Stressed or anxious? Niggling pain? Restless sleep? Try this unique, non-intrusive and deeply relaxing form of bodywork. Treatment can help in the management of pain, injuries and symptoms of poor physical health, and can also ease stress and tension, improve mood and help a person achieve emotional balance. A great all-rounder for relaxation and self-care.
What is Shiatsu?
Originating in Japan and influenced by Traditional Chinese and Western medical approaches, Shiatsu is a well-respected, versatile, non-intrusive and deeply relaxing holistic therapy. Following similar principles to acupuncture, Shiatsu stimulates the body's own healing processes through the application of gentle, sustained pressure to points and channels (meridians) across the body. This unique and powerful form of bodywork acts to re-balance, release and restore the flow of vital energy (Ki) along the meridians to support good health and well-being. Shiatsu is literally translated as finger (Shi) pressure (atsu).
How can Shiatsu help me?
Many people come to Shiatsu to help them manage a specific ache, pain, injury or ailment, or to address general symptoms of poor health. Others seek out treatment to help them relax and manage stress and tension, thus using Shiatsu as a nourishing source of self-care and a preventative tool to support well-being. A Shiatsu treatment is a deeply relaxing experience and the role of the practitioner is to put the receiver into a state of 'rest and digest' thereby stimulating the body's natural healing and recuperative abilities. Shiatsu can aid restful sleep, improve mood and help a person achieve emotional balance. Regular treatment helps to strengthen the immune system, tonify the organs and maintain the body’s smooth flow of energy (Ki). In Shiatsu terms, Ki flows freely around the body in someone who is healthy, but if Ki becomes blocked, imbalanced or stagnant then the result is illness, ailments and pain.
What can I expect from a treatment?
Based on an initial touch diagnosis and on physical and visual feedback gleaned during the session, the Shiatsu practitioner will seek to even out perceived energy imbalances through the application of gentle pressure on the meridians and points across the body. They will often combine this with other techniques such as gentle rocking, stretches and joint rotations to aid the flow of Ki and release any blockages. Shiatsu treatment is holistic, with the practitioner working on the whole person and the whole body, rather than focusing solely on the area where symptoms are most obvious. Shiatsu is traditionally experienced lying down on a soft futon mat at floor level, but alternatives can be found to make the therapy accessible to everyone. Sessions work best if the client is relaxed and comfortable so it is a good idea to wear loose clothing and to avoid eating a heavy meal directly beforehand. On your first visit, you can expect your Shiatsu practitioner to ask you questions about your health and lifestyle. Occasionally they may ask that you check with your GP before they proceed.
Find out more about the therapist Jacqui Burton.