Shiatsu is a form of Asian massage with roots in ancient Chinese medicine, similar to acupuncture and acupressure. The massage not only works on the physical structures of your body, but it is also intended to open and balance the flow of energy in your body to restore emotional and mental health. Here's what to expect if you have a shiatsu massage.
The Massage Is Therapeutic
Traditional shiatsu isn't a relaxing massage that uses body oil on bare skin. Instead, it is more about therapeutic massage, using the hands and fingers to apply pressure to specific points on your body. It's often possible to remain fully clothed for this type of massage as long as you wear loose clothing. You'll usually stretch out on a table or floor for the treatment, so all areas of your body can be reached easily. However, it is possible to have a shiatsu massage when you're seated in a chair or a hospital bed.
The Technique Relies on Energy Work
Chinese medicine looks at the body and emotions as a whole unit. A shiatsu massage therapist uses the same philosophy when providing you with a treatment. Areas of tension are noted as places where there is too much energy, and weak areas with too little energy are of concern too. The goal of the massage is to open up the energy channels in the body, so there are no blocks. When energy flows smoothly as it should, you should experience fewer problems with emotional issues, muscle tension, and medical problems involving organs and tissues.
Firm Pressure Is Used
While gliding and gentle strokes promote relaxation in massage treatments, firm pressure can bring about therapeutic changes. A shiatsu therapist uses his or her fingers, palms, and elbows to apply pressure to specific points. In this way, shiatsu is similar to trigger-point massage that applies pressure to specific points to break apart adhesion. The pressure used during a shiatsu massage is applied to the energy meridians in your body.
In addition to applying pressure, the therapist may move your body into different positions and stretch your muscles. The treatment isn't painful, but if you already have pain, let your therapist know, so adjustments can be made. The therapist doesn't necessarily work on the area where your pain is located, since shiatsu is a form of whole-body treatment.
Shiatsu is a primary form of bodywork in Japan, and it's also gained popularity in other countries of the world. You can have treatments even when you're well, so you can maintain your energy balance and good health. It is also useful for a wide variety of therapeutic uses, such as increasing circulation to speed healing from an injury, reducing muscle stiffness and soreness, helping with arthritis pain, increasing range of motion, reducing emotional tension and stress, and even helping with fatigue.
To learn more, talk to companies like Massage TJ Spa.