What is Shiatsu Massage Therapy?
Shiatsu massage is a Japanese massage technique that is offered by certified massage therapists with experience in that area. The key aspect of Shiatsu massage is how the massage is given. Where other massage techniques will use the whole hand, arm, or massage accessories like hot rocks this technique focuses on fingers. It primarily completes an entire massage with the use of finger touch points, thumbs, palms, and even the feet.
Techniques of Shiatsu Massage Therapy
One of the first things you may notice about Shiatsu massage is that the clothing is left on. Now, depending on where you go for the massage you may be asked to change into a lightweight gauze type outfit. The massage technique is also considered an acupressure form of massage since the fingertips are used primarily as the massage point. The fingertips work the muscles and work over your body in key points. The Shiatsu therapist may principally use their thumbs, but they quite often use their elbows, knees and feet.
How to Start Using Shiatsu Massage Therapy
The best way, and most effective way, to start using Shiatsu massage in your lifestyle routine is to go to a certified massage therapist with certification in Shiatsu massage specifically. Make sure they are certified and have them explain the technique to you. If they do not explain it or they explain some methods that do not seem right, consider a different therapist.
Keep in mind, if you want to have a massage based in the Shiatsu technique, you will need to look for someone that is certified and has had experience with the technique. A simple massage therapist session will not do. You will also find that specialty sessions, like Shiatsu, may cost more depending on the time of the appointment, length of the appointment, and the location.
Benefits of Shiatsu Massage Therapy
Shiatsu – Helps Body Function and Relieves Stress
Originating in Japan, Shiatsu is an ancient form of bodywork based on the same principles as acupressure, where pressure is applied to specific body points for the purpose of relieving stress and promoting proper body functioning. It is also a calming form of massage that can be very relaxing for people that have issues with mediation on their own. In many cases, you may find that you feel the tension leaving your body at the time of the massage. Some people have even stated they feel like they are walking on air and weightless. There have also been reports of people sleeping deep for several nights following the massage technique.
Restores Health and Wellness
Instead of needles being used on the meridian points as in acupuncture, the therapist uses ‘finger pressure’ to stimulate the pressure points required. The method is believed to bring about restoration of balance, restoration of health and the opening of the meridians which lead to overall well-being.
Shiatsu uses pressure, tapping, soothing movements and kneading to gently manipulate the body for healing and pain and stiffness relief. The Shiatsu therapist may principally use their thumbs, but they quite often use their elbows, knees and feet.
Shiatsu is a non-invasive form of treatment which can be calming or invigorating, depending on the condition affecting the patient. Due to the nature of this therapy it can treat a wide variety of conditions. Among the ailments which can be treated with Shiatsu are most musculoskeletal issues and also emotional problems, including:
- Back pain, neck pain and other body aches and pain
- Anxiety and stress
- Limb stiffness and digestion problems.
It may also help with other problems affecting the nervous system, chronic fatigue and insomnia.
A Bodywork Therapy That Unblocks Energy Pathways
Shiatsu proponents believe that there is a vital energy within our bodies called Qi that flows through our bodies in pathways or meridians.
When these pathways become blocked, the flow of energy is undermined and results in many of our body functions being compromised. When the flow of Qi is restored to the body, balance occurs and our health is restored.
Before the Shiatsu treatment, the practitioner will attempt to evaluate the patient to locate the imbalance within the body. A plan is then designed to offer the patient the most beneficial and therapeutic treatment.