Shiatsu

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a traditional hands-on Japanese healing art. It can help in a wide range of conditions - from specific injuries to more general symptoms of poor health. Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular Shiatsu sessions help to prevent the build up of stress in our daily lives.

Shiatsu, also known as acupressure, is a finger pressure massage technique. It springs from the same Traditional Chinese Medicine and meridian principles as acupuncture, although there are no needle pokes involved with Shiatsu.

Your Shiatsu practitioner will consider your state of health, the symptoms you are experiencing and, depending on your constitution and general energy levels, will use a variety of techniques to reintroduce the optimal flow of energy. These may include gentle holding, pressing with palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees and feet on the meridians and, when appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches.

Common conditions which can be helped by Shiatsu include:

back pain
headaches, migraines
whiplash injuries and neck stiffness
joint pain and reduced mobility
menstrual problems
digestive problems
asthmatic symptoms
sports injuries
depression
stress

Background to Shiatsu

The philosophy underlying Shiatsu is that vital energy (known as Ki in Japanese) flows throughout the body in a series of channels called meridians. For many different reasons Ki can stop flowing freely and this then produces a symptom.

Your Shiatsu practitioner will consider your state of health, the symptoms you are experiencing and, depending on your constitution and general energy levels, will use a variety of techniques to improve your energy flow. These may include gentle holding, pressing with palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees and feet on the meridians and, when appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches.

As the quality of Ki changes, the symptoms associated with a lack of flow will gradually improve. Shiatsu is a therapy that works on the individual as a complete being - not just the physical body but also on an emotional and/or mental level.

What to expect in a session

Each session lasts approximately one hour. The first session may be slightly longer since your practitioner will take a detailed case history to develop a complete picture of your health according to the principles of oriental medicine.

The session usually takes place on a padded mat or futon at floor level, although it is possible to receive Shiatsu sitting on a chair if you are unable to lie down. The client stays fully clothed. Following a treatment, there can be a feeling of increased vitality and you may feel invigorated yet relaxed.

Guidelines for receiving Shiatsu

Please bring or wear loose, warm, comfortable clothing, preferably cotton, e.g. sweatshirt, tracksuit trousers and cotton socks.
Do not eat heavily in the two hours prior to treatment.
Do not drink alcohol before or after treatment.
After treatment drink plenty of water to smooth the flow of changes through the system.
If at all possible avoid strenuous or stressful activities after your session.

Practitioners:

Karen Durham