In the Japanese language, shiatsu means “finger pressure”. Shiatsu techniques include massages with fingers, thumbs, and palms; assisted stretching; and joint manipulation and mobilization. It can be considered a form of massage, which is often done through the clothes and incorporates simple points and holds. Shiatsu includes awareness of body posture, breathing and exercise. Like acupuncture, Shiatsu stimulates the body’s vital energy or Chi (Qi).
It is characterized by extensive use of pressure techniques over acupoints often done using thumb or palms. The pressure varies according to the person, the area of the body, and what the work is being done for. It can be very deep, and help ease out physical tensions. It can be very light and feel soothing. Usually there are some stretches and mobilizations, so it can feel a bit like Thai massage or having yoga done to you. It is often done on a futon on the floor rather than a massage table.
A practitioner uses touch, comfortable pressure and manipulative techniques to adjust the body’s physical structure and balance its energy flow. It is a deeply relaxing experience and regular treatments can alleviate stress and illness and maintain health and well-being.
Shiatsu is a non-invasive therapy that may help reduce stress and contribute to overall wellbeing. It is believed that it has both preventative and remedial effects.
Shiatsu can be used in the treatment of a wide range of internal, musculoskeletal, and emotional conditions. It is thought to reduce muscle stiffness, stimulate the skin, aid digestion, and influence the nervous system. Shiatsu is used to treat a wide range of chronic conditions, such as headaches, PMS, digestive disorders, fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia, stress, anxiety, and musculoskeletal pain, including low back, neck, and joint pain.
The effect may be stimulating and invigorating or calming and sedative, depending on the goal of the session.
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