What to Expect in a Shiatsu Session

Treatment Setting

Shiatsu originates from Japan and is traditionally performed on a padded mat or futon at floor level. However, it is possible to receive Shiatsu sitting on a chair if you cannot lie down. You remain fully clothed during the session, therefore wearing loose fitting, comfortable clothing is recommended.

Session Format

In the first session, I take a detailed case history to find out about your current and past state of health and any conditions which might need special consideration during the treatment.

This gives me a complete and holistic understanding of you as an individual and enables me to assess any contraindications. The consultation also helps me to devise a treatment plan which is tailored to your needs and requirements.

Along with the Shiatsu itself, this takes approximately 1 ½ hours. Subsequent sessions last approximately 1 hour. At the end of the first session, I ask you for feedback and possibly suggest exercises and/or give advice about diet and lifestyle.

In each subsequent Shiatsu session, I ask you about any changes which have taken place and talk with you about any new issues you want to work with.

Each Shiatsu session will vary according to your present state of health needs and presenting symptoms.

Different Shiatsu Techniques

Depending on your constitution and general energy levels, Shiatsu uses a variety of techniques to improve energy flow throughout your body and promote deep relaxation.

These include gentle holding, pressing with palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees and feet, and when appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches.

Other Shiatsu techniques can include rocking, rubbing, kneading, and tapping. Depending on the goal of the session, the effect may be stimulating or calming.

The actual techniques I use are much the same for each person, but the manner in which I apply them is different. If you are chronically ill or weak, I will apply less physical pressure and the style of treatment will be softer.

For example I may use a holding technique such as palm healing which will increase your energy and strengthen your body. If you are stronger, I will apply more pressure and the style of treatment will be more vigorous. A firmer approach decreases any excessive energy and helps your body to regain normal balance.

During the Shiatsu session, I may also focus on specific or troubled areas, such as tightness in the neck and shoulders, weakness in the lower back, and/or tension in the abdomen.

Hara Assessment

At the start of a Shiatsu session, I usually perform a hara assessment which helps me to determine which meridians most need addressing during the treatment.  The hara (abdomen) is where the channels are closest to the surface of the body and where they are most easily palpated.  Different areas of the abdomen can impart information regarding the state of your Ki (energy).  The hara assessment is painless and helps to relax your body as the Shiatsu commences.

Why Choose Shiatsu?

  • Shiatsu is a nourishing therapy which works well for chronic, persistent conditions which need work at a deep level.
  • In addition to helping a wide range of conditions, Shiatsu is excellent for maintaining your overall health and well-being and prevent the build-up of stress in your daily life.
  • Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience which works at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
  • Shiatsu is one of the many complementary therapies which people use alongside conventional treatments, both inside and outside the NHS.
  • Shiatsu focuses on getting to the root of the problem, rather than looking for symptoms alone.
  • Emphasis is placed on the need to fight illness and improve overall well-being, health education and lifestyle changes which are appropriate for the individual.

How Shiatsu Differs From Other Forms of Bodywork and Massage

Receiving Shiatsu is very different from other types of bodywork or massage.  There are a number of differences:

  • Shiatsu is usually given on the floor on a futon but it can also be performed on a massage chair;
  • Shiatsu practitioners don’t use any oils or specialist equipment;
  • Shiatsu is given on top of clothing and there is no need to undress;
  • Shiatsu uses perpendicular pressure to stimulate acupressure points and help bring the body into balance;
  • Shiatsu practitioners use their body weight to apply pressure to the body, unlike other bodyworkers and masseurs who use physical strength;
  • Shiatsu is holistic therapy which works on the whole person. It looks not only at the symptoms of your illness, but all aspects of you as an individual and your lifestyle. This is to understand the cause of the disharmony and give support to your body’s deepest healing processes.
  • Receiving Shiatsu creates an integrated feeling in your whole body and promotes deep relaxation.
  • Unlike other forms of massage, Shiatsu is the most effective way to achieve balance and prevent illness.

Call me on 07940 865 994 or 01752 770 048 to find out more or book a session.