Shiatsu is a form of body work, where you stay full clothed and the practitioner applies pressure to points on the body to allow energy to flow more freely. The idea, similar to that in acupuncture, is that channels called meridians are conduits through which life energy flows. This energy, called Ki (Shiatsu originated in Japan) when not flowing freely and properly can cause disease or sickness.
The word ‘Shiatsu’ literally means ‘finger pressure’ though the practitioner may also use the rest of his hands and indeed sometimes arms, legs and even feet to apply pressure to the body.
In addition to the application of pressure the practitioner will help you to stretch, and to rotate and manipulate your joints. The treatment is considered truly holistic, treating mind, body and spirit. Contacting the receiver’s Ki or internal energy is an integral part of the treatment.
Shiatsu can help in a wide range of conditions from specific injuries to more general symptoms of poor health. Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular sessions help to prevent the build-up of stress in our daily lives.
Some benefits of Shiatsu include:
reduced stress & fatigue (tsubo) accumulated in the body
increased circulation of blood and lymph
reduces muscle stiffness
increased vitality, stamina and energy (Qi)
History of Shiatsu.
Shiatsu Massage originated in China at least 2000 years ago, when the earliest accounts gave the causes of ailments and the remedies that could be effected through a change of diet and way of life. The use of massage and acupuncture was also recommended. Thus acupuncture, massage and herbal medicine evolved side by side to treat the range of diseases encountered. The traditional massage of ancient China was known as 'anma' and found its way to Japan to be adopted and adapted by the Japanese, who also called it 'anma'. The therapy that is known today as Shiatsu has gradually evolved with time from 'anma' under influences from both East and West.
Amma (anma in Japanese) has been used for centuries to deal with many common ailments, aches and pains as well as treating more serious diseases. New influences from traditional Eastern medicine and Western science have gradually shaped it into what is today called Shiatsu. There are several main styles of shiatsu found in the West: barefoot Shiatsu, macrobiotic Shiatsu, Namikoshi style, Ohashiatsu, Shiatsu-Do and Zen Shiatsu. These are all valid and effective therapies using the basic Shiatsu principles but with differing emphasis placed on techniques or philosophy. In Japan there are more than 87,000 registered Shiatsu practitioners. This fact alone goes some way towards demonstrating its effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of disease.
It is only very recently that it has gained recognition and popularity, with people becoming aware of its existence and benefits.
Although East and West have different viewpoints on health and life, these can complement one another. The Eastern belief is of a primary flow of energy throughout the body, which runs along certain channels known as meridians. It is also believed that this energy exists throughout the Universe and that all living creatures are dependent upon it as much as on physical nourishment. The energy is known by three similar names, ki, chi and prana in Japan, China and India respectively. As in acupuncture, there are certain pressure points on the meridians that relate to certain organs, and these points are known as tsubos.
Shiatsu was originally developed by Tamai Tempaku in the early 1900’s. Subsequently various forms have developed.
Tokujiro Namikoshi and his son, Toru, emphasised pressure on neuro-muscular points to release pain and tension. Wataru Ohashi extended this work in the US.
Katsusuke Serizawa developed tsubo therapy, emphasising stimulation of particular acupoints and their nerve reflexes. This was developed into ‘acupressure shiatsu’ in the US.
Shizuto Masunaga developed a comprehensive theory for Shiatsu based on traditional Chinese medicine and incorporated spiritual aspects, calling it 'Zen shiatsu'.
Used as a regular 'preventative' therapy it is said that Shiatsu promotes well-being and vitality.
What to Expect?
Each treatment is for an hour. The first session will include recording your medical history. This stays confidential.
You remained clothed throughout all treatments.
I will treat your whole body by using fingers, palm pressure or probe. This is an acupuncture tool. Does not penetrate skin, just pressure.
Your treatment may involve stretches, rotation, and gentle manipulation of joints and limbs if needed. I always finish with a head shiatsu which will leave you feeling relaxed.
When is it the best time to have a Shiatsu treatment?
This treatment is for anytime. You can Shiatsu for relaxation and enjoyment. This may help keep the inner harmony and balance.
If I am on medication can I have shiatsu?
Yes I will check on your medications when taking your medical history about medical conditions you may have.
Shiatsu aids healing within the body. It helps to assist the body’s natural healing process.
Are there side effects from Shiatsu?
The aim is to move energy around the body to help unblock any channels/meridians. There may be healing reactions after the first session. This is because toxins have been released during the treatment. This may appear as headaches, stiffness, stomach upsets or tiredness. These usually do not last, normally only for 24hr after you treatment. Depending on the type of treatment you may have had. Drinking plenty of water will help release the build-up of toxins after each treatment.
How long is a session?
Each treatment is for an hour.
How much does it cost?
The cost for each treatment is £40. Concessions do apply in certain circumstances. Please take a look at my Price List.