Not only is Shiatsu a form of massage, it is also a way of promoting well-being, increasing your general health, and balancing the energy in your body. Let's take a closer look into what a Shiatsu massage is and what it can do for you.
What is Shiatsu Massage?
Shiatsu originated in Japan. Like most massages, Shiatsu uses pressure to knead and sooth muscles, which stretching the body, and relaxing a person. Shiatsu massage techniques do not need oils or other tools. It is as much about channeling energy as it is about relaxation. (1)
In Japanese, the word ‘shi’ translates to ‘finger’; ‘atsu’ translates to ‘pressure’. Finger pressure is used to treat muscles and move energy within the body. Three main methods of Shiatsu originated in Japan during the beginning of the 20th century. It was the coming together of Western medicine and traditional Japanese therapy which birthed this form of massage.
In North America, Shiatsu is one of the more prevalent of the Asian bodywork therapies. Many people find peace and relief in the ancient practice.
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What are the Principles of Shiatsu?
An important underlying idea in Chinese and Japanese medicine is that of Qi (pronounced ‘chee’). This is the energy which flows through all of us. This energy allows us to function and move through life. When our Qi is thrown out of balance, our lives are too.
Qi flows through our bodies in a specific way. There are paths through which our Qi flows, called meridians. Along these meridians are Vital Points. These are the points at which a Shiatsu therapist can access our Qi. Meridians can become blocked, limiting our flow of Qi. This can impact our lives. By unblocking the meridians, we can find our balance.
Major health concerns can be caused by our Qi becoming unbalanced. If the flow of Qi around our body is slowed, blocked, or changed in some way, we can become sick and unwell. Even small health concerns can be caused by an unbalance in our Qi. Colds, flu, aches, pains, tension, stress, etc. can all be caused by our Qi being out of harmony.
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Can a Shiatsu Massage Help?
1. Relief from Muscle Aches
If you are suffering from muscle aches, then a Shiatsu massage can really help you. In fact, any massage will likely help, but Shiatsu massaging will help balance your Qi as well as relieve the tension in your muscles, and promoting circulation. If you suffer from aches over a large part of your body, you should think about investing in a Shiatsu massage chair.
2. Soft Skin
A Shiatsu massage will help to relieve the tension in your muscles and promote healthy blood flow through your body. When your blood flow is good, your skin becomes softer and smoother. A Shiatsu massage will also stimulate the glands in your skin. This will help to naturally hydrate your skin, decreasing wrinkles, and boosting your natural glow.
As your muscles lose there stress and begin to relax, so will you. A lot of us become stressed and worried, passing that tension onto our bodies. As our bodies become tense, the process becomes cyclical and hard to break. Easing the tension in your body can allow you to focus your mind more easily.
Shiatsu massage is a great natural treatment for pregnant women. When you are pregnant, you want to put as little stress on the baby as possible. Shiatsu massage is an excellent alternative to the treatments pushed onto us by doctors and the media.
In fact, it has been used for hundreds of years to aid pregnant women. As well as the above benefits, Shiatsu can alleviate menstrual cramps, prevent morning sickness, turn a breech baby, alleviate labour pains, and help to combat depression.
5. Circulation and Digestion
As soon as you have your first Shiatsu massage, you will begin to feel the benefits. Making it a regular part of your life will help you incredibly. A massage two or three times a week will improve your blood circulation, and balance your digestive system.
Both of these bodily systems help to remove waste from the body, and Shiatsu will help them to become more efficient. As the waste in your body is lessened, and your circulation improved, your metabolism will be kick-started, leading to increased stamina and energy.
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Check out this video for even more benefits of Shiatsu massage.
Who Can Benefit From Shiatsu?
Most massage techniques are used for relaxation. Some are used to help muscle injuries. Shiatsu can do both, but the main reason for Shiatsu massage therapy is to get relief from a particular affliction.
Some people come to Shiatsu after they have tried everything else. Some people come to Shiatsu when they do not like the treatment they are offered. Some people want a natural treatment. Some people want to combine relaxation with treatment. All of these people can benefit from a Shiatsu massage.
Shiatsu can help to treat afflictions which do not have a specific cure. People suffering from depression, or anger, or unbalance, or who are lacking in some way, can all find something in Shiatsu massage.
Shiatsu is also a great way to dip your toe into the world of alternative therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Shiatsu is not as intense as some therapies and can be attractive to those who do not like needles, or other more intrusive therapies.
With all of this in mind, it is safe to say that anyone can benefit from Shiatsu massage.
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