Shiatsu : a brief overview
The Origins of Shiatsu
Shiatsu’s historical roots are firmly set within traditional Chinese medicine, roots which stretch back thousands of years. By the tenth century A.D., as a result of trade with the main land, Japan had absorbed many of the principles of Chinese medicine. An amalgamation of palm healing, spot pressing and massage known as ‘Amma’, was combined with ‘Do-In’ (a form of self massage and stretching), creating the foundation of present day Shiatsu. Early in the 20th century, in the aftermath of World War II, a few Amma therapists revitalized their therapy by incorporating new manipulative techniques from the West. This new system was named ‘Shiatsu’ – “finger pressure”. Only in the latter part of the last century did Shiatsu arrive in the Western world, where it has established itself a firm and forward place amongst natural health therapies.
The Role Of Qi : Health and Dis-ease
This Asian heritage is reflected in the way Shiatsu views the client. Rather than addressing the client as a mere collection of separate components, Shiatsu strives for a deeper more comprehensive view. The psychophysical structure is seen as a constantly moving energetic pattern, flowing and ebbing not only with a unique personal rhythm but also influenced by the time of day, the time of year and the geographic environment. This energetic pattern, known as ‘Qi’, ‘Ki’ or ‘Chi’, flows in and around all areas of the body through electro-magnetic channels known as ‘meridians’, nourishing every nerve and blood vessel, affecting each and every body structure, each and every body cell. Along the length of these meridians are electromagnetically charged areas or pressure points known as ‘tsubo’. (In the West we would call these ‘trigger points’.)
All illness, all dis-ease comes form the same source – and imbalance of Qi within the body. With a healthy balance of energy, the formation of disability or disease is prevented. Conversely, if the self healing power of an attuned energy flow is lacking, no amount of physical intervention ( such as drug therapy or surgery) will provide lasting relief. Such symptomatic efforts fail to connect with this core energy flow.
The Essence of Shiatsu
Touch is the essence of Shiatsu. Through the medium of touch the experienced Shiatsu practitioner is able to activate innate self healing processes within the recipient, heightening a sense of wellbeing in body, mind and spirit. An undisturbed flow of Qi promotes both efficient functioning of the body and good health. Working with the client, the focus of treatment is on facilitating the removal of blockages in the flow of Qi. This accomplished by massaging, stretching and applying pressure to the meridians and tsubo.
All of us have direct experience with such blockages which also have accompanying emotional and behavioural patterns. At lower levels of severity this impeded energy may manifest as physical tension: stiff shoulders, lower back pain, headache, digestive disorder, menstrual complications; the list is long. Pain is the most common indicator of an energy distortion. The longer this impeded flow is ignored, the more sever these symptoms will become. Given enough neglect, an acute condition can evolve into a chronic one. The aim of receiving Shiatsu is to improve your state of well being and address the cause(s) of these symptoms.
Need I be Ill to Consider Treatment?
Not at all. The beauty of this therapy is that it is quite versatile, effective for a wide range of conditions, from the mildly acute to the debilitatingly chronic. Centuries of Asian medical practice have demonstrated the effectiveness of this form of treatment for blocked energy, thereby relieving persistent symptoms. It is especially effective for stress related conditions. But one need not be ill to experience and enjoy the benefits of a Shiatsu treatment. Touch is a physiological necessity, it is a fundamental human need. Your therapist aims to fulfill this need, working on the principle that touching in a caring manner promotes self healing in the recipient. The majority of recipients find Shiatsu a powerful, relaxing and grounding experience. Used in a preventive manner, Shiatsu will maintain a more balanced energy flow and keep your renewed health at its peak, giving you a sense of well being and direction in life.
To experience the benefits of Shiatsu, contact me via my webpage to arrange an appointment.