Shima Healing Institute

Categories: Entrepreneurship

Finding a Path That Resonates With Your Soul

Back in 2009, Akiko Igarashi was working on a project in her corporate career, but felt like “her soul was crying out for help”. Deep down, she knew her corporate life was coming to an end. She tendered her resignation, leaving the corporate world behind her.

Today, Akiko is the founder of Shima Healing Institute, a training center of traditional healing arts located at Koh Yao Noi, Southern Thailand. It’s a stark contrast to what she was doing before, but the path came naturally to her. 

Akiko has always been a firm believer of inner wisdom and self-awareness. In fact, she had taken a nine-month sabbatical in 2006 just to re-connect with herself. 

During those nine months, Akiko completed 500 hours of yoga training in India and meditation in Japan; she even went to Spain for a pilgrimage – all of which became the foundation for her business later on. 

When Akiko left the corporate world without a plan, she took a year off, spending time volunteering, and studying traditional healing arts with teachers from across the world.

It was during this year-long break when the “Tibetan Singing Bowls found her” in Nepal, while she was teaching yoga to children in an orphanage. Tibetan Singing Bowls are an inverted bell that is played to create a resonant tone. It is often used in meditation, yoga, or sound healing. She realized in that moment that sound healing was a calling for her.

On top of sound healing, Akiko’s twin passion is energy work. As a seeker of energy, she has trained in various lineages of Reiki for over 18 years, based upon traditions rooted in Japan and other countries. Both of these thus make up the core teachings of Shima Healing Institute.


The institute was finally established in 2015, after five years of research and development. Akiko made sure to use this time bring all her learnings thus far and integrated them into the Institute’s ethos.

On top of imparting the traditional healing arts, another core pillar of Akiko’s business is focused on service and community. Akiko believes that giving is integral to healing, and all participants in her workshops have to go through service work. 

Akiko’s journey might be met with many skeptics. Yet, her message is actually simple: be authentic to yourself, listen to your soul, find a path that resonates with it, and pursue it without reservations. 


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