Shiatsu is a comprehensive form of healing bodywork that works on all levels – physical, psychological and emotional. Shiatsu originated in Japan from Traditional Chinese Medicine theories of understanding the body and literally means “finger pressure”.
This gentle, yet powerful form of remedial bodywork combines some of the best features of Acupuncture, but without the needles. Instead fingers, thumbs, palms and elbows are used on acupressure points to stimulate the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. Massage, passive rotations and stretching of joints, used alone or combined, are also an important part of the therapy.
Shiatsu works on the body’s vital life energy, known as "Ki" in Japanese or "Chi" in Chinese, which flows through the body along channels known as meridians. For many reasons the energy can stop flowing freely; this can then produce symptoms and eventually disease. The aim of Shiatsu is to address the cause of an imbalance rather than focusing on the symptoms alone, symptoms are seen as evidence of an energetic imbalance. Re-balancing the healthy flow of energy has a powerful effect on health and well-being and thus helps the body to heal from injuries and illness.
The techniques of Shiatsu also help the body to release endorphins which act like natural morphine to the brain, thereby reducing pain and improving the circulation of oxygen in the blood.