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.
Common conditions which can be helped by Shiatsu include:
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.
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.
| Karen Durham