What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a Japanese word that means “finger pressure.” During the session, the massage therapist will apply pressure with fingers and also assisted muscle movement to correct imbalances in the body.

Massage is used to restore the flow of chi (pronounced chee) or life energy in the body. It is this life energy that maintains the health of the body. Releasing it to flow freely allows the body to heal itself. This is the basis of massage and shiatsu in particular.

Depending on your complaint, whether it be headache, muscle ache, cold or what have you, the problem is not just in that one spot. Your body may be manifesting the problem in that area but to clear it up takes a whole body approach.

How It Works

Pressure is applied to the entire body at points that are congested. This is where the chi is blocked. Shiatsu works to restore the circulatory system. Your body may be manipulated in an attempt to find the points where the problem lies. Just because you have a headache, you may feel relief after pressure is applied to your foot.

Once the chi is freed, you may notice changes in your body right away. There are side effects from the procedure but they are all geared towards health in the body.

Coughing – This can result from the body moving toxins around and trying to clean itself up, so to speak. It can be alarming but it is not due to a cold (unless you had one before the session). The lymphatic system will be releasing toxins into the bloodstream to be eliminated.

Tiredness – Moving and stimulating the immune system can leave you feeling a bit spent after a session. Lie down if you feel this way and also drink plenty of water.

You can stay clothed during a session but try to wear light clothing so it is easy to move your muscles and joints. The shiatsu session will use a combination of pressure, deep breathing and manipulation. Not only is your chi being restored, but the nervous system and the skeletal system are also positively affected.

Here are some of the benefits of a shiatsu massage:

* Restores the flow of chi
* Reduces stress
* Removes toxins from the body
* Deep tissue relaxation (this is good for athletes)
* Improves circulation
* Improves mental focus