Shiatsu is an alternative technique that involves manual pressure applied to specific points on the body in an attempt to relieve tension and pain. According to the Japanese healing treatment, Shiatsu (meaning finger pressure) massage uses thumbs, fingers, elbows, and knees to concentrate pressure at certain energy pathways in the body called meridians. The massage also known as acupressure works to reduce muscle tension and fatigue and is thought to improve blood circulation in the body as well as improve function of the lymphatic system.
What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is a hands on therapy from Japan based upon the principles of Oriental Medicine. It works in a similar way to acupuncture but uses touch instead of needles. The central principle of shiatsu is that Ki, our vital energy, flows through our bodies. In full health Ki flows evenly and provides us with vitality and a sense of balance and well-being. However the daily pressures of our lives can create blockages in this flow which may manifest in physical discomfort or other symptoms. In a Shiatsu treatment the practitioner connects with Ki, helping to improve its flow and integration within the body and thereby allowing areas that are blocked, to release.
What happens in a treatment?
Treatment takes place on a futon on the floor with appropriate support i.e. a body cushion, soft blankets etc. where required. The client is fully clothed - I recommend wearing soft loose clothing for comfort. I use a variety of techniques including pressure to meridians and points, stretches, joint rotations and rocking.
There is no fixed routine as each treatment is appropriate to the needs of the client at that time. Clients often claim to feel relaxed, calm and energised after Shiatsu and hopefully any “problem” areas of pain or discomfort should feel an improvement.
What symptoms can Shiatsu help with?
Some of the physical and emotional conditions that can be treated with Shiatsu are: back pain, neck stiffness, joint pain, headaches and migraines, menstrual problems, digestive problems, sleep problems, asthma, stress, depression and sports injuries.