What Is Shiatsu Massage?

Shiatsu is an old, traditional Japanese healing method.

Shiatsu is an old, traditional, Japanese healing method. Shiatsu means "finger pressure." But unlike the massages of the West, where kneading and friction is used, in shiatsu pressure and stretching is the key. The shiatsu practitioner uses palms, fingers, thumbs, knuckles, elbows, knees and the feet, to work on the body's accupucture points, along what they consider the body's meridians or energy channels. Its a form of "touch communication," and is a safe and effective preventive medicine. It helps to balance a persons energy flow, and strengthen the vital organs.

In shiatsu, it is believed that disease is the result of blocked or unbalanced energy, so that it's aither depleted or over-active. Shiatsu shares the same view as Chinese acupuncture. There are two energy forces, the Yin, or negative, and the Yang, or positive. Basically, the human body is looked upon as a microcosm of the universe, the meridians vital organs are seen as governed by Five Elements and by Yin and Yang. They believe that in a healthy person no element is dominant or deficient in relation to the other. So blocked or unbalanced energy allows disease to take over, and it is either depleted, or kyoto, or overactive-jitsu.

A shiatsu practitioner asks the patient to lie on a mat on the floor, while wearing loose, natural fiber clothing. He or she will then use his hands, elbows, knees, and feet to work on balancing your meridian. He applies pressure to appropriate points to correct the injuries or imbalances. Through touch, two way communication greatly benefits the patient. Shiatsu works on the whole being, from the physical to the spiritual, so during and after the treatment a patient may experience a variety of reactions-crying, laughing, joy, stillness. These reactions are a sign that the body is breaking through old energy patterns.

Shiatsu treatments are given for a variety of ailments, from respiratory problems, to digestive problems, to headaches and leg cramps, and can bring relief to a number of everyday disorders. And today, shiatsu is gaining popularity in the West, and is practiced in America and Europe.

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