Known by various names, the shiatsu massage technique has become quite popular with many seeking to balance there flow of chi. This technique originated in Japan and has been in existence for over 2,000 years. The word shiatsu means finger pressure (shi – finger, atsu – pressure), and is used as an acupressure method of healing.
Like acupressure and acupuncture, shiatsu follows the theory that the body is made up of fourteen different meridians or sections. Each one of these meridians are linked to a major organ, and serve as channels for energy to flow through. It is believed that the practice of shiatsu will help in keeping the meridians from becoming blocked and causing excess chi to flow through other channels. When this happens the body experiences illness or an imbalance.
In order to remove obstacles that are blocking the channels and restore balance to the body, pressure is applied by fingers. This will generally take place at certain points that are called acupoints. Some of those pressure points are the knees, feet, hands, and elbows. A shiatsu massage therapist can also work on areas that are adjacent to the acupoints to stimulate healing and enhance the body, which will help it returnit to a state of wellness.
Modern medicine has yet to prove whether or not energy actually flows through meridians in the body, so many treat shiatsu as a complementary medicinal healing technique. Although, studies have shown that massage or pressing on pressure points of the body do stimulate and release endorphins. In return, the endorphins energize the immunity system and encourage the body to fight illness. From muscular pain to digestive issues, shiatsu has been used to treat a wide array of health problems
This type of massage can be quite overwhelming and intense. It is not uncommon for a patient to become animated with different emotions. Sometimes one can go from laughing to shouting, and sometimes even crying. These emotional displays are typically a signal that the restoration and balance of chi is taking place. Upon completion of the massage, patients will be extremely relaxed and may need someone to drive them home or at least wait a few before getting in a vehicle. Also, some may experience cold or flu like symptoms after several sessions. This is also considered a sign that the body is on it’s way to being healed.
Shiatsu sessions can run from 15 minutes all the way up to 2 hours. Depending on where one lives and how often a session is done, will determine the cost. Generally for those that have never had this type of massage should start with a shorter session time. As stated above, the side effects can be alot to deal with at first. Regardless of the reasons for getting a shiatsu massage, one will certainly feel relaxed after receiving one. It is important to note that if there is any history of back pain, injuries, or other issues, a discussion with a physician may be needed before obtaining this type of massage.