A Guide To Shiatsu Massage

Most people believe that Shiatsu Massage is just another massage technique used by massage therapists. Most have no idea that Shiatsu massage has deep ancestral, cultural, and medicinal roots tracing back through Chinese and Japanese cultures.

Where Does Shiatsu Come From?
Shiatsu massage gets its origins from ancient herbal therapies and acupuncture.

According to the Shiatsu Society, the Japanese refined these techniques over the years to develop the manual healing that is known as shiatsu massage.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that western anatomy was incorporated into the discipline. Tamai Tempaky used the sciences of physiology, physical therapy, and chiropractic research and combined them with many of the techniques that are now known as Shiatsu Massage.

What is Shiatsu?
Spine-health tells us that Shiatsu means “finger pressure.” The massage works on acupressure points on the body to relieve muscle tension and fatigue. These acupressure points are thought to run along the energy pathways in the body knows as meridians.

By alleviating the pressure on these energy pathways, the massage can improve circulation and lymphatic function. Shiatsu is not just a body treatment but works from a spiritual perspective to offer a mind-body healing alternative.

Because of the spiritual belief systems that can accompany Shiatsu Massage, there are many approaches to this technique.
Some of the most common methods are:
• Zen Shiatsu
• Macrobiotic Shiatsu
• Healing Shiatsu
• Namikoshi Shiatsu
• Movement Shiatsu
• Hara Shiatsu

You may find that you have a preference for one form of shiatsu over another for the different focus that each has.

Why Choose Shiatsu?
People choose Shiatsu for many reasons. One of the primary reasons is that a Shiatsu practitioner is going to have a holistic approach to health and vitality. WellMother notes that Shiatsu can be an integral part of stress management and preventative health care because of its whole person approach.

Many western practitioners of massage and medicine choose to isolate illness and injury to a specific condition or part of the body. The use of energy through the whole body with Shiatsu means that the entire body is addressed. Knowing that the person is a whole, and not just parts can make a big difference when it comes to approaches to preventative care.

Shiatsu Benefits
Aside from the holistic approach that Shiatsu takes, there are many additional benefits to seeking out a Shiatsu Practitioner. Center Point School of Shiatsu Therapy notes that Shiatsu can restore the body’s energy and help those suffering from weakness or fatigue.

In addition to this, there are many other benefits that Shiatsu offers that other types of massage or treatment may not offer.
• Circulation improvement
• Headache relief
• Reduced anxiety and depression
• Arthritis relief
• Increased mobility
• Insomnia treatment
• Increased immune response
• Reduces stress and tension

All of these benefits can be seen after one massage, but they are better seen after regular massage.

No More Medication
Many people seek out Shiatsu because they are done taking medication, or they don’t want to start. Shiatsu can be a great alternative therapy for pain management, anxiety, depression, and other disorders. For those who do not want to add another medication to their life, this first line intervention may provide a welcomed reprieve from our medicine based medical treatment system.

Of course, there may be times where massage alone will not be enough to treat your ailment. Though, it has been proven that patients who seek conventional treatment along with alternative therapies for pain management, anxiety and depression are more likely to have a positive outcome.

Final Thoughts
Shiatsu addresses something that was long ago forgotten by western medicine. The energy pathways in the body are essential to vitality and health. If you would like to see an improvement in your overall quality of life, there is no better place to start than with a Shiatsu massage.

The holistic approach to healing is unmatched, and treating the whole person will always provide greater improvements in health and happiness.

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