Shiatsu #01

WHAT IS SHIATSU?

Shiatsu is a form of hands-on therapy that originated in Japan. It is based on the traditional oriental theory that our energy (known as 'ki' in Japan, or 'chi' in China) runs through a system of channels (meridians) that are distributed throughout the body.

The meridians are linked so that ki can flow continuously, nourishing and vitalising us. When we are tired, stressed or ill, this is interpreted as an imbalance in ki. Shiatsu uses the power of touch to restore balance, relieve symptoms and increase our sense of wellbeing by strengthening the body's own ability to heal itself.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SHIATSU?

Shiatsu aims to treat the health of each person as a whole, rather than simply focusing on symptoms. It can help you to reach a deep level of relaxation, leaving you feeling calmer and less tense. Having a regular treatment can help to prevent and relieve the effects of stress.

Specific physical and emotional symptoms may also be eased as an outcome of this holistic approach, including headaches, insomnia, anxiety, back pain, digestive disorders and gynaecological problems.


WHAT HAPPENS DURING A TREATMENT?

Before having a shiatsu session you will be asked some questions to ensure that the treatment is appropriate for you. It is a safe, non-invasive form of therapy when given by a qualified practitioner.

When you receive shiatsu there is no need to remove your clothes, which many people find reassuring. The treatment is given with you lying at floor level, on a futon mat. Shiatsu can also be given on a stool or chair, which makes it a suitable therapy to receive in the workplace. Attention is paid to the whole body using a combination of pressure on specific areas, and stretching and rotation of the limbs. A session normally lasts from 45 minutes to an hour.