Based on principles of traditional Chinese medicine, Shiatsu massage originated in Japan in the early 20th century. Unlike some traditional forms of massage that predate Shiatsu, the practice incorporated some Western and other holistic therapies.
The practice of Shiatsu itself involves using fingers — the word translates from the Japanese to mean “finger pressure” — as well as hands, elbows, knees and even feet on points across a patient’s body. Shiatsu is deeply relaxing, but it also helps treat many health problems, along with their underlying causes.
There are many benefits to Shiatsu massage and reasons for massage therapists to specialize in the technique. First learn more about the history of this unique massage modality with roots in ancient healing traditions and modern science.
Practitioners of Shiatsu use their fingers and other body parts (hands, elbows, knees, feet) to manipulate pressure points on the patient’s body, which are also called acupoints or acupuncture points. The therapist might also stretch or rotate the limbs or joints of a patient as part of treatment.
One of the important concepts in Shiatsu and TCM is Qi, which is a vital life force energy that flows through every person. Qi runs along points called meridians. When Qi is blocked it can cause health problems in a patient. Based on a diagnosis, the practitioner will determine which points along the meridian require focus in treatment.
These are the body’s twelve meridians, which correspond to organs: Lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, heart governor, triple heater, gall bladder and liver
Shiatsu stimulates circulation and blood flow, enhancing the body’s own ability to heal itself. Some of the many reason Shiatsu works:
Restores the following systems: nervous, lymphatic, hormonal and circulatory, Increases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, Improves stamina, energy and vitality, Enhances coordination and range of motion, Brings down blood pressure and heart rate.
Shiatsu improves a patient’s overall well being while enhancing the immune system, but can be beneficial to healing a variety of specific ailments.
Getting a Shiatsu Massage:
Undergoing a Shiatsu treatment is invigorating experience, which will begin with a diagnosis that aims to understand you as a whole person, including your mind and soul. The process may seem different than going to the office of a doctor who practices traditional Western medicine, which is a reason that holistic health therapies are appealing to an increasing number of Americans. Often in Western medicine, the focus is on the body and its physical symptoms, rather than the underlying causes of a condition.
Once any ailments are identified, the Shiatsu practitioner will endeavor to treat them by targeting the appropriate meridians and acupoints. Shiatsu massage therapy helps treat a variety of conditions that include, but aren’t limited to:
Stress and tension, depression and anxiety, migraines and other headaches, Sprains, strains and sports injuries, Arthritis sufferers, Neck and back, Chronic pain, including conditions like fibromyalgia, PTSD, Sinus and respiratory conditions, including common coughs and colds, Insomnia and sleep disorders, Digestive and bowel issues, Morning sickness and other pregnancy-related discomfort, Menstrual problems.
There are so many potential benefits of Shiatsu massage therapy. Talk to your massage therapist about how Shiatsu can help treat any chronic or acute conditions you may have, or just improve your all-around health and well being. A session should begin with an assessment and generally last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.
Would you like to try out the Shiatsu massage?