What is Shiatsu Massage?
We all want both physical and mental wellness. And shiatsu massage is one of the best ways to reduce stress and boost our overall wellbeing.
Shiatsu massage is a form of ancient oriental therapeutic treatment.
Qualified shiatsu therapists adjust the body’s energies (qi or chi) and physical structure to heal both the mind and the body during sessions.
Shiatsu has similar benefits with Thai massage.
The Following are Some of its Key Points
Shiatsu balances the energy in the body
There are various shiatsu massage techniques which focus on several ways to adjust a person’s qi or chi.
The most commonly used method makes use of acupressure points.
An expert shiatsu therapist can thoroughly detect variances in the body even before the symptoms are felt.
The subtle changes manifest an ongoing imbalance, and a Shiatsu therapist can store that much-needed balance before the symptoms appear or get worse.
Shiatsu promotes ultimate relaxation
Shiatsu massage offers relaxation to everyone who experiences it. A study shows that 95% of the participants felt more relaxed after receiving the shiatsu massage.
Moreover, 54% claimed to have slept better after the session.
Shiatsu eases muscle aches
All the tension and painful muscle spasms can be relieved with a shiatsu massage.
Shiatsu releases the tension by pressing on the acupressure points. Tension, joint pain, back pain, and even posture problems can be addressed by a good Shiatsu massage.
Shiatsu relieves constipation
When applied to the abdominal area, Shiatsu massage can do wonders, especially for those who suffer from constipation.
The pulling and stretching of the massage loosen the muscles as well as relax the colon and intestines to ease constipation.
Other areas that Shiatsu can cover include PMS symptoms, migraines, chemotherapy side effects, digestive problems, and even skin problems.
Joint problems, poor posture, arthritis, sprains, acute and chronic back and neck pain, sciatica, bronchitis, and sinusitis can also be relieved with Shiatsu.
Tips for Massage Lovers
If you need a regular massage and booking a session is sometimes inconvenient for you, another alternative is to go for massage chairs.
You can even grab an actual shiatsu zero gravity massage chair, which already comprises of shiatsu body massage and shiatsu foot massage.
If you want to learn how it’s done, there are a lot of youtube tutorials you can start with.
However, nothing still beats personal touch and a good, relaxing visit to your favorite spa.
How a Shiatsu Massage Works?
Shiatsu massage makes use of the therapist’s thumbs, fingers, and palm to apply pressure to different areas of the body to heal common conditions and correct body imbalances.
The pressure applied generates energy flow and remedies the disharmonies throughout the body.
It regulates the automatic activity of the nervous system and also stimulates the lymphatic, circulatory, and hormonal systems.
Who receives massage therapy and for what?
According to an annual survey made by the American Massage Therapy Association, over 39 million Americans received a Shiatsu massage in 2016.
Over 53% of the participants who discussed the massage session with their doctor state that their healthcare providers highly recommend the therapy.
A session can potentially reduce heart rate and blood pressure and increase endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
Anyone can basically get the Shiatsu massage, but for extra precautions, you can consult with your healthcare professional to discuss if it is perfect for your condition.
Shiatsu Massage Techniques
Shiatsu in Japanese means “finger pressure”. This direct translation is rather misleading as some shiatsu massage techniques also make use of thumbs, hands, knees, elbows, forearms, and even feet to perform the treatment.
Like Acupuncture, Shiatsu uses energy channels (meridians), pressure points (tsubo), and other diagnostic methods without using needles.
How is the Shiatsu Massage Technique Performed?
First, the client should be dressed in comfortable and loose clothing.
The therapist will ask him a few questions and use standard diagnostic procedures, like taking your pulse or examining your tongue, to prepare a specific treatment for you.
The client lies down on a futon right on the ground. A session lasts between One and 1 .5 hours.
The therapist transfers his body weight during the treatment, which also consists of some stretches, pressure point manipulation, and other massage techniques while flowing from one movement to another as the client maintains a steady breathing rhythm.
How is Shiatsu similar to or different from other techniques?
Shiatsu massage techniques are relatively similar to other treatment methods, like physiotherapy, osteopathy, and lymphatic drainage.
However, Shiatsu specialists relate physical health conditions and illnesses to imbalances and blockages in the body’s energy flow.
This differentiates its treatment and diagnosis from other massage techniques.
Shiatsu Massage Vs. Swedish Massage
Touch and Technique
A Swedish massage highlights long and soothing strokes from light pressure to firm depending on the clients’ needs. In Shiatsu, on the other hand, the pressure point work is performed along the energy channels of the client.
Lotions and oils are used in a Swedish massage, so no clothing is required. Shiatsu, however, can be performed over comfortable and loose clothing.
The main focus of a Swedish massage is to ease tension and increase circulation. Meanwhile, shiatsu strives to boost energy flow, reduce fatigue, and promote overall rejuvenation.
Swedish massage is from Europe while Shiatsu originated in Asia.
Shiatsu Massage Vs. Deep Tissue Massage
Swedish and Shiatsu target joints and muscles close to the body’s surface.
Deep tissue massage goes even deeper. It targets the deepest muscles, tendons, and connective tissues.
The strokes are more forceful and firmer. The adhesions and tensions in the tissue and muscles are then released.
Deep tissue massage is great if you want to improve posture and movement. It minimizes tension and stiffness that thwart flexibility and cause poor body posture.
Deep tissue massage is best for those who spend a lot of time in front of their computers, hunched on their desks, and even those with actual mobility problems.
Sports people usually go for deep tissue massage to keep their joints flexible and reduce their muscle stress.
It’s also said to improve blood pressure, promote pain relief, reduce stress, and help in faster healing particularly for joint and muscle injuries.
There are a lot of massage options, and you actually can get a combination of the massages mentioned above. However, if you are feeling aches in particular areas and feeling stiff, a shiatsu massage is recommended.
It is also the type of massage that promotes your overall well-being while keeping your balance intact.