Shiatsu is a form of therapeutic bodywork from Japan. Shiatsu translates as "finger pressure." It uses kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching techniques and is performed without oils through light, comfortable clothing.
How can Shiatsu benefit your health and well-being? Shiatsu is a non-invasive therapy used to reduce stress and contribute to overall well-being. Proponents believe 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.
What are the principles of Shiatsu? One of the fundamental concepts of Japanese medicine is Ki (pronounced "chee"). This is the vital energy in our body that underlies all functioning.
Ki flows in specific pathways called meridians. The Shiatsu therapist accesses the Ki through points along the meridians called Vital Points. Health is present when there is abundant Ki in the meridians and the flow is unobstructed. When the Ki becomes deficient or out of balance, or the flow is obstructed, symptoms arise. Seemingly minor signs emerge, such as regular colds and flu, weekly or daily headaches, body aches and muscular pain, or digestive difficulties. These are indications of the imbalance of Ki. Shiatsu stimulates and harmonizes the flow of Ki throughout the body.
The Shiatsu therapist is trained to recognize patterns of disharmony in the body, even prior to physical signs appearing. Simple yet subtle changes are indications of an imbalance that, left alone, may progress to a point where symptoms appear. Balance can be restored with proper assessment and regular Shiatsu sessions. Shiatsu practitioners may also offer lifestyle and activity recommendations.
What happens in a Shiatsu session? At the beginning of the session, the practitioner evaluates the client to determine the patterns of imbalance that may be present. It is important to assess the "state of the Ki" in order for the practitioner to give the client the most effective therapeutic session. Then the practitioner designs a plan that will give the client the most therapeutic benefit according to their individual needs.
Shiatsu uses a variety of manual techniques, including pressure, kneading, soothing, tapping, and stretching to access the vital Ki of the body. In the case where the client's energy is low or deficient, the practitioner uses specific techniques to enhance and vitalize the Ki. When the client is over-stressed, wound-up, or anxious, the practitioner employs techniques to disperse the "excess" energy. In this way, the Ki is regulated. Shiatsu works to alleviate conditions, restore balance, and promote health.
Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits Getting shiatsu can do you a world of good. Receiving shiatsu frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you'll be and how youthful you'll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because shiatsu feels like a pampering treat doesn't mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider shiatsu appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.