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Shiatsu is a manual therapy developed in Japan in the beginning of the 20th century. It is a type of medical treatment. It is based on the theoretical framework of traditional Chinese medicine, on the concept of Tao, Yin and Yang and on the 5 elements.
One of the fundamental concepts is Qi (pronounced “chee”). This is the vital energy in our body that underlies all functioning. When the Qi becomes deficient or its flow is obstructed, symptoms arise. Shiatsu stimulates and harmonizes the flow of Qi throughout the body. It supports and strengthens the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself.
Actually, Shiatsu is a holistic therapy that works on physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual level. It looks for the primary cause of the imbalance. It harmonizes the body and the mind.
The practitioner may use a variety of manual techniques in order to access the vital Qi. It stabilizes the functions of the human body. It stimulates the blood circulation, the nervous system as well as the hormonal and immune systems.
It provides well-being, physical and mental health and heals many diseases such as:
– Back pain, osteoarthritis, arthritis, etc.
– General fatigue
– Sleeping troubles
– Sexual disorders
– Digestive disorders (colitis, constipation, vomiting, bloating …)
– Muscle tension
– Joint pain
– Difficulty breathing (asthma, colds, sinusitis, allergy)
– Water retention in tissues
– Psychological disorders such as stress, depression, anxiety, addictions, phobias, nervousness, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc…
In addition, this kind of therapy provides a real moral support. It allows people to identify their emotions and to be attentive to their needs. It unblocks the Qi energy and stimulates the self-defense. The practice of Shiatsu reduces stress, eliminates tension factors, promotes well-being, relaxation, balance, harmony of body and mind. The goal of Shiatsu is to correct the internal malfunction and to heal using the natural healing power of the person.
What happens in a Shiatsu session?
It is better if the patient wears light and comfortable clothing. Shiatsu is practiced on a mattress on the floor. In the beginning of the session the practitioner makes a health assessment. Afterwards he performs pressure on a series of specific points (tsubos) along the meridians.
The literal translation of Shiatsu is ‘finger pressure’, but the practitioner may apply pressure with his fists, elbows or knees depending on the degree of blockage.
The session often ends with a moment of rest.
No massage oil is required and a session lasts about 1,5 hours.
Precautions to take
Shiatsu does not pose any risk. However, it may be harmful for a person in case of open wounds, inflammation, contagious skin infections, bleeding, ulcers, fever, acute cardiac disorders or after surgery.
Shiatsu is the art of well-being which is accessible to all.
“… I think it is not our right but our duty to be healthy.”
In 1955, the Japanese Ministry of Health officially recognized Shiatsu as a preventative and therapeutic method. In May 1997, the European Union mentioned it as one of the 8 complementary and alternative medicine recognized in its 28 member states.