Shiatsu is a Japanese healing art which literally translated means finger pressure. It is very gentle and powerful art. It uses kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching techniques and is performed without oils through light, comfortable clothing.
The method is based on Ying and Yang theory, and on Chinese elements that animate all forms of Life. Common conditions helped by Shiatsu include back pain, headaches, joint pain and reduced mobility, hormonal, sleeping or digestive disorders, asthmatic symptoms, depression and stress-related disorders.
Like most natural therapies, shiatsu is based on the assumption that the body is a self-healing organism, and that the role of the practitioner is to aid and support that naturally occurring process. Shiatsu can assist an individual with their self-development and self-healing; balancing the underlying causes of a condition and addressing physical and psychological functions; promoting health and strengthening the body’s own healing abilities.
Shiatsu can help with:
- decreasing the levels of stress
- uncluttering the mind
- increasing the clarity of the mind
- easing physical pains in the back, neck, head, shoulders or joints;
- increasing suppleness in stiff muscles or joints
- improving breathing whether there are difficulties or not
- decreasing the levels of anxiety
- decreasing frequency of panic attacks
Shiatsu can be used to treat children, elderly and pregnant women as well. A Shiatsu session lasts about 1 hour and is given with the person fully clothed, wearing loose fitting clothes, like a track suit. After an initial talk, the client is asked to lie on a futon on the floor. Generally the practitioner works on the whole body: gentle pressure is applied with thumbs, palms, knees or elbows; some gentle stretching of the limbs and joint rotations also takes place. At the end of the session, you may be given simple stretching and breathing exercises to help you maintain relaxation and good health outside the sessions.
The effectiveness of shiatsu in maintaining balance may be supported with recommendations regarding diet, yoga, meditation and exercise as part of an overall treatment regime.