Shiatsu massage has gotten quite popular in recent years. There are many benefits to this type of massage, which has its roots in the ancient Chinese theory of medicine. Shiatsu can help people with a variety of conditions, as well as promote relaxation and well-being.
What is Shiatsu Massage?
Shiatsu is a type of massage that’s based on pressure points. The theory behind it is similar to acupuncture, except with Shiatsu there is no need for needles. The massage is done with the fingers, though in some cases the practitioner will use certain mechanical devices as an aid. This type of massage is also called acupressure, and it is similar to reflexology (where pressure points on either the hands or feet are stimulated).
The basic theory of Shiatsu, as well as acupuncture and reflexology, is that the human body contains many energy centers which are connected by channels known as meridians. The energy that flows through these meridians is called qi, sometimes spelled chi or ki. Qi is the universal life force, and in Chinese medicine illnesses occur when there is a lack of qi, or qi is out of balance.
Another aspect of Chinese medicine is that for a person to be healthy, yin and yang energy, roughly equivalent to masculine and feminine, must be balanced. By stimulating the body’s energy centers in a precise manner, the qi is stimulated and balance is restored to the body.
Practitioners of Shiatsu massage must learn the meaning of all the energy centers so they can treat specific conditions. During a session, the massage therapist may use a variety of techniques. These can include rubbing, kneading or circular motions. The amount of pressure exerted will vary depending on the purpose of the session.
Benefits of Shiatsu Massage
There can be many benefits to Shiatsu massage. Many people use it as a way to feel relaxed and rejuvenated, similar to why other types of massage are popular. This can be an effective way to loosen tight muscles, so it can be useful after a workout or strenuous activity.
Shiatsu can also be applied to help with certain health conditions. Although someone practicing massage cannot claim any particular medical benefits or cures, people often seek Shiatsu massages for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, digestive problems and constipation.
Others use Shiatsu as a way to maintain a youthful appearance. Stimulating the energy centers can help keep the skin looking its best. It also improves circulation throughout the body.
Where to Get a Shiatsu Massage
There are many Shiatsu massage therapists practicing today. Some of these may be found in spas. Massage schools sometimes offer sessions at reasonable prices to customers, though in this case you may be getting sessions with people still in training.
You may be able to find Shiatsu by certified therapists in your area who work independently. If there is a holistic healing center nearby, you can inquire with them. Shiatsu massage therapists may also be found by looking online and doing a search for your area.