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Shiatsu Bodywork

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What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a holistic form of bodywork from Japan with roots in Chinese Medicine. It’s several thousand year old history has allowed for Shiatsu to be influenced by other touch therapies (and to be the influence). As a result, Shiatsu is a uniquely flexible bodywork therapy. Like western massage, Shiatsu utilizes physical pressure. Like acupuncture, Shiatsu is working with the body’s vital energy (Qi or Ki) via meridians/points. Like Thai massage, Shiatsu can incorporate dynamic movement and stretches. Like Polarity therapy Shiatsu recognizes the body’s magnetic field.

A skilled Shiatsu practitioner offers both physical and energetic work simultaneously. Physically, as the body is pressed upon, the underlying connective tissue (which connects and covers nerves, blood vessels, muscles, bones, organs, glands) is effected. Pressing of fascia (connective tissue) results in increased tissue flexibility, hydration and improved cell communication (piezoelectricity). Energetically speaking, a trained practitioner can read the body’s electromagnetic field. This “energetic” information is communicated from various body systems within via meridians (energetic rivers) on the body.

Shiatsu is healing touch that utilizes the body’s own wisdom or resource system to achieve wellness. Via a holistic approach, Shiatsu addresses the whole person and not just a condition. Shiatsu treats both the physical and emotional body because they are considered interdependent. Shiatsu is used for stress management, preventative care, acute or chronic issues and support for major medical conditions.

A Shiatsu session is received clothed (loose cotton clothing is best). Traditionally Shiatsu has been given on a mat/futon on the floor but it has also been adapted to be received on a massage table. A session can include a verbal health intake. Depending on the style, a hara diagnosis is taken via gentle palpation of the abdomen. As the session unfolds, meridians are worked. Based on the individual needs, points maybe be held, pressure can vary from gentle to deep, and stretches and mobilizations may be incorporated.