What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is a treatment in which the thumbs or palms or sometimes elbows of a therapist are used to apply pressure to certain points on a patients body. Shiatsu therapist identifies and treats the areas where the flow of vital energy is distorted. This relieves the symptoms and stimulates the body's natural healing powers. In western terms, Shiatsu helps to calm overactive sympathetic nervous functioning and to promote restful, healing parasympathetic functioning. Stiff muscles loosen, circulation improves, tension lessens.
What is Ki (Chi) Energy? Our living bodies are composed of matter and energy. This energy of life is called "Ki" in Japanese. "Ki" circulates throughout the body invisible channels called meridians. They were discovered by the Chinese doctors and philosophers from meditation and the experience of treating the human body in all its states of distress. Through meridians this vital energy communicates with and flows through us nourishing every nerve ,every blood vessel ,all the muscles, bones, glands and organs, every system of the entire body.
Oriental therapeutic philosophy says that if the Ki flow through the twelve meridians is smooth and unimpeded, and if each meridian receives a balanced amount of Ki, then the functioning of the body is harmonious. But if the Ki flow stagnates ,or is impeded or blocked, then the harmony turns to disharmony and disharmony to disease. Ki stagnation can be caused by : traumatic experiences, difficult environment, improper use or dis-use of body mobility ,low quality food, polluted air, extreme climatic conditions, and a whole host of other tension forming things combined with lack of body-mind awareness.
What conditions can be helped with Shiatsu treatments?Shiatsu is an effective therapy for a wide variety of conditions ,whether acute or chronic .It is especially effective for stress related conditions. Other conditions which respond well to Shiatsu treatments are: lower and upper back pain, neck and shoulder stiffness, headaches, insomnia, tired legs and arms and many others. It improves blood circulation, raises the body energy level.
Shiatsu done to your upper back relieves the chest stiffness thus helping your heart. Pregnant women, dieters and those who want to quit smoking will find that regular treatments will complement their dietary and exercise regime by strengthening the body and relieving stress.
But one does not really have to be ill to enjoy a Shiatsu treatment. It can make you feel relaxed, yet energetic, years younger, free of tension.
Shiatsu is a holistic, natural therapy that brings instinctive joy and human touch back into our lives.
Shiatsu vs Swedish?While the Swedish masseur kneads and strokes the muscles with fingers and palms, the shiatsu therapist-using the thumbs and palms (and occasionally his elbows and knees) applies intense, direct pressure to the appropriate pressure points on the body's meridians.
Because of the oils and the long strokes used in Swedish massage , the client usually wears no clothing. Shiatsu however most often is performed with the patient dressed in loose-fitting comfortable clothes. At Shiatsu Place our patients are asked to disrobe to their underwear and cover with a provided cover sheet . This way the body is readily available in case acupuncture , cupping or moxibustion is applied afterwards.
During the treatment, most people experience a state of deep relaxation and the clothing or cover helps to preserve the warmth.
How many treatments are required?The number and frequency of treatments needed depend upon the patient and the condition being treated. Our advice is: have Shiatsu in the early stage of the illness. Listen to and feel your body signals which are pain, tension etc. Do not postpone your Shiatsu treatments. This will allow you to bring your body quickly back to a normal healthy state.
If you are already ill, a course of treatments usually involves 5 to 7 treatments at weekly or sometimes shorter intervals (some acute problems may need only 1 to 2 treatments) Some people make big changes in this time and don't require more, while others may require a longer course of treatments.
Shiatsu is a very powerful and effective therapy. However, a condition that has developed over a period of months or years requires time and effort to heal.
Monthly or semi-monthly treatments are an excellent means of keeping renewed health at a peak.
Are there any Side Effects?You may feel a comfortable " good " pain throughout the treatment. Occasionally, tiredness, headache, muscular aches may occur after a treatment but should last no more than 1 or 2 days . Sometimes, symptoms of past health problems may reappear. These reactions are a normal part of the healing process and will pass. Your therapist will answer any questions you may have about the treatment or treatment reactions.