Underwater Healer About Face Underwater Healer About Face

San Francisco Underwater Rugby Team

uw portrait
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San Francisco Underwater Rugby Team Underwater Rugby was started in 1961, with a member of the German Underwater Club (DUC) in Cologne, Ludwig von Bersuda, came up with the idea of an underwater ball game. I've never seen this wild 3D sport with salt water filled ball, tossing and grabbing underwater! I met one of the female captains, Jacqui on the day of the photo shoot and she explained to me briefly what it's all about. Two teams each with six players (plus six substitutes), try to score a goal by sending the ball into the opponents’ goal. Players are allowed to touch (pull, push = wrestling!) the person with a ball but as soon as the person leases it, everybody has to let the person go. It happens so fast underwater. It's incredible to see their movements, team works and stamina!! Erena: How did you get involved in this sport? Jacqui: I started back in 2008, in Sydney, Australia. A colleague asked if I wanted to go to a Beginner's Night for some crazy sport he'd heard of after work. I almost said no! But I didn't have other plans that Wednesday so I went along. Twenty people showed up, and I don't think they were quite prepared for it, so it was all a bit chaotic. As soon as we started playing and passing the ball around underwater, I was totally hooked. I've played every since. E: How do you feel physically and emotionally when you are underwater compare to being on land? J: Being underwater can...

Huntington Beach Trip for PADI, Dive Warriors, Jared and Xoe

Travel, Uncategorized, Underwater Healer About Face
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It seems like I travel back to the same place twice this year. I was in Grand Cayman twice and Huntington Beach next!! I love traveling to see same people to catch up and build a tighter relationship. Back in September, I was in Huntington Beach to meet a veteran, Jared from Dive Warriors and an accident survivor Xoe to do underwater transformative photo shoot. Also I was happy that PADI asked to contribute a dive trip report with veterans for their blog page. As soon as I arrived to Huntington Beach, I wanted to jump in the ocean. The weather was gorgeous and made me feel at home. So beautiful. I drove to L.A. to see my busy friend, Carlos! It's been awhile. He has been making amazing movies and his work always blows me away. So inspiring. You need a break! Stop working!!! I went back to my AirBnB in Huntington Beach and I saw my host, Don cleaning the pool! This is my second time coming back to his place!! He is super supportive for my campaign. He took care of his pool back in April for 3 breast cancer survivors. I really appreciate how generous and humble he is. I've never met any host like him!! He is always smiling too! (and his hair is awesome) His beautiful kitty and a pup :) Guarding the pool. I went to visit my boyfriend's aunt and uncle who live near by. They fed me Impossible burger!! Thank you Laurie and Ben!! The next day,...

A tattoo magazine, Inked!!

art show, Underwater Healer About Face
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"Meet the woman who has pioneered a transformative therapy practice and empowers people with underwater portraits as they struggle through their physical and mental turmoil." – Inked I'm happy to announce that my work was published on Inked, a tattoo magazine November issue!! It was an emotional reminder to share my story. I also talked a little bit about my inks in the article :) It means a lot if you guys read it. Please go grab your copy...

ICEBAT 2018 International Conference Evidence Based on Aquatic Therapy

about, art show, Travel, Underwater Healer About Face
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April 2018, ICEBAT International Conference Evidence Based on Aquatic Therapy was held in Las Vegas, CA. It was their first time having a conference in United States! I was so ready to show my work, share my story and connect with everybody through our passion. Arrived! So Vegas...I haven't been here for over 20 years! After I checked in my hotel, I had lunch with my friend, Michiko who I haven't seen for over 20 years. So good to see her and catch up! We are both old now but still young inside.. (almost too young) Cold udon was declious! Her husband is a veteran and he is willing to help spreading the word of underwater transformative photography to other veterans. I really appreciate their support! When I got back to the hotel, I had to start setting up my booth. It was challenging to hang the big banner! I feel like I needed something more water texture instead of the brown wall... Always something come up at the last minute! Next day! Starting soon- People are so curious about my project but couldn't tell what it is until I explain to them. I have to have a clear message saying it's a survivors' underwater journey to transform... or something like that? And also I need a video display next time!   The main reason for being at this conference was to meet Dr. Bruce Becker. I admire his research study on warm water and brain. I finally got to meet him in person! I hope to keep in touch...

Los Angeles 2017

Travel, Underwater Healer About Face
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Let's go to Los Angeles!! It's been awhile- WooHoo- I love traveling! First stop, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary! One of my bucket list to see beautiful wolves! Hmm...The sign needs to upgrade... It was SO hot out (more than 100F). Wolf said, "Human time..(sigh) my early shift begins with these two...(sigh)" "HEY, heeey human, where are my carrots!!??" I brought carrots (organic!) for them but I was not allowed to feed them at that time :( "HEY human, got it, got it! I'll pose...where are my carrots?" The guide repeatedly told us they are not dogs. But you know....I want one!!! His big face didn't fit for selfie- "Carrots?" There was one more human friendly wolf. She is 15 years old, an oldest wolf at the sanctuary. "Oh hey, human:)" She was a friendly grandma. Just like this! I was so happy to meet 11 wolves. They were rescued from hunting in Alaska and from abusive owners. We found a cafe 247 for lunch. Home made Chiiiips! As soon as I got to the Airbnb, I had to jump in the water to rejuvenate! Next stop, Natural History Museum! Next stop, Anime Expo!!!! Check out the VIZ Media Blog! SO MANY people! I heard it was twice much bigger than last year! At the Food Wars panel, the creator, Yūto Tsukuda had to challenge some American snacks: Spicy Cheetos! It was a huge surprise for me when they played a manga trailer I worked on!!! I got super emotional seeing and hearing fans' reactions. The creator loved it, that means a lot! Thank you so much!...

Medical conference 2017

about, art show, Underwater Healer About Face
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It was one of my dreams to be part of medical/health field. My work was displayed at a medical conference!! They look gorgeous!! Thank you for your continuous support! ガン関連のメディカルコンフェレンスで 私の作品とバックストーリーがギャラリーに飾られました!3年連続での サポートありがとうございます😊!! Please read a story of a breast cancer survivor, JoAnn. Please read a story of a stomach cancer survivor, Steve, a breast cancer survivor Kim and a testicular cancer survivor Scott Please read a story of a thyroid cancer survivor Pauline and a brain cancer survivor...

What does WATER mean to you?

about, Underwater Healer About Face
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A fashion model/free diver, David Langlois says, "Freedom. Being in the water make me think more about the present." An underwater Model, Linnea Snyderman says, "Being underwater is home. It is where I feel at peace and no worries from the outside world can penetrate." A model/free diver, Everlayn Borges says, "Water is the essence of infinite LIFE in every sense of the word." A competitive pro free diver, Ashleigh Baird says, "Water is pure joy. When I'm free diving it offers a way to quiet my mind and look deep within and listen to my body. It's a meditative experience, and nothing else does that for...

UW Fashion Photography with Zena Holloway in Bahama

Travel, uw portrait
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UW Fashion Photography with Zena Holloway in Bahama and an extra stop in Florida I've been scuba diving for over 12 years and I became a scuba dive master in Venezuela. I started taking photographs of fishes and marine life. And one day, I saw Zena Holloway's work, Swansong, I instantly thought I want to be like her. Over 10 years later, I found out she was leading a workshop organized by Aquaspirit in Bimini, Bahama! If I miss this opportunity, I might not see her again. I finally decided to sign up to meet her in person! A dream came true! I did a mini interview with Zena at the end of the workshop. She gave us a great advice! SO... my adventure began from this huge canvas... #oceanhug Arrived in Bimini, Bahama! I cried looking at this crystal clear water!!!! It looks like a painting... SO GORGEOUSSSsssss!! The sky is not covered by any buildings. I felt like I was in the planetarium. If you have guts to walk up stairs on these. I'll give you $5. Don't worry, it's super safe. Rainbow before the sunset... aaand this is the place I stayed. At welcome dinner to meet Zena, other photographers and models! People are coming from 11 different countries!!?? So awesome to connect through our passions. AND I ran into Tammy from San Diego!! When I photographed 3 cancer survivors in San Diego last year, I got to rent her pool! Thank you so much for supporting my my project! It was a great night! The food...

Academy of Art University

Underwater Healer About Face
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Back in 2001, I graduated from Academy of Art University as a New Media major. And few month ago I was interviewed by the editor from AAU and it was published! I was so happy to see the article! The article is online now! Please check it out! "Ever since she was a little girl, Erena Shimoda fantasized about being a mermaid and calling the ocean her home. As an adult, she felt like her childhood dream had almost come true the first time she went scuba diving during a trip to Honduras 14 years ago. "  - See more at:...