Shiatsu is a form of massage that originated in Japan and traditional Chinese medicine, and has been widely practiced around the world since the 1970s. Shiatsu means “finger pressure,” which describes the technique. In shiatsu therapy, pressure with thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet is applied to pressure points on the body. This form of massage also focuses on rotating and stretching limbs, joints, and pressure points, or meridians, as they’re called in traditional Chinese medicine.
Shiatsu massage has many benefits to the body and mind.
Restore and maintain the body’s energy, especially helpful to those suffering from fatigue and overall weakness
- Improves circulation
- Reduces stress and tension as well as anxiety and depression
- Relief from headaches
Helps bring relief to arthritis sufferers
- Reduces problems with stiff neck and shoulders as well as backaches (including sciatica)
The theory behind shiatsu is that our bodies are made up of energy, called chi, and that energy gets blocked and causes suffering. Shiatsu massage helps remove the blockages by realigning meridian points, which balances the chi and eases the body and mind. When one balances chi, or vital energy, healing occurs in the body. The nervous and immune systems are both stimulated by applying pressure to the meridians, providing relief for both body and mind. Shiatsu also restores the circulatory system, improving blood flow throughout the body.