What Is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu is a form of therapeutic bodywork that supports individuals in moving towards greater health and well-being.  It is a unique Japanese healing art that uses the power of touch to enable each one of us to heal at the deepest part of our being.  Gentle pressure applied across the body induces deep relaxation and promotes a sense of well-being, peace and tranquility.

Shiatsu was developed in the 1950’s alongside other forms of therapy such as Reflexology and Reiki.  Whilst the actual creation of Shiatsu is relatively recent, the philosophy behind it is thousands of years old.

Like acupuncture and other oriental therapies, Shiatsu works upon the body’s energetic system through the network of meridians (energy pathways) that relate to the functioning of the internal organs as well as our emotional, psychological and spiritual states.  The concept of the  body as an “energetic” organism comes from ancient Chinese thought.  By stimulating the acupuncture point and meridians, Shiatsu helps to harmonize the body’s vital energies and bring them back into balance.

Energy (or ki) flows through the body like a system of rivers and canals.  Things can happen to upset the smooth flow of energy and cause blockages. These blockages may lead to physical symptoms, psychological or emotional disturbances, or simply to a feeling that things are just not quite right.

Oriental Theory

The oriental theory of Chinese Medicine provides the Shiatsu practitioner with a framework which allows him or her to assess the body’s energetic states and needs.  It also helps to explain why the body holds tension in certain areas and feels weak in others.  

Receiving Shiatsu 

Receiving Shiatsu is deeply relaxing and yet invigorating, leaving the receiver with a feeling or tranquility and a sense of being in touch with every part of their body.

Giving Shiatsu

Giving shiatsu can be like performing a moving meditation.  It leaves the practitioner feeling just as balanced and energised as the receiver.

The Power Of Touch

The techniques used in shiatsu are both simple and profound. We are all familiar with the healing power of touch. Other forms of bodywork and massage can fulfill the need for touch, but Shiatsu is particularly effective.