Shiatsu (Kanji: 指圧 Hiragana: しあつ) originated in Japan, and is based on traditional Chinese medical concepts with influences from more recent Western therapies. Although shiatsu means ‘finger pressure’ in Japanese, Shiatsu practitioners use finger and palm pressure, stretches, and other 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, illness, maintain health, and establish a deep sense of wellbeing.
Styles of Shiatsu
Many early Shiatsu practitioners developed their own style, and some, including Tokojiro Namikoshi and Shizuto Masunaga, founded schools that helped establish Shiatsu as a therapeutic modality.
Today, Shiatsu has different styles, philosophical approaches, and theoretical bases. Some styles concentrate on acupressure (acupuncture) points while others emphasise more general work on the body or along energetic channels. Other styles highlight diagnostic systems, such as the Five Element system or the macrobiotic approach. All styles, however, are based in traditional Chinese medicine.
Shizuto Masunaga (1925-1981) incorporated his experience of Shiatsu into his studies of Western psychology and Chinese medicine. He also refined the existing methods of diagnosis. His extended system incorporated special exercises, known as “makko ho“, to stimulate the flow of Ki. He developed a set of guiding principles to make the techniques more effective. He called his system Zen Shiatsu after the simple and direct approach to spirituality of the Zen Buddhist monks in Japan.
Benefits of Shiatsu
- Calming, grounding, and deeply relaxing for body and mind
- Helps to restore and rebalance energy levels
- Creates a sense of well-being
- Helps to prevent and relieve many conditions
- Relieves stiffness and tension, improves posture
- Helps clear toxins from the body
- Improves immunity
What Conditions Does it Treat?
- Headaches and migraines
- Stress and anxiety
- Neck and shoulder tension
- Digestive problems
- Menstrual problems
- Joint pain and reduced mobility
The number of treatments required will depend on your general state of health and the acute or chronic nature of the conditions needing help.
Would you like to feel more relaxed and better grounded? Schedule an appointment now to experience this deeply relaxing and calming therapeutic bodywork – I’d love to work with you!