What is Shiatsu? Meaning “finger pressure”, Shiatsu is a type of massage that focuses on the traditional Chinese Meridians of the body. Shiatsu is traditionally done on a floor mat and the recipient is clothed. However, Shiatsu can be performed on a table and many of the techniques can be adapted to any disrobed massage modality. Done with no lotion or oil, Shiatsu massage relies on point work along the meridians, joint stretches, and therapist guided range of motion exercises. This modality utilizes compression, or softening of the muscle tissues using a closed but soft fist; this ensures that deeper work does not hurt or damage the client. Another staple of Shiatsu is point work, this technique is most effective when the therapist uses steady thumb pressure. These pressure points are aligned with various organ meridians, such as the Heart, Lung, and Urinary Bladder meridians. In traditional Chinese medicine, any blockages of Chi in the body would result in illness, by pressing on the points along the different meridians Chinese and Japan doctors could stimulate healing and balance in the body.
Like most massage, the benefits to the client are immense. From a Western medical perspective, Shiatsu provides relaxation, increased circulation, joint mobilization, and can help reduce stress in clients. From an Eastern medical perspective, Shiatsu provides a means in which to balance the Chi in an individual, which when combined with traditional Chinese herbal remedies, can cure them from any aliments from which they might be suffering.
Energy massage is built on the principal of helping rebalance the energetic needs of the client. It usually involves little to know touching, however that doesn't work for me. If you are looking to have this kind of work done, I incorporate mild compressive holds, joint mobilization, and mild rocking and shaking. This helps me keep my hands busy and in constant contact with the client, helping me to facilitate a shift in the body's energy pathways.