What is shiatsu?
Shiatsu is a unique, non-invasive therapy designed to stimulate the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. Literally translated, the Japanese word shiatsu means “finger pressure.” Shiatsu therapy involves the systematic application of manual pressure to the body in order to assess and treat a variety of conditions. Shiatsu treatments have a regulatory influence on the autonomic nervous system, thereby improving organ function and reducing muscle tension.
Shiatsu therapy is a distinctly Japanese contribution to holistic healthcare and has evolved out of 3,500 years of oriental medical wisdom. It is founded upon the same principles as acupuncture, although no needles are used. It also incorporates the modern Western sciences of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Shiatsu therapy has been fully incorporated into the modern public healthcare system of Japan, and has been regulated as a distinct therapy by the Japanese Ministry of Health since 1964.
Shiatsu therapy is effective in the management of many acute and chronic conditions including:
- back pain
- neck and shoulder pain
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- thoracic outlet syndrome
- repetitive strain injuries
- muscle tension and spasm
- digestive problems
- menstrual problems
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- anxiety and depression
- sports injuries
People of all ages, including infants and children, experience lasting, beneficial results from therapeutic shiatsu treatment. Shiatsu therapy is an important part of a preventative or rehabilitative health care program.
After treatment, most people experience relief from their discomforts–relief from pain, increased flexibility, calmer mood, and clearer mind. Many people find that deep, restful sleep comes more easily for several nights. A small percentage of people may feel tired or headachy for a few hours, or may temporarily experience minor localized muscle stiffness. This is a normal reaction to the treatment as the body readjusts and rebalances and will pass within 1 to 3 days.
Your CST® (Certified Shiatsu Therapist™) will recommend a treatment program that is suited to your needs. Normally, you will feel relief from your complaint with one treatment but a series of treatments is usually recommended so that the root of your problem can be addressed. Acute problems usually require 2-5 treatments; chronic problems usually require 5-10 treatments, or more. Treatments are usually taken once a week and treatment effects are cumulative.