Shiatsu therapy is a Japanese form of acupressure. The literal translation of shiatsu is finger (shi) and pressure (atsu). This therapeutic bodywork technique uses pressure to stimulate points on acupuncture meridians. As with acupressure, the concepts of shiatsu hold that it can promote health and facilitate healing by correcting energy imbalances in the body.
There are as many as seven hundred points on the body’s energy meridians that correspond to the muscles, nerves, bones, blood vessels, and glands that lie below the surface of the skin. Applying pressure to these points relieves energy blockages and stimulates the body’s recuperative powers.
A Shiatsu therapy session is usually performed on a futon mat, with the client fully clothed. The characteristic of shiatsu is to apply pressure using only the fingers, palms and especially the thumbs on points that have been related to the central and autonomic nervous systems. Shiatsu helps the smooth flow of chi by the application of pressure, gentle stretches and rotation of the joints.
The Shiatsu practitioner assesses areas of possible imbalance by asking a series of questions and also by palpating the soft area of the abdomen known as the hara.
Benefits of Shiatsu Therapy
Shiatsu therapy is an excellent form of pain relief. Research has shown that it initiates the release of endorphins, natural pain-killing substances produced by the body. Shiatsu may also lower the levels of adrenaline and other stress hormones, producing a relaxing effect.
The many benefits of Shiatsu therapy include the following:
- Deep muscle and tissue relaxation
- Stress reduction and management
- Pain management
- Improved circulation
- Reduced blood pressure
- Decreased anxiety and depression
- Restored and balanced sense of energy levels
- Improved immune system function
- Heightened spirituality
- What Disorders Does Shiatsu Therapy Treat?
Shiatsu, as a complementary and integrative therapy, provides a deeply relaxing experience that leaves the participant with a profound sense of well-being. The following are among the many disorders that may benefit from shiatsu therapy:
- Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Substance Abuse
- Depression Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Pain Management