What Is Shiatsu Massage
You lie down on a mat fully clothed and feel how gentle hands apply pressure to your body, which causes pleasing and relaxing pain. The pressure is applied slowly in parallel with your slow breathing. At some point you feel that the masseur uses his elbows or knees to work on certain location on your body, but this doesn’t scare you as it is very pleasant. When the therapist will announce that a 60 minutes session is over, you will be amazed how fast it passed. The masseur will leave you for a couple of minutes to enjoy your relaxation. You may feel cold, which means that the healing process started. You just had a shiatsu massage session!!!
Many people ask: what is shiatsu massage? Does it really work? Is it like ordinary massage? Well, shiatsu massage sometimes referred to as Zen shiatsu, is an ancient technique developed by the Japanese for treatment of physical and psychological problems using body pressure points. It means ‘finger pressure’. It is intended to stimulate blocked energy. It is similar to the Chinese acupressure.
1. Zen Shiatsu
According to the history of shiatsu massage, Shizuto Masunaga (1925-1981) incorporated his experience of Shiatsu into his studies of Western psychology and Chinese medicine. He also refined the existing methods of diagnosis. His extended system incorporated special exercises, known as makko ho, to stimulate the flow of Ki and he developed a set of guiding principles to make the techniques more effective. He called his system Zen Shiatsu after the simple and direct approach to spirituality of the Zen Buddhist monks in Japan.
2. Shiatsu and Meridians
Shiatsu massage uses body meridians. The human body has twelve meridians and each of these shiatsu meridians is linked to an organ in the body. As such, shiatsu massage helps in stimulating the chi for the healing of the whole body. It does not heal the body organs directly but by balancing the flow of the chi in the 12 meridians, the body is automatically able to heal itself. These twelve meridians are referred to as the principal channels since they comprise the majority of the system’s meridian. In zen shiatsu massage therapy the meridians are named depending on the organs related to them.
3. The Shiatsu Healing Concept
The healing concept of shiatsu massage comes from the idea that under a normal healthy situation, the human body experiences a free and balanced flow of energy through the twelve meridians. When the organs are not functioning properly or when there is undue stimulation from external sources, there is a stagnation of energy which results in sickness.
For healing to occur in this situation, the energy flow must be normalized by working on the specific meridians in an even manner either through concentration on some specific points of the meridian or on the entire meridian. Either way, the shiatsu massage will help normalize the flow of energy.
The goal of acupressure or shiatsu (shiatsu is similar to acupressure) or other types of Asian bodywork is to restore health and balance to the body’s channels of energy and to regulate opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). Some proponents claim acupressure not only treats the energy fields and body but also the mind, emotions, and spirit. Some even believe that therapists can transmit the vital energy (external qi) to another person.
Shiatsu applies pressure on the meridian points and therefore no rubbing is used. This pressure is applied using sensory organs especially the palms, fingers and thumbs in order to regulate body imbalances. This means that a shiatsu massage practitioner must acquire good experience and skills to effectively help patients to get proper healing. Watch these videos where shiatsu is demonstrated.
With shiatsu massage, patients are not required to remove their clothes and therefore massage oils will not be required for this exercise. It is not like ordinary massage. The practitioner uses body parts such as the palms, neck, head, back, toes and feet as access points to the major organs of the body which contribute to the overall well-being of the body.
What are the Benefits of Shiatsu Massage?
By balancing energy flow in the body, shiatsu massage produces numerous benefits to the patient. To start with, the massage is quite sedative and therefore relieves body pains. The body muscles relax and stress is reduced. For those with disorders such as depression, anxiety nausea, headaches and arthritis, shiatsu healing is quite effective. It also improves blood flow and improves one’s capability to attain good sleep patterns. Essentially, there are a losts of benefits to be gotten from shiatsu massage with the overall effect being improved health.
I have visited The Shiatsu Society and answered the question at the bottom of the page. These are the results at the moment I have visited:
From the total votes it’s clear that shiatsu is a positive experience for many people.
Conclusion: I don’t know where you are located and if there is a shiatsu therapist that you can book with a shiatsu session. However, if you ever have a chance, don’t waste it. Shiatsu deserves a try!