Shiatsu is a Japanese hands-on healing system which uses the power of touch, active perpendicular penetration, joint rotations and gentle stretching techniques to balance the flow of the body’s vital energy or ‘Ki’. A Shiatsu session is an incredibly relaxing experience and is experienced fully clothed lying on a massage bench.
How does Shiatsu work?
In Zen Shiatsu the practitioner uses his/her own fingers, palms, elbows & knees to connect with the meridians throughout the body. The meridians have been described as “channels of living magnetic energy in the body” that pass through the whole body and connect to the vital organs. Although named after the vital organs, their functions and expressions are wider and encompass the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
An imbalance in a person’s vital energy ‘ki’ can manifest as a variety of signs and symptoms. This stagnation is the root cause of all disharmony/illness. During treatment the balance of ‘ki’ through the body will be re-established by working on the meridians and the physical body. The practitioner will help support the most ‘empty’ meridian and will help to disperse the most ‘full’ or congested meridian. Shiatsu moves stagnant energy, removes blockages and creates balance in the body’s energy systems. The body then begins to repair itself and all major systems begin to improve. The receiver of Shiatsu begins to feel more empowered and responsible for small changes, so, over time, the body feels rejuvenated, calmer and more energized. People who realise the importance of positive change, seek Shiatsu as a framework to help them make changes in their lives. Shiatsu assists in balancing the internal harmony and addresses the underlying causes of a condition.
What happens in a session?
Before the hands-on part of the treatment there is a consultation which will take around 15 – 20 minutes. This will give the practitioner an understanding of your general health and of you, as a whole person.
A Shiatsu session usually lasts from 45 to 60 minutes. You will be fully clothed, preferably wearing loose fitting clothes and will be asked to lie on a massage bench. The practitioner will take account of any physical disabilities and any specific needs that you may have.
In addition to the session the practitioner may introduce where relevant, a system of self-healing exercises or recommendations to support you to be independent and self-reliant and able to maintain a state of well-being in your life.
After the treatment your body will continue to respond and find its own balance, so it is recommended that after the session you can rest for a couple of hours, and it is advisable not to engage in strenuous activities. Drinking water is also helpful to help with the healing and balancing process.
How can Shiatsu help?
Shiatsu therapy is an enjoyable way to address common complaints, as well as acute and chronic conditions such as:
- Stress and anxiety
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- Stiff joints
- Low energy
Shiatsu can help us to understand what is happening in our bodies, relieves general muscles tension and can aid joint mobility, produces long-term changes to health and well-being. It can also improve the look and glow of the skin with improved lymph, blood and energy circulation.
Shiatsu is excellent for promoting relaxation and prevents the build-up of stresses we experience in every-day life. It is a true holistic therapy effective on the mind, body, physical and spiritual levels of the human being.
However, you don’t need to have a specific condition to benefit from a treatment. Shiatsu has been developed to maintain the individual’s wellbeing on energetic and physical levels. Regular Shiatsu sessions strengthen the vital organs which helps to prevent imbalances from developing. It is also a wonderful way to learn more about yourself and feel more in tune with your body, mind and emotions. Many people find that having Shiatsu regularly helps them to stay feeling balanced and enhance overall wellbeing.
Carolina Gonzalez – currently on maternity leave