Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork. It is based on the same principles of acupuncture and is aimed at relieving physical and emotional tensions and achieving better health and wellbeing.

What does it feel like?

The translation of the word Shiatsu from Japanese is “finger pressure”. The practitioner moves along the entire body while applying pressure with his fingers/thumb in a continuous and rhythmic way. Shiatsu is not painful in a way that a deep tissue massage can be, yet it is still deep enough to be felt.

There are no oils involved and the patient is fully clothed during the session.

How does it work?

Imagine your body is made up of motorways and roads (just like it’s made up of a network of blood vessels). Your pain/illness is like a traffic jam on the motorway. Traffic is stuck, and it’s painful and frustrating.

The principles of Shiatsu serve as a road map that gives the practitioner access to those motorways and roads in order to get the traffic to flow again, thereby easing your pain and stress and achieving better health.

Which conditions does Shiatsu help with?

Shiatsu can help with a number of physical and emotional issues.

  • It releases muscle tension, therefore reducing pain, such as neck and shoulder pain for example.
  • Shiatsu is highly relaxing and helps with issues like anxiety and depression.
  • Since shiatsu reaches a deeper therapeutic level than massage and works on the same principles as acupuncture does, it can also help with other conditions, like insomnia and Premenstrual Syndrome.

What are the contraindications to Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a very safe technique and does not involve any manipulation or deep and aggressive methods. However it should be avoided in certain situations.

  • If you have a severe disease, you should consult your doctor before getting Shiatsu. If your doctor is not familiar with Shiatsu, ask if you can get massage and acupuncture treatments, and if so, Shiatsu is fine.
  • Shiatsu should be avoided during acute illness with fever.
  • Shiatsu should be avoided if you have high blood pressure, heart rhythm trouble or diabetes, and these are not controlled.
    • Areas of your body with local open wounds, recent scars, inflammation, varicose veins etc. will be avoided during the treatment and are local contraindications. Please let your therapist know and mention all such areas. They may be hidden by clothing and invisible to the therapist who, once informed, will not touch or press them. 

What research says about Shiatsu 

Follow this link to see current and published research in the field of Shiatsu therapy.