Shiatsu is a therapeutic bodywork. It is a touch-centred energetic re-alignment and self-healing tool. Shiatsu uses pressing, soothing, tapping, rotation and stretching techniques. It is performed through light, comfortable clothing, without oils.
The Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota describes the range of applications as follows:
“Shiatsu can be used in the treatment of a wide range of internal, musculoskeletal, and emotional conditions. It is thought to reduce muscle stiffness, stimulate the skin, aid digestion, and influence the nervous system. Shiatsu is used to treat a wide range of chronic conditions, such as headaches, PMS, digestive disorders, fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia, stress, anxiety, and muskuloskeletal pain, including lower back, neck, and joint pain.”https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/shiatsu ; last visit 10.01.2022
What is Zen Shiatsu?
The origins of Shiatsu are found in ancient Indian practices which later spread to China and Japan, together with Buddhism. The Tuina Massage practiced in traditional Chinese medicine was then developed further and around 1915 the term Shi atsu (finger pressure) became popular in Japan. Finger pressure based physical therapy eventually reached the West after the Second World War.
Shizuto Masunaga developed what later became known as „Zen Shiatsu“ in Japan during the 1970s by combining traditional techniques, such as acupressure, with psychological observations and concepts. Many different styles of Shiatsu are practiced today – what they all have in common though is an approach based on the „Science of Ki.”
The Concept of Ki
The concept of Ki (or Qi in Chinese) states that our vital energy, the Ki within us, is the source of all movement and transformation in the body. Ki flows continuously along pathways called meridians.
When Ki is flowing harmoniously, a person will experience optimal health. If the Ki becomes depleted or blocked, symptoms like fatigue or pain will arise. The flow of Ki can be affected by movement, acupressure, and touch as well as lifestyle, diet and emotions.
Shiatsu is a treatment, both physical and energetic, which aims to bring your Ki back into balance.