Shiatsu is a Japanese word, which literally translated means ‘finger pressure’. A Shiatsu treatment does however incorporate the use not only of finger pressure, but also thumbs, palms, knees, forearms, elbows and feet. Pressure is applied to the areas of energy lines (meridians) to promote good health by 'stimulating the bodys energy flow (Ki)'.
The session usually takes place on a padded mat on the floor. The client stays fully clothed wearing loose, warm and comfortable garments, preferably cotton. Each session lasts between 40 minutes and 1 hour. At the first session the practitioner will take a detailed case history to develop a complete picture of the client’s health according to the principles of oriental medicine.
Treatment often begins with gentle stretching and manipulation techniques to help stimulate the movement of energy and to relax the muscles. Pressure can be applied to both wide areas as well as precise points and varied according to the body’s needs; sometimes gentle and calming, sometimes deeply stimulating. Moreover, since it is given on the floor rather than on a couch, it gives considerable attention to the correct use of body positioning and gravity to deliver its wide range of techniques.
Shiatsu can help with a wide range of conditions - from specific injuries to more general symptoms of poor health. It can assist an individual with their self development and self healing; balancing the underlying causes of a condition; taking into account the functioning of the physical and psychological; promoting health and strengthening the body’s own healing abilities.
Benefits and Effects
Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular Shiatsu sessions help to prevent the build-up of stress in our daily lives. Following a treatment, there can be a feeling of increased vitality, of being invigorated yet relaxed.
Some of the main physical benefits are to:
- Stimulate the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems.
- Regulate the activity of the automonic nervous system.
- Release toxins and deep seated tension from muscle.