Shiatsu massage is a therapeutic technique that originated in Japan. It is sometimes also called Zen Shiatsu or “finger pressure” massage.
Shiatsu massage is based on traditions derived from Chinese medicine – and some of those traditions are believed to date back to the 5th century BC. About a thousand years later, Chinese doctors came to Japan, bringing their techniques and traditions with them. The Japanese refined those techniques over the ensuing centuries.
When the Europeans came to Japan in the 19th century, the Japanese adopted some of their massage techniques. In 1919, Tamai Tempaku, who is considered the father of modern Shiatsu, published a book called “Finger Pressure Therapy.” His students eventually developed their own schools that used variations of Tempaku’s methods.
How Does It Work?
Shiatsu massage involves a life force called qu or chi, which circulates throughout the body along pathways called meridians. A healthy person has chi that flows freely and brings yang or positive energy while carrying yin or negative energy away.
A person’s health depends on a delicate balance that can be easily disrupted. Such imbalances cause the chi to be blocked, rushed, slowed or diverted. Disruptions in the chi then impair a person’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Symptoms of disrupted chi can include insomnia, depression, headaches, indigestion and swollen joints.
In Shiatsu massage, it is believed that by manipulating the channels along which the chi flows, the massage therapist can restore balance and get the chi flowing properly again. Therapists maintain that there are twelve to fourteen major channels, and each one is associated with a major organ.
Treating the channels is believed to not only treat physical ailments connected to a given organ or body part, but also to emotional or spiritual matters those organs represent. For example, if a therapist says that somebody needs their lung meridian fixed, they may refer to breathing problems – or to feelings of being emotionally stifled.
What Happens During a Session?
The therapist may ask a few questions about the client’s health, current treatments and needs. They will start gently massaging the client, and they will also observe them in order to determine which meridians need attention. They will then start applying pressure to those areas. The therapist will use their hands, fingers, elbows or feet. They will also twist and stretch the client’s body, and they may tell them to breathe deeply to encourage the flow of energy.
How Well Does It Work?
Shiatsu massage can energize a person, or it can calm them down, depending on the client’s needs and the therapist’s methods. It is known to relax people, and that relaxation can produce health benefits, such as a lowered blood pressure.
Located in Westport, New Beauty Wellness offers a wide variety of massage treatments, using a range of ancient and modern techniques. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more.