Shiatsu is a body and energy massage developed in Japan approximately 100 years ago, which is used, in conjunction with Western manual techniques, on the clothed body. Shiatsu originates from the ancient history of Asian medicine. It is based on the philosophy of Yin and Yang, and is complemented by the ‘five elements’ of Asian medicine: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each meridian or energy path in or on the body has yin or yang character and is associated with one of the five elements. In the course of the Westernization of Japan, shiatsu was placed in a more anatomical context. The ‘Zen Shiatsu’ developed by Shitsuto Masunaga, which is now widespread in the West, combines traditional Japanese Shiatsu with Western physiology and psychology.
The term ‘Shiatsu’ consists of the words ‘Shi’ (‘finger’) and ‘Atsu’ (‘pressure’). However, in Shiatsu, not only thumb and finger pressure are used, but primarily palm pressure, and also pressure applied by elbows, knees, and feet.
Traditionally, Shiatsu is practiced on a comfortable floor mat. A newer, couch-based variation of shiatsu, has also arisen in recent years.
Depending on the need and condition of the body, shiatsu can be experienced on a spectrum from deeply relaxing to invigorating. It can be undertaken during a lunch-break, as part of the working day. It has a balancing effect on the vegetative nervous system.
For specific health problems and diseases, Shiatsu is an effective support and accompaniment, in addition to medical or healing care and therapy. Shiatsu does not replace the visit to the doctor.
Shiatsu has been particularly successful in the treatment of back pain and discomfort, neck tension and pain of all kinds, joint problems, heart problems, restlessness and sleep disorders. Shiatsu also has a beneficial effect on internal disorders. It supports the immune system, and can function well in the management of stress, particularly when used in seven-day, 14-day, or 21-day treatments. Shiatsu is much appreciated by people who are facing special requirements in both work and family life.
Shiatsu is an effective companion for personal developmental processes, as well as a body-oriented guide to psychotherapies. Shiatsu promotes the ability to perceive both inner and outer space.
special area of Shiatsu is Shiatsu accompanying pregnancy. The unborn, small being in the mother's body can appreciate and recognise the touch of Shiatsu. Additionally, the deep relaxation of the mother usually immediately affects the activities in the womb. In this situation, the best prerequisite for energy flow between the mother and the baby is created, thus providing for the child's best nourishment, at every level.
Shiatsu is a very individual and personal gift idea. For a birthday, a feast day, or simply to give the gift of deep relaxation.