Goodwin has lived in or near Brighton all her life and, after completing a film degree, worked in the media and arts for more than 12 years.

She says she gains inspiration from the city and is hoping to help people change their lives for the better through shiatsu and through her interest in art, writing and music.

Shiatsu is both a form of physical manipulation and a means towards the growth of body, mind and spirit, combining a finely-tuned intuition with an understanding of Oriental diagnosis, posture and breathing.

Shiatsu technique involves stretching, leverage and the practitioner leaning their weight into various parts of a recipient's body to encourage greater harmony of energy, circulation, flexibility and posture.

Many of the techniques are applied to the same system of energy channels or "meridians" as used in acupuncture, although in shiatsu each channel covers a greater area of the body.

You do not have to be ill to benefit from shiatsu as it can also help relax and de-stress.

The idea is to try and prevent disease as well as cure it.

Many common ailments that can be helped by shiatsu include chronic stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, backache, stiff joints, sports injury, arthritis, headaches and migraines.

Other conditions that can benefit are digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome, respiratory problems, asthma and circulatory problems.

Shiatsu is also effective during pregnancy, supporting the mother and unborn infant and helping to alleviate such symptoms as back pain, nausea, heartburn and anxiety.

SALLY Goodwin can be contacted at The Dyke Road Natural Health Clinic on 01273 561844.