What Is a Shiatsu Massage?

Shiatsu massage is based on the Chinese thought that all of the body is connected and functions according to a flow of energy called ki (chee). Shiatsu massage technique is different from traditional massage but provides health benefits similar to it. Have you had a shiatsu massage lately?

Shiatsu massage is also known as acupressure. It is similar to acupuncture in that pressure is applied at certain points of the body called meridians. These are the lines of energy flow in the body. When the body is out of balance, stimulating these energy lines will help return the body back to its normal state.

Shiatsu is different from a traditional massage because pressure is applied by the tips of the fingers and sometimes the palms to various areas of the body. Shiatsu massagers use a rhythmic pattern of pressure to stimulate the ki. It’s almost like those chairs in malls that say shiatsu massager and it feels like someone is poking you at different points on your back when you sit down. Having an actual shiatsu massage is much more pleasant.

Before the massage begins, the massage therapist will ask you about the conditions in your body. Do you suffer from headaches, backache or poor circulation? Shiatsu massage can help with poor circulation, digestive problems, headaches, stress-related conditions, arthritis and other ailments. Using a map of the meridian lines of the body, your massage therapist will map out the massage he will do for you based on the information you gave to him.

Shiatsu massage is performed on a low table or a mat much like a futon on the floor, for better control. Also, the client stays fully clothed during the massage and no oil needs to be applied because the fingertips are used. It is recommended that you wear comfortable clothing so it is easy to reach all pressure points on your body.

Like other massages, do not eat before having a shiatsu massage. If you are pregnant, consult a doctor before having any type of massage. People prone to blood clots should not have any massage as the pressure could dislodge a clot with dangerous results. Wait until after bumps or bruises heal before a shiatsu massage. Some of the finger pressure techniques can leave an area tender and that wouldn’t feel good on a bruise.

The pressure can be firm at times but it is a positive pain. Restoring the energy flow in the body means your symptoms will be alleviated. A shiatsu massage may be able to help with nausea and depression too.

If you are suffering from stress, depression or other bodily issues, a shiatsu massage may help. Those who have had one have found relief for their pain by the restoration of their ki.