What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is an oriental form of bodywork, which is based on Japanese massage therapy traditions. Shiatsu integrates Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory and Japanese practice with western physiology and anatomy.
Shiatsu was developed in Japan from the techniques of anma, a traditional Japanese massage, which in it’s origins was practiced by blind people. Shiatsu merges the western knowledge of anatomy with anma, ampuku (Japanese abdominal massage), acupressure, and Do-In (Japanese breathing and stretching practices).
Shiatsu massage, which deals with alleviating various physical and emotional ailments by working on pressure points, is the counterpart to the Chinese method of acupressure.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) System is based on the concept of ‘Chi’ or in Japanese ‘Ki’, which is energy that flows through the body along various channels, called meridians.
The word ‘Shiatsu’ comes from the Japanese words ‘shi’, which means finger and ‘atsu’, which means pressure. This pressure is created by the practitioners body weight through fingers, thumbs, elbows, forearms, feet and knees in contact with the recipient’s body.
Benefits of Shiatsu
Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience that brings awareness to your whole body and your mind. Shiatsu reconnects you with your breath.
Clients who come with specific ailments like back or joint pain, may feel relief of symptoms for 2-4 days after only one Shiatsu session. But people with chronic conditions are recommended to come weekly or fortnightly for an agreed period of time, to give the body the chance to feel pain-free longer. Conditions that have developed over a period of months to years, will need time to show a stable improvement. This is best achieved through repeated treatments and good self-care.
Clients with acute conditions may find relief after just a few treatments. From the beginning of a Shiatsu session, immediate positive effects should be noticeable.
After a Shiatsu treatment physical flare-ups such as muscular soreness or tiredness are possible too and can last from a couple of hours to two days before improvements occur. Unexpected reactions such as headaches or heavy menstrual flow may be part of a so-called ‘healing crisis’ which can appear as tensions or imbalances work their way out of your body. If such symptoms last longer than 48 hours, please inform your Shiatsu practitioner.
- Conditions that respond well to Shiatsu include:
- anxiety & depression
- headaches and migraines
- premenstrual and menopausal problems
- pregnancy (pre-/postnatal) – during
- conception/IVF treatment
- digestion / irritable bowel syndrome