Shiatsu is a Japanese massage therapy or bodywork, which was born in Japan. Shiatsu exactly means ‘finger pressure’. In shiatsu the thumbs are used mainly to massage. Also, elbows, knees and fingers are used. This massage mainly focuses on manipulating the flow of Qi or energy in the body. By balancing the energy flows, the shiatsu massage prevents and treats various severe health conditions such as insomnia and shoulder pain.
History of Shiatsu
The origin of shiatsu is actually before thousands of years, scientists clain it will be around 8000 BC. Shiatsu and acupuncture are based on almost same theories, and both the therapies use the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In fact, shiatsu was referred to as acupressure. Only in 1964, Shiatsu was given a separate identity and distinct modality in Japan. So, we can say Shiatsu is a modern modality with an ancient history.
How shiatsu works?
Shiatsu works by regulating the flow of Qi or energy within an individual. Different massage techniques need to be adapted on different areas of the body. For example, your shoulders should be massaged with a firm fairly quick pressure; otherwise your shoulders may feel tense and hard to the touch. For your lower back you need to massage with a gentle, slower pressure, otherwise your lower back may ache and feel soft to the touch. The duration and depth of pressure will affect the way the Qi or energy flows in you.
In shiatsu massage therapy the massage therapists use a two-handed technique. With one hand the massage therapist manipulates a particular meridian or line of Qi in the body. This is called ‘child’ hand. The therapist places the other hand on an adjoining area of the body. This is called the resting or ‘mother’ hand, and it helps to calm the client. The mother hand is useful in feeling the results of the ‘child’ hand. This way the shiatsu massage therapist gets constant feedback on the effectiveness of the treatment.
What does Shiatsu treat?
Shiatsu can effectively treat many conditions. Not just treating it is also an excellent way to prevent diseases. Unlike many massage therapy techniques Shiatsu is offers the best treatment for emotional problems as well.
Below are the health problems shiatsu can treat effectively:
- Back pain
- Digestive difficulties
- Headaches and migraines
- Menstrual problems
- Sprains and strains
- Stress Issues
The benefits of shiatsu massage include:
- Improved sleep
- Reduction or elimination of pain
- Improved digestive function
- Improved breathing
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved circulation
- Increased self healing
- Strengthened immune system
- Improved posture
- Feeling of relaxation and well-being