Shiatsu is a hands on therapeutic bodywork or massage that is performed on a futon. The recipient lies on the futon wearing comfortable clothing andpressure is applied via thumb or palm pressure through the clothing onto the body. Static holding pressure is applied for approximately 3-10 seconds durations at each point. There is no rubbing or stimulating on the skin as in normal massage.
Pressure is applied at pressure points as is used in acupuncture. These pressure points lie along meridian lines or energy channels that flow around the periphery of the body beneath the skin. The meridians are like rivers where energy (also known as chi, Ki, prana or life force) flows along. Not unlike our veins and arteries where blood circulates.
When the body is balanced, energy flows smoothly around the body and through all the internal organs. When imbalance of energy arises within the body for example tension in the neck and shoulders, this is an excessive build up of energy in this area. Often this is a symptom. At the same time somewhere else within the body will develop a corresponding weakness or deficiency of energy to balance out the tension.
With shiatsu we look to find where these weaknesses or deficiencies occur through palpation and then treat accordingly. Illness, sickness or diseases occur within the body when the energy flow is blocked or weakened. These imbalances within our body can arise from either a physical, mental, emotional, philosophical or spiritual cause.
Oriental medicine, from which shiatsu draws its roots and philosophical outlook of the body and health, sees that the mind, body and spirit are inextricably linked and that there is no separation between them. It also sees our health as a reflection of us being in harmony with our environment. Within this environment are included all aspects of our life. e.g. work, play, family, career, relationships, finances, life’s purpose and health.
A shiatsu treatment is applied all over the body wherever the meridians lie. A treatment lasts for approximately one hour and may also include corrective movements, gentle body realignment, stretches, dietary advice, counselling and stress management tools.
Clients have shiatsu for a variety of reasons including general maintenance, stress management, preventative health care, pain relief or treatment of specific illness.
Shiatsu can be effective for:
- Headaches and migraines
- Digestive complaints
- Back, neck and shoulder pain
- Sciatica menstrual conditions
- Trauma, accidents and whiplash
- Sports injuries – Post rehabilitation
- Respiratory problems – Emotional distress
- Tiredness – Chronic fatigue
- Poor concentration and memory
- Pain management
Clients are welcome to talk during a treatment. To relax or surrender into the treatment will give the greatest benefit of the treatment. The treatment is not about “no pain, no gain”. There will be many points on the body where individuals will notice a strong sensation or be quite aware of. If it becomes too challenging then the pressure applied by the practitioner needs to be reduced.
After a treatment individuals usually feel more relaxed and calmer. Often they will notice that they feel quite different from when they came into the treatment. The mind is less active and they are more connected with their body.