Underwater Healer About Face Underwater Healer About Face

Underwater Healer About Face in Florida!

Travel, Underwater Healer About Face
I'll be in Florida from 2/10-2/15! Arriving at night on the 10th and leaving early in the morning of the 15th. Super short trip but I want to make the best out of this trip! I'm excited! Originally, I was not going to work BUT that never happened for me :) I just LOVE working with cancer survivors, sharing stories and making beautiful memories together. Les is 52 years old and was born and raised in Maryland. He lives in Florida for the last 30 years. He is a 2 time cancer survivor (skin and lung cancer) He used to go scalloping every season. He says, "One reason I want to do this, if I can be truthful, is because I'm kind of worried about getting back underwater since I have only 1 1/2 lungs and no idea how long I can hold my breath anymore. The second reason is because I haven't done anything just for me since cancer took my life and I don't have any pictures of myself! I also want to make my daughters proud :)" Amber grew up in Hot Springs Arkansas and spent time in Ketchikan Alaska as a teenager. Then she lived in Alabama for 14 years until she moved to Florida. She was diagnosed with PTSD and Colorectal Cancer. She has also been left with a colostomy bag and that is a constant pull at her feelings of beauty and causes much doubt and sadness. She says, "I hope to have the opportunity to...

Gold Medal Olympian – Brenda Villa

uw portrait
I had an underwater photo shoot with a water polo Olympian, Brenda Villa and I had an opportunity to do an interview with her! I feel so lucky!! What was your dream when you were a child? My first dream was to become a doctor or lawyer. However, I as I got older and became a better water polo player, water polo took over my life and lead me in a different direction. What was the relationship like with your brother? Was he your inspiration or somebody else? Parents? (I read that he was a water polo player too) As a younger sister, I followed my brother everywhere and wanted to do everything he did. I was lucky enough to play on the boys HS team with him and win a HS championship. I always wanted to be like him or get his approval. It was hard to get as a younger sister. What was like to play in a boys team being only a girl? (high school?) I know kids can be mean! My team was very supportive, I grew up playing with most of the boys. It usually was the opposition team that made comments and sometimes made me uncomfortable but my love for the game kept me playing. Are you coaching a team now? Right now, I coach a couple teams. I coach the HS girls at Castilleja School and I run a youth water polo team called the Menlo Mavericks. http://menloswim.com/belle-haven-pool/water-polo/menlo-mavericks/ You told me your happy place is underwater. Why? What does WATER mean...

Happy New Year 2017!

Happy New Year! How was your New Years Eve to end 2016? I got to see the last sunset of the year with my best friends in Bolinas! Also ate goose for the first time!! I always go back to my mother's house for January 1st o have a traditional Japanese New Year's food. It was so delicious! What's your New Year's resolution? I have too many things to accomplish each year but my head is always up and moving...

Behind the scene with Pauline and JoAnn

Underwater Healer About Face
The last 2 cancer survivors of the 2016 are Pauline and JoAnn from the Bay Area. Pauline is a thyroid cancer survivor and now she volunteers for American Cancer Society's Look Good Feel Better program as a make up artist. JoAnn is a breast cancer survivor and currently going through a radiation.  Pauline helped JoAnn for the make up and told her about the free program, Look Good Feel Better so she can have an awesome make up kit ($400 value, all donated by cosmetic companies) for FREE! JoAnn did an amazing job underwater! She said, "My body was so relaxed that night and I slept like a baby! I usually wake up having a body ache and discomfort on my breast and arm but I slept through the night :)" Please see her beautiful underwater transformation and read her story here. JoAnn's cousin, Drina did an underwater maternity photo shoot with me a month ago! Drina is a huge supporter of the underwater healer about face project and she wanted to sponsor her cousin JoAnn for the photo shoot. Pauline was a bit nervous in the beginning but she got hang of it right away! She said, "I had one of the most restful nights sleep and I couldn’t believe that I don’t think I woke up once, my normal nights sleep, I wake at least twice and then sometimes my mind starts trailing and I cause myself angst. I so enjoyed my last nights sleep." Please see her beautiful underwater transformation and...

Italy Trip 2016

We were in Italy for my dear friends' wedding in September! First, loong flight to Stockholm, Sweden first. But I know how to entertain myself....wait...SERIOUSLY!!!??? Finally arrived in Stockholm! SUGARRRR! People were so nice. Kids were playing Pokémon Go here too. We went to a jazz bar and the band was pretty awesome!! We were dancing all night! https://www.facebook.com/erena.shimoda/videos/pcb.10154497243683050/10154497222658050/?type=3&theater They were Rockin'!! Special guest, harmonica player was also a pro! Swedish people are so beautiful. In fact, they all had nice skin!! Why is that? Wine everyday? I really liked this bar and people's energy. Yes, talk to each other like it's 1995!! I still went to boy's bathroom by mistake! It was a beautiful night at Stockholm. Next morning, before we left for Italy, we had to get breakfast at this bakery! Moomin! Good bye, Stockholm~ Hello Tuscany, Italy! Arrived during the night and it was a crazy car ride!! Isabell was my roommate in SF back in.... long time ago! She rented this gorgeous house! Wedding make up is so much work!! Da daaaaa- So beautiful! I've never seen a Jewish wedding ceremony live!! Yes, he didn't land on anyone! 1000 cranes here too! Then drove to Florence... That night we left for Sardina by ferry... And we entertained ourselves with... and aaaand We arrived in Palau!   It was stormy the next day, the dive shop had to cancel our scuba trips... Arrived in Arrugelo! Octopus salad was delicious! Morning before the dives! I worked at the dive shop in the past. I...

Fem Worldview Magazine

Underwater Healer About Face
Thank you so much for featuring my work. I'm honored to be a part of this beautiful magazine, Fem Worldview to inspire other women in the world. "From the Editor:  It is with great honor that Erena Shimoda agreed to allow Fem Worldview Magazine to present her extraordinary underwater healing project for cancer survivors.  I am a swimmer.  I love the water.  I am never happier than when I am floating in a pool, or diving underwater, free from stress and petty annoyances.  Sometimes I close my eyes and think I’m still in Bora Bora.   Sometimes I close my eyes and dream I’m a child.  Everything is possible in the water.  Until you immerse yourself in the water, you aren’t yet free.   Come with me and take a journey with people who have survived the worst fear – cancer.  Applaud them and praise them as we allow Erena Shimoda’s gift of photography to grace us in her underwater world." About Fem Worldview Fem Worldview Magazine is a publication showcasing extraordinary women from around the world.  Fem Worldview is a global journey brought to our readers through exquisite imagery and powerful journalism with no-holds barred presentation.  Fem Worldview is a publication that is embodied with integrity, consciousness, research, education and...

UCSF event was successful!

Underwater Healer About Face
It was a successful day at UCSF cancer event, Taste for the Cure: A Taste of Science Each year, UCSF puts on an annual Taste for the Cure event at the Jewish Community Center. Aimed at patients, their families, and the community, the event shares resources and research on breast cancer as well as tips and food samples for eating healthy during and after cancer. I met beautiful survivors, fighters and supporters who are interested in working with me. I hope to hear exciting news coming soon! Wish me luck! I also purchased a book from BAYS! One of the cancer survivors, Sara is one of the writers. I was folding origami cranes at the event. So many people loved them and took them home. 1000 cranes are the symbol of our project, Undewater Healer About Face. Thousand Origami Cranes (千羽鶴 Senbazuru) is a group of one thousand origami paper cranes (折鶴 orizuru) held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the Gods. Some stories believe you are granted eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. I was folding origami cranes to wish every cancer fighters and survivors get better and stay strong forever. #1000cranes #1000wishes...

Stop by this Saturday – UCSF cancer event, Taste for the Cure

about, art show
Taste for the Cure: A Taste of Science I'm excited to announce that I'm a part of UCSF event on Saturday, 10/1. I'll be showing Underwater Healer About Face to cancer survivors, fighters and supporters at the table . Please stop by and say hello!  Click here to find out! In Honor of Debby Hamolsky, RN, MS In the spirit of Debby’s decades of commitment to emotional and educational support for women with breast cancer, our panel topics will focus on personalized screening and treatment and living well during and after cancer. Between panels, join us for science demonstrations, healthy food tastings, and updates on trials and programs available through the Breast Care Center. This educational event is free and open to all. After nearly 30 years at UCSF, nurse coordinator Debby Hamolsky is leaving us for her next adventure. Please join the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center in honoring her legacy with a day exploring food, science, and breast...

Building the trust

This is why I LOVE what I do! An aquaphobia client wants to overcome her fear by facing a new challenge and being beautiful. She read everything about me and said she trusts me. Happiest moment of my...

Meet Sara, a breast cancer survivor

Underwater Healer About Face
I had an amazing day working with an adorable couple who wanted to celebrate their 10 anniversary under water and after that, I got to work with a beautiful breast cancer survivor, Sara. She was born and grew up in the south bay, and have been living in San Francisco most of her adult life, other than going to Berkeley for undergrad and UCLA for law school.She was iagnosed breast cancer in December 2015, when she was 38. After the photo shoot, she said, "I totally would recommend underwater portrait to other survivors! For survivors, I think it's an experience that can help you feel strong and confident again, especially because Erena was so warm and encouraging. It is a nice escape from thinking about cancer. It also is a moment where you can feel like you're in control and you're guiding the concept and deciding what to do, instead of being told what's happening to you and your body by doctors. It's a fun "appointment," instead of all the mandatory doctor appointments that poke and prod you. I think it also would be a great experience for anyone, not just survivors. It is such a unique, artistic experience and different way of seeing yourself." Thank you so much, Sara for being a part of this beautiful project to inspire other survivors and everyone in the world. Her underwater transformative images are stunning! I can't wait to show them to you...