Shiatsu means finger pressure and is a healing skill derived from Japan. It is a form of therapy in which we put pressure on acupressure points and balance the body’s energy, causing deep relaxation and well-being, and thus maintaining health. The therapy itself can be dynamic or static, in addition to pressing, it can include stretching limbs, kneading and relaxing tense muscles, and supporting weak areas. Shiatsu evolved from traditional oriental massage and, like other oriental therapies, works on the basis of the body’s energy system using a network of meridians and energy channels. The concept of the body as an energy organism derives from traditional Chinese thought and has evolved into a system of medical theory through centuries of experience and study.
Where does Shiatsu massage come from?
Shiatsu is at home in Japan and is a form of physiotherapy in which we put pressure on acupuncture points to balance the body’s energy and maintain health. The word itself means only “finger pressure”, but in shiatsu therapy we also use other parts of the palm as well as the elbows and knees. Shiatsu is a unique blend of classical Oriental medical theory, whose history dates back to the beginnings of acupuncture 4000 years ago and a rich yet living tradition of folk medicine.
What is Shiatsu massage based on?
Shiatsu is a common name for many different techniques, all linked by a common principle, namely the belief in a life force called QI that flows through interconnected channels or meridians throughout the body. Each meridian is associated with some organ or psychophysical function and its QI can be affected at certain points along its path: these are acupuncture points, which in Japanese are called “tsubi”. When a person is healthy, he is in balance and QI flows evenly along the meridians like fuel through pipes and supplies and maintains all parts of the body. However, when the body walks due to excessive lifestyle, emotional turmoil or injury, QI no longer flows evenly, in some areas it is too little and in others too much and the person gets sick. Shiatsu massage is not about drastically interfering with bodily processes, but only about rebalancing QI energy so that the body can heal itself.