What is Shiatsu

Shiatsu was developed in Japan as a harmonising therapy to promote health and well-being. It has origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Shiatsu literally means ‘finger pressure’.

Shiatsu incorporates a range of techniques, applying pressure over various parts of the body to affect a therapeutic result. The pressure used can be firm or light, using not only thumbs but feet, elbows, knees and palms.

Oriental medical theory maintains that health is dependent on all parts of the body, and a person’s lifestyle, being balanced and co-ordinated. Thus, the emphasis of Shiatsu is to reinforce or restore the body’s ability to function harmoniously and stimulate the immune system to protect itself against disease (‘dis-ease’).

The aim is not only to alleviate the immediate problem, but to determine and treat the cause. Diagnostic skills and techniques are used to determine the course of treatment.

Shiatsu integrates meridian therapy, point selection, moxibustion, cupping, gua sha and corrective exercises as part of the healing process. 

How does Shiatsu work

Shiatsu works by stimulating the circulation of Blood and Qi/Ki/Chi throughout the body. Qi is understood as the life force/energy which supports and facilitates the livelihood and balance of the body and mind.

This is done by reducing or eliminating the restrictions (stagnation) which impede circulation and give rise to muscular tension, stress and blood stagnation, while replenishing those areas and activities of the body left deficient, or undernourished, by blood and energy.

 If the circulation of Qi within the body is impaired, diminished or blocked, because of stress, illness, injury or poor habits, the flow of Qi can be reactivated by working on the meridians, points and areas that are restricted.

A disorder of one part of the body will have effects throughout the organism and for this reason, it is important to treat the whole body. This explains why the Shiatsu Practitioner may spend time working on areas of the body that do not seem related to the problem.

Shiatsu affects the internal organs, muscles and joints, the endocrine system, the autonomic nervous system and has a profound effect on posture. There is a vast range of conditions that respond well to Shiatsu treatment.