- by Dr Chaitra Hegde
- 0 Shares
- Feb 08 2018
What is Shiatsu Massage?
Shiatsu is a form of massage that originated in Japan and traditional Chinese medicine and has been widely practised around the world since the 1970s. Shiatsu means “finger pressure”, in this pressure with thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet is applied to pressure on the body. It focuses on rotating and stretching limbs, joints, and pressure points, or meridians, as they are called in traditional Chinese medicine.
The theory behind shiatsu is that our bodies are made up of energy, called qi, and the energy gets blocked and causes suffering. Shiatsu massage helps remove the blockages by realigning meridian points, which balances the qi and eases the body and mind. The nervous and immune system are both stimulated by applying pressure to the meridians, providing relief for both body and mind. Shiatsu also restores the circulatory system, improving blood flow throughout the body.
The body has twelve meridians, named according to its corresponding organ: lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, heart governor, triple heater, gallbladder and liver. The functions of these organs have a broader definition in eastern medicine.
It is extremely useful in enhancing health and vitality and many people use it as part of a stress management or preventive healthcare programme. It focuses on the whole person, rather than focusing on conditions.
People come for shiatsu massage for all kinds of reasons and they may come with specific ailments ranging from the acute to the more chronic from the more physical to the more emotional. They may come presenting with structural problems such as bad necks, poor posture, as well as conditions like menstrual difficulties, skin disorders, digestive problems and migraines or with more psychological issues such as depression or stress.
It is usually done clothed, although some massage therapists include shiatsu in work directly on the skin with oil. It is advised to avoid a heavy meal before the session. It is advisable to rest for at least one hour afterwards, as the process continues after the actual session is over.
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