What is Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a traditional Japanese hands-on therapy.

Many people ask, 'what is shiatsu' as it's not widely known about. In Japanese Shi-atsu means “finger pressure”. Shiatsu takes its theory and techniques from both traditional East Asian medicine and Western bodywork practices. We work with an understanding of the body’s vital energy (called “Ki” in Japanese), the pathways of energy known as meridians, plus knowledge of western anatomy & physiology; in particular in relation to the soft tissues of the body: the muscles, fascia and their nervous system connections.

The techniques combine palm, finger and thumb pressure with stretches and rotations to open the body. Pressure may range from gentle palm healing to deep stimulation with fingers and thumbs, depending on the receiver’s needs. Acupressure points with specific functions are used to enhance treatment of particular health conditions.

Shiatsu has a deeply relaxing effect on the body, calms the mind and produces an overall feeling of well-being.

There are different styles of Shiatsu: Zen, Five Element, Movement, Healing, Seiki, Barefoot, Shin Tai, Namikoshi and Heisei. You can find out more on the particular style from the Society's website HERE.

Features of Shiatsu

  • Given fully clothed
  • Takes place traditionally on a futon at floor level
  • Can also be practised on a massage table or seated on a chair
  • Involves static pressure on the body, not rubbing as in massage
  • Works to balance the whole body not just areas of discomfort
  • Affects physical, emotional and mental well-being
Shiatsu treatment
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