Living in balance is an important part of staying healthy. Sometimes, our bodies become subtly misaligned and we experience various physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Shiatsu is one style of Asian massage that focuses on adjusting our energy to return and maintain health.
What is Shiatsu Massage?
Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage developed in 1915 by Tamai Tempaka. The word ‘shiatsu’ is literally translated as “finger pressure”, referring to the primary acupressure technique of the art. Shiatsu uses the body weight of the practitioner to gradually press tsubos, or acupressure points, and balance the flow of energy in the patient.
Chinese Medicine was first introduced into Japan during the 6th century. These foundational Oriental Medicine concepts became the basis for Japan developing its own unique methods of treatment and diagnosis. Shiatsu is a complete system of treatment comparable to acupuncture without the use of needles. The main premise of treatment is to adjust the flow of vital energy, called Ki. The deficiency or blockage of the flow of Ki in the body is viewed as the primary cause of disease; and by balancing the flow if Ki in the meridians, health can be restored.
What is a Shiatsu Massage Like?
Shiatsu massage is a soft, relaxing style of treatment. When you receive a Shiatsu massage, the practitioner will first diagnose your condition based upon the foundations of Oriental Medicine with a primary focus on palpation. Shiatsu massage includes a highly developed method of Hara (or abdomen) diagnosis. Your soft belly can provide a skilled practitioner with information on the entire state of your mind and body. Deep palpation of your abdomen will allow the practitioner to assess all your internal organs, as well as detect mental and emotional difficulties.
An important concept of Shiatsu massage is the ability of the practitioner to feel and emit Ki. With palpation of your meridians, the Shiatsu practitioner will be able to feel and simultaneous adjust the flow if Ki in your body. This dynamic adjustment to the flow of Ki throughout the treatment will continue until your body is harmonized.
Shiatsu utilizes a variety of massage techniques during treatment, including pressing with fingers, thumbs, elbows, knees, palms, and feet. Additional techniques include stretches, rocking, and joint mobilization to further improve the flow of Ki. Most shiatsu massage sessions occur on a futon mat place upon the floor. While shiatsu can be given on a massage table or chair, the floor is best as it allows the practitioner to ground their energy and better utilize their body weight during treatment.
Most shiatsu sessions last approximately one hour. Initial consultations may require more time for history taking of your medical condition. Shiatsu massage is performed fully clothed, without the use of oil.
Benefits of Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu is a wonderful form of Oriental massage treatment with many benefits.
- Shiatsu is a complete form of holistic treatment:
Just like other forms of Oriental Medicine, Shiatsu can be beneficial for many types of health related issues, including digestion, gynecological, and muscular skeletal problems.
- Shiatsu is a gentle and effective treatment:
This Japanese style of acupressure uses softer, gradual pressure upon sensitive points to avoid pain or discomfort while maintaining treatment effectiveness.
- Shiatsu can relax your body and correct structural misalignments:
By releasing blockages of Ki in your body, you will experience improved blood circulation, greater flexibility, and less muscular tension.
- Shiatsu can calm your mind:
The stresses of life can accumulate and create various emotional disorders. By receiving shiatsu treatments, you can decrease stress and experience greater mental awareness.
- Shiatsu can increase your vitality and prevent disease:
By regularly balancing the flow of Ki in your body, you can feel vibrant and alert, and stay happy and healthy.