What is Shiatsu Therapy?
Shiatsu Therapy is a Japanese physical therapy, which literally translates as “finger pressure”. The technique primarily involves the application of gentle pressure using the thumbs, palms and elbows along energy channels in the body. These channels are known as meridians. Shiatsu Therapy has evolved from Chinese healing practices which promote the body's own healing ability.
How does Shiatsu Therapy work?
The meridians of the body carry the life force known as Ki (also called Qi, Chi or Prana.) Similar to the movement of electricity in a wire, this energy flows through the body nourishing muscles, blood vessels, nerves, bones, glands and vital organs. When the energy becomes blocked or stagnated, one experiences health problems. Shiatsu promotes the flow of Ki and clears blockages in the meridians.
What causes Ki stagnation?
Factors that lead to Ki stagnation are stress, overwork, limited exercise, poor posture, trauma, lack of sleep or rest, living in a polluted environment and poor eating habits. Negative emotions such as fear, depression, sadness and anger can also contribute to Ki stagnation.
Ki stagnation can be seen in the following symptoms
- Migraines and headaches
- Back and neck pain
- Muscle stiffness
- Joint pain
- PMS and other menstrual disorders
- Digestive and circulatory problems
- Nervous disorders
- Low energy and fatigue
- Anxiety and irritability
- Many other acute and chronic disorders
What does a treatment involve?
The client lies on a futon or slightly elevated table, wearing loose comfortable clothing. The focus of the treatment depends on the individual. Gentle pressure is applied along the meridians of the back, legs, arms, neck, head and abdomen. Shiatsu Therapy is not painful, although some areas may be a little tender. Often the patient drifts into a state of relaxation and can easily fall asleep.
What conditions can benefit from Shiatsu Therapy?
Shiatsu Therapy is an excellent way to maintain or improve health. Regular treatments can help keep someone in peak physical condition. For those with ailments, Shiatsu Therapy can help relieve many symptoms of discomfort and strengthen the body.
This therapy is suitable for people of all ages and in most physical conditions. Shiatsu Therapy is especially effective for those in high stress jobs that are either physically, mentally or emotionally demanding. Athletes, performing artists, expectant mothers, hospital workers, office workers and those continually on their feet have all experienced the benefits of Shiatsu.
Timothy Phillips provides Shiatsu Therapy treatments at Healing on the Danforth.