Alessandra Pezza

I had the chance to meet Rex Lassalle in October 2012, on the occasion of a seminar about Detox Shiatsu organised by the Shiatsu Institute where I was training as a shiatsu practitioner. Having a University degree as a conference interpreter, I was asked to participate in the Detox seminar in order to translate for those who needed.

As is my working habit, I asked for the speaker’s contact information so that I could interact with him before the course, in order to get a better understanding of the main topics (at the time I was at the beginning of my Shiatsu course third-year), the principles at the basis of the speaker’s ideas, and maybe obtain some lecture notes or slides to help me prepare for the seminar.

I sent Rex an email, explaining who I was and why I was contacting him. His reply was, “Shall we have a Skype video-call?” I gladly accepted, because in this way I could have the chance to get accustomed to the speaker’s accent too.

Appointment made.

I sent my son to bed, and switched my laptop on.

Scratchpad and pen next to me.

Video-call incoming.


The video-call screen opened and soon all I could see was Rex’s smiling face and intense look. If you know him, you’ll understand what I am talking about.

Opening greetings, and soon after I started asking questions. His reply, however, was: “Tell me, Alessandra: when were you born?”

That question sounded quite disconnected from the reason of our appointment. Today, after three years, I can understand the rationale behind that question.

I replied.

Rex closed his eyes for one moment, nodding. When he opened his eyes again, another question: “What might be a challenge for you in a working context such as the one we are about to experience?”

Another unusual question for me, during what I thought was just meant to be a briefing before a working meeting- in fact, it was already taking the shape of an inner journey, which still continues today.

I meditated for a moment, then I replied. From his expression, it looked like I gave ‘the right answer’, or at least, one which didn’t sound weird.

After that, he told me about his challenges in such a working occasion. I thought this was very honest of him, as well as a great resource for each other, because on this simple sharing a fruitful ground for collaboration was being made, not to mention the openness towards mutual support in a context of prolonged stress (i.e. holding a two-day seminar for him, and translating for me!!!).

After these exchanges, Rex informed me about the main points he would deal with, while I was taking notes. Then we said good-bye, and would meet in person the day of the seminar.

The room was crowded with people.

I was quite nervous, so decided to go to a separate room to practice Qigong for better concentration and serenity.

Soon after, the meeting began and Rex led us on a journey into the world of Shiatsu practised for detoxifying from electro-smog. Many were the stimuli provided, which were adopted from other traditions too, not only the Japanese culture, together with the use of essential oils and special tools to encourage this balance.

During the seminar, Rex asked for the active participation of some people for his demonstrations; that question again: “Tell me, when were you born?”

Eyes closed, head nodding.

Once he opened his eyes, he started to interact with the person, asking them to confirm or deny some ‘hypotheses’ of his: they were always confirmed.

He then decided to share with us the reasons for such a request: as a researcher practising the 9 Star Ki system, those questions, and the related answers, helped him get in touch with the essence of the person, with the strengths and possible challenges they might be confronted with.

Though the seminar ended, the relationship with this person didn’t come to an end, as normally happened in the case of other foreign speakers who came to our school for some days of training.

For conciseness reasons, I can’t elaborate on all the times when talking to Rex has brought me to reflect on my life, delving into still unexplored dimensions.

I would like to mention, however, what was probably the most mysterious dimension of all: my son, Francesco.

Soon after the seminar, winter came, and Francesco (who was 4 years old at that time) started to show some clear symptoms: a rash, which day by day was spreading all over his body together with what was becoming a worrying constipation (which lasted for 12 days). Many visits to specialists: no effect.

One video-call with Rex opened the window of my son’s world for me.

The same question: “When was he born?”

Eyes closed, head nodding.

Once he opened his eyes, he talked about Francesco as if he had always known him, giving me suggestions which ranged from colours to be avoided (red, in Francesco’s case…and this reminded me that some days after his birth, every time I put him in a red romper suit he used to cry desperately!), to routines to be adopted during the day, especially before going to bed at night, to advice on how to make messages, even reprimand him, in the most effective way, in a way that would…’touch’ him.

Rex told me about his interests, his weaknesses and strengths, and having this information made the relationship with my son less rough, more effective and ‘in the flow of things’.

It is as if everything would gradually become clearer…as if the people and all I had around me couldn’t be otherwise. And now I knew why it was so.

Last December we travelled to Germany to visit Rex for a week-end. But week-ends with Rex can be as intense as years…

As he says on the dedication page in his last book “make TIME your friend”, not a burden.

On this occasion, too, staying in touch with Rex supported me to ease some distress I had about some behaviours or attitudes of mine and my son’s, for which until that moment I couldn’t find any explanation. What’s more, Rex took the occasion to start giving me suggestions about the daughter who I will bring to light in some months.

For all of this, I feel eternally grateful.

The personal contact with Rex, and reading his books, brought me to completely delve into my life and, as he himself mentions in the cover of his last book, develop my senses, learn how to see. “Realise that everything connects to everything else” (Leonardo da Vinci).

Little by little, the feeling of being at the mercy of events and myself is vanishing, to leave space for a view of the interconnectedness of everything, knowing that I am a part of it.

Alessandra Pezza, Teacher, Rome, Italy

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