Shiatsu Origin and Explanation
Shiatsu is a pressure massage therapy which is a traditional healing method that originated in Japan and has been used all over the world to treat several body conditions. Shiatsu focuses on invigorating the Ki (the circulating life force) which is considered as the balancing element between negatives and positives in human body.
In Japanese tradition it is believed that health is prevalent when the Ki flows unobstructed through its pathways. When the Ki becomes deficient or the flow is obstructed, symptoms arise. This could be regular colds or flu, headaches that emerge regularly, body aches and muscular pain or digestive difficulties or even just a feeling of not being as well as one could be. All those indicate an imbalance of Ki. Shiatsu stimulates and harmonizes the flow of Ki throughout the body.
Shiatsu massage is basically a finger pressure therapy which is proven to be a beneficial treatment for wide range of musculoskeletal, internal and emotional conditions. It can reduce muscle stiffness, stimulate the skin, aid digestion, and influence the nervous system. Shiatsu is used to treat a wide range of chronic conditions, such as backaches, including lower back ache, neck and joint pain, frozen shoulder, sciatica, headaches, PMS, digestive disorders, fatigue, insomnia, stress, anxiety, the practitioner tailors the treatment according to the client’s needs.
● Shiatsu helps in relieving constipation when applied to abdominal area. The stretching and pulling of the massage loosens muscles and relaxes the colon and intestines.
● Shiatsu is very effective for those suffering from fatigue and overall weakness. It works on the tension and takes spasms out of the muscles, thus eliminating muscle aches by rubbing and pulling at the skin and muscles, and by pressing on acupressure points that release tension.
● Migraines are result of rapid widening and narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain or head, causing irritation and pain. Shiatsu aids migraines by relaxing the body and increasing blood flow and circulation throughout the body.
● Shiatsu is also a non-invasive therapy that helps to reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression by leaving you relaxed and calm.
● Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the body’s tissue that attacks the linings of the joints. Pressure from the massage can be applied to hands, feet or any area that is affected by arthritis, it also helps to limber muscles, gives muscles nutrition by provide improved circulation. It provides relief and helps in reducing muscular pain.
● It helps to stimulate circulation in capillaries of the skin’s soft tissues. The massage also serves to stimulate the secretion of the sebaceous glands that keeps skin moist and smooth. This helps to give skin resilience and prevents wrinkling. The improved blood circulation also helps improve the look and glow of the skin.
● Shiatsu massages have been used for thousands of years to aid women during monthly cycles and alleviate menstrual cramps. On the flip side it has been known to help women in labor and babies turn in the womb. It can induce labor in women who are overdue and help ease morning sickness and swelling that is often caused by pregnancy.
● Not only does shiatsu help to improve the circulation and cellular nutrition throughout the body but also benefits the digestive system by allowing food to digest more easily and aids in waste elimination. It increases stamina by storing energy reserves to assist in fat metabolism and removal.
● Helps those who suffer from fatigue and weakness by restoring and maintaining the body’s energy. It takes charge of the weakness and fills you with lasting energy.
When should shiatsu not be received?
Although shiatsu is a very safe massage that has no side effects, there are certain cases when it is better to avoid receiving it. It must be avoided during following cases:
● Infectious skin disease or open wounds.
● Immediately after surgery. After surgery it is best to avoid the scar area for six months. This includes the abdomen after a cesarean birth.
● For the people who are prone to blood clots, have a risk of blood clots being dislodged. So, if you have heart disease, atherosclerosis, or high cholesterol, please consult your physician before booking an appointment.
● Shiatsu should not be done directly over recent bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed cuts & wounds, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures. But it can still be done over the rest of the body.
● If you have been through a recent stroke or cerebrovascular accident, it is better to wait for at least six months before applying shiatsu. Always consult a doctor if the patient has suffered a stroke in the last two years.
● If you are diabetic, you should have regular check-ups for sensory neuropathy. Please inform the therapist if your last check-up was over a year ago.
● Always explain our therapists about the type of medication you are taking and if it has the desired effect.
Working of Shiatsu
Shiatsu massage therapy does not require an individual to remove clothes. However, it is advised to wear comfortable clothes during shiatsu session. A sheet or a robe may also be provided according to the client’s preference. The technique does not involve use of oils during the massage. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, diseases are believed to be a result of energy imbalance or qi (chi, ki) in the body. Shiatsu massage involves direct pressure from the thumb, forearm and the palms to relax the tired muscles and remove imbalances of qi. The pressure is also applied with the knees to loosen the stiff back muscles. The massage is typically carried out with the client lying on the floor on a mat which helps the therapist to utilize the entire body pressure across the hard surface.
How often should Shiatsu therapy be applied on a person?
Shiatsu vitalizes the energy flow of the body, so, it can be taken as often as possible ranging from once to twice a week. However, the application may increase or decrease according to the body condition and requirement.