About a month ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a couple who are shiatsu enthusiasts and love, love, love shiatsu so much that they continue to request shiatsu treatments almost weekly now. This is very exciting for me as a therapist because not many people request or inquire about shiatsu. It seems to have become a forgotten art of sorts, nowadays. I’m very grateful for this couple to have rekindled my interest in shiatsu treatment.
Shiatsu is a massage treatment originating from Japan. The premise is that all of our inherent energy, life force, or Qi (chi) is channeled though meridians along the body. By using finger pressure, palms, thumbs, feet, elbows, and various stretches and manipulations of these channels, Qi in the meridians is affected to promote healing, relaxation, and relieve stress.
The session begins with a hara assessment. Your hara is the area between the ribcage and the hips, which is palpated to assess your overall condition and health of your ying and yang energy. This will determine and dictate the protocol of your session. After your hara is assessed and the massage therapist has determined which meridians require the most attention, the session continues with stretching and acupressure along these points.
This is what makes shiatsu so fascinating; your treatment is continually changing and adapting to your current state of being. Shiatsu is by far the most artistic of modalities for this reason. As a practitioner, there are many approaches to any given state of Qi. It really keeps me on my toes!
Another aspect of shiatsu that makes it so wonderful is how adaptable it is. I recommend shiatsu to people who are very shy about disrobing because shiatsu is performed over clothing and not at all intrusive. For this reason, I also recommend this treatment for anyone who has never had a massage before.
My clients really feel that they have a better disposition and are deeply relaxed immediately after experiencing a session of shiatsu. The long lasting effects are that they are extremely energized and more productive throughout the entire week. The couple I regularly work on are always glowing from the last time I saw them!
I feel that everyone who is interested in massage should try shiatsu. It will be an experience you’ll always remember. Who knows? It may become your favorite treatment!