Shiatsu is a traditional hands on therapy which originated in Japan over 3500 years ago incorporating the principles of anatomy, physiology and pathology.
Traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine proposes that energy described as known as “chi” “qi” (or “ki” in Japan), travels through the body along channels or pathways called meridians. Each individual meridian connects to an internal organ and conveys the energy required for that organ’s functioning. Good health requires the congruous flow of chi along the meridians and to / through the internal organs.
Shiatsu is a dynamic physical therapy where the therapist works with the patient to restore balance in their energy system. Imbalance caused by too little or too much chi may manifest in various ailments, depending on which meridians are affected.
Shiatsu philosophy assumes the body is self-healing and thus the practitioners’ role is to aid and support this naturally occurring process. Shiatsu may assist with self-development and self-healing by balancing the underlying causes of a condition, addressing physical and psychological functions and promoting health by strengthening the body’s own healing abilities.
Translated literally from Japanese Shiatsu means ‘finger pressure’ though in practice many of the body’s extremities are used, including the thumbs, palms, knees, feet and elbows when applying pressure to the various parts of the body. Amount of pressure required varies depending on the condition being treated.
Treatment may also include flowing stretches or gentle rotations limbs and joints, structural alignments as well as muscle release techniques. These stimulate circulation and the flow of lymphatic fluid as well as activating the autonomic nervous system to help release toxins and deep-seated tension from the muscles and may also stimulate the hormonal system. Shiatsu allows the receiver to deeply relax stimulating the body’s inherent ability for self healing and regeneration.
Unlike many other forms of body manipulation, the patient often remains clothed or is covered by a sheet with treatment taking place on a futon on the floor.
Shiatsu is often supported by combining with other therapies such as yoga, meditation as well as a healthy diet and balance exercise regime.