What is Shiatsu? Is it a Japanese recipe or a traditional Festival?
While it could be either, let me explain what it is and who I am. Firstly, I’m Carmen del Pozo, and I have been practicing Shiatsu since I studied at the Japanese Shiatsu School in Madrid (https://shiatsudo.com/es/) more than 20 years ago, under the tutelage of Master Shigeru Onoda.
But let’s me tell you about this ancient and wonderful therapy once and for all.
What is Shiatsu?
When any part of the body hurts, naturally we usually bring our hand to the painful area. It is an instinctive action to relieve pain and it is on the root of Shiatsu massage.
Shiatsu literally means finger pressure (shi=finger, atsu=pressure).
It is a treatment that is carried out applying pressures with the thumbs and the palms of the hands on specific points along the body.
In Shiatsu it is fundamental to observe and treat the body as a whole without seeing each part as something disconnected from the others, to help the organism to recover its self-healing capacity and improving its physiological functions.
A little bit of history
Modern Shiatsu was developed more than hundred years ago and it was made for love.
Tokujiro Namikoshi was seven years old when he completely cured his mother who suffered from rheumatism. He used only his thumbs, fingers and palms in applying pressure to her body.
This was the beginning of Shiatsu in 1912. As a result of continued presentation of his work and investigations, in 1964 the Ministry of Health of the Japanese National Government recognized Shiatsu as a Japanese therapeutic treatment.
Principles of Shiatsu
Shiatsu has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According TCM along the body there are energy pathways, or meridians, where the body’s energy flows, similar to the blood circulation.
The energy (Ki in Japanese, Chi in Chinese), flows freely along the meridians like an interconnected network, supplying all parts of the body.
In our daily life many thing can cause blockages or weaknesses of this flow in different areas of the body. These may lead to physical or emotional symptoms. The energy no longer flows smoothly.
The shiatsu practitioner knows these energy pathways as well as the points (called tsubos in Japanese) that are located along the meridians all over the body. They are essentially areas of high conductivity and can be affected by finger pressure in shiatsu (or needles in acupuncture).
Why have a Shiatsu massage.
For a whole day, we really “do not stop” even for a moment. This is what day-to-day demands from us. The simple act of living implies movement.
When daily stress surpasses us, it may be reflected in our body in the form of blockage, discomfort or pain and a lack of energy.
Shiatsu is aimed to eliminate the blockages and allow the energy to flow freely again, helping us to recover our vitality and wellbeing.
Additionally it is a deeply relaxing experience.
Who&How can benefit?
People of all ages can receive Shiatsu massage as it has no harmful effect. The pressure applied is modulated so that the pleasant pain threshold is never crossed.
The massage can treat musculoskeletal and joint problems, sprains, arthritis, sciatica, neck and back pain, fertility problems, pregnancy, menstrual irregularities, insomnia, stress and many others.
Shiatsu also offers support and can moderate or help to manage chronic diseases helping the person to deal with the symptoms more easily.
It helps to regulate the autonomic nervous system activity and stimulates the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems so we feel ourselves more relax and full of energy.
What to expect from a Shiatsu massage. Done fully clothed.
The practitioner will take details of any medical conditions you are suffering from.
By applying pressure to specific points along the body, the Shiatsu practitioner identifies blockages and imbalances in the meridians.
Through the nerve system the pressure applied provokes reflexes in the internal organs, stimulating them to improve their function.
Shiatsu massage therapy uses some techniques that can be found in other treatments such as osteopathy, lymphatic drainage and physiotherapy. However, Shiatsu treatment principle is fingers and palms pressure combined with stretching and joint rotations.
One of the main differences of Shiatsu is that the whole body is treated in each session. Besides it is performed without oils through light comfortable clothing.
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Well, I hope this information has helped clarify what Shiatsu is.
But the clearest and simplest definition is, without a doubt, this in the words of Tokujiro Namikoshi:
“Shiatsu is like the love of a mother, the pressure on the body stimulates the source of life”.
What more can one add.
Carmen del Pozo
m: 0894791122 – e: email@example.com