FULL-time dad Shane Spencer learned the hard way that being a shiatsu therapist was what he was meant to do.
After a spell learning the Japanese healing technique, Shane put his skill on the back burner.
It wasn’t until years later, when he started treating his new son’s heart condition, that he realised he truly had a gift.
The Earlsheaton father-of-one started studying shiatsu 12 years ago as part of his university studies, but had to leave his course suddenly.
Then, in 2008 when son Riley was born with a heart murmur, Shane started practicing shiatsu techniques on the new-born’s arm.
He said: “Six weeks went by and when Riley woke for feeding five or six times a night I got up with him and as I fed him, I gently worked the heart meridian – which runs down the inside of the arm to the little finger – with my thumb in the attempt to maybe help him.”
But Shane, who lives in Frances Road, was dealt a blow at Riley’s six week scan when doctors said the baby would need an operation as soon as possible as blood was not flowing into his heart properly.
After the operation, Riley was put on life support.
Shane, 29, worried that his shiatsu had made his son’s condition worse.
“Our world got turned upside down,” he said. “The next 11 days went by in some kind of weird dream with lots of tears and no sleep.”
But soon news came that actually, without Shane’s shiatsu, Riley may have suffered a heart attack before his operation.
He said the heart has thousands of tiny veins which go down the arm, taking pressure off it.
“Maybe, just maybe, I helped to direct Riley’s heart by working the heart meridian in the arm,” he said.
Shane has decided to open his own shiatsu therapy practice in Dewsbury, and first told us about his venture via Twitter.