Shiatsu is a pressure-point massage technique, developed in Japan. Pressure is applied to specific points on the body to stimulate energy “meridians”. Shiatsu is a traditional hands-on Japanese healing therapy that has been formulated over the last 100 years from the traditional Japanese amma massage which is a feel good, therapeutic massage.
Shiatsu literally means ‘finger pressure’ and describes the part of the therapy whereby natural body weight (through fingers, thumbs, elbows, forearms, feet and knees) is used in applying pressure to special points on the body. This is combined with stretches, joint rotations and joint manipulation to give an all-over treatment.
The aim of the therapist is to rebalance the flow of energy (Ki), along the meridians or channels. The surface touch uses points on the surface known as Tsubo to access those meridians. The therapist feels for excessive (Jitsu) or deficient (Kyo) energy (Ki) within the meridians as they control the movement in the body (blood, gas, air, water). Shiatsu incorporates pressure, holding, rubbing, heating or stretching techniques which can be deep and firm, but which are applied with sensitivity.
Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience, and regular Shiatsu sessions help to prevent the build up of stress. The treatment is usually carried out fully clothed, with the patient lying on a futon mat on the ground or on the massage table. A typical session will last about an hour.
Common conditions helped by Shiatsu include:
- Back pain
- Neck stiffness
- Joint pain
- Reduced mobility
- Menstrual problems
- Digestive problems
- Asthmatic symptoms
- Sports injuries