The theory behind the practice of Shiatsu is that the human body consist of "qi" or energy. When this energy becomes blocked, we feel pain, anxiety or physical ailments. The Shiatsu massage focuses on removing the blocks by realigning the meridians in your body.
Interesting enough, Shiatsu isn't always meant to give a boost to the energetic level of the person. Sometimes, there are certain areas of your body that have too much "qi" and we have to bring balance in that. To explain this in a few words, Shiatsu is a massage that brings the appropriate balance at the energetic level so that the whole body can readjust itself and start to heal naturally.
What is the meaning of Shiatsu?
The word "Shiatsu" is a Japanese term for "finger pressure". However, this massage is more than just that; it includes the pressure with the palm of the hands, with the elbows, with knees and even with the feet. It sounds intense, but it is a different, dynamic experience. It is a completely different methods than the typical, more popular massage. Furthermore, it can be even more relaxing for the body and the soul (depending on the state of the person's body).
- Improves the strength of the body;
- Relieves the body's aches and pains as well as chronic fatigue;
- Helps heal ailments related to the muscular system, e.g. strains;
- Relieves a stiff neck and frozen shoulders;
- Brings relief to back pains;
- Resolves respiratory issues;
- Relaxes the body that is going through a flu or fever outbreak;
- Reduces the effects of insomnia;
- Stimulates the blood circulation, the lymphatic system and the production of hormones.
What happens during Shiatsu massage?
During a Shiatsu massage, you experience various aspects of your being. The massage on itself manipulates the body, without any external instruments, in a way that you can correct internal conditions. This massage boosts healing and it treats certain specific aches. The entire massage is a combination of stretches, rotations and pressure on your body using the weight of the therapist's body.
The difference between a regular massage and a Shiatsu
A regular massage treats the entire muscular system of our body. This massage includes the manipulation of all your muscles to relieve tension. The long hand strokes, caressing the muscles also have a therapeutic effect on the nervous system which allows the whole body to relax.
On the other hand, a Shiatsu massage uses pressure applied by the fingers, the hand, fist, elbow or the feet on the whole body. It focuses also on stretching the body and rotating the joints. The aim of Shiatsu is to unblock the main meridians of the body. This use of pressure readjusts the flow of energy inside the body which revitalizes the whole body.
Then, how do I know which one to choose...massage or Shiatsu?
It depends on what you feel your body needs. If you feel very tired and you wish for a massage so your body can relax and your mind can calm down completely, then you can choose an Energy Massage.
In case you feel that your body has a blockage or disbalance and you have certain aches that a massage did not relieve, Shiatsu is recommended. Shiatsu is a more active massage, where communication needs to remains open between you and the therapist. Your body is being moved around more with the stretches and rotations. The Shiatsu is applicable to a rigid body and one which needs help with flexibility in order to relax.
A little history
The Shiatsu massage was formalized during the 1940's in Japan. However, the practice of this massage has existed for many centuries already. Since 260 B.C., during the Han Dynasty, the ancient civilizations of China and Japan have developed a technique to align the meridians of your body using acupressure points. Medicine and philosophy were united to bring great benefits to the general wellbeing of each person. During the 16th century, the Shiatsu technique in its introductory form was developed. It was called "Anma" back then. Because the practice was not further developed, "Anma" was classified as a means to relax, ignoring the power and benefits that help the body of the person to heal after receiving such a treatment. With time, the practice of "Anma" changed and "Shiatsu" was born. During the early 20th century, the positive results that Shiatsu had, related to the healing of the body and soul, were recognized. During the 1960's, Shiatsu was made official by the Japanese regulators and they are the only country (up until now) that incorporate it in their public health system.
Combine this service with a Dry Heat Bath or a Watsu to enjoy the maximum benefits that the Shiatsu can offer your body and soul.