Do you or a loved one suffer from chronic pain? Because mainstream pain medications can often have unpleasant side effects, many people are increasingly seeking options to help manage their chronic pain condition naturally. As a result, they are adding to their health care regimen ancient methods of healing like traditional Chinese medicine, meditation, herbal remedies, reiki and, of course, massage.
One of the benefits of Shiatsu massage therapy is how effective it can be for treating pain.
What does it mean to have chronic pain?
The National Institutes for Health defines chronic pain as any pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks, though it can persist much, much longer. Like acute pain, it may stem from an injury, but chronic pain continues long past the normal healing time for the initial injury.
Another cause of chronic pain may be an illness or a condition, such as fibromyalgia or endometriosis. In some people's cases, no known cause exists.
Chronic pain sufferers may experience additional challenging health problems, including:
- Sleep disturbance
- Decreased appetite
- Mood changes
Chronic pain often creates a vicious cycle, where the pain causes sleep disturbances, which result in mood swings, which creates fatigue, which makes pain harder to bear. And on and on....
Many people struggling to manage chronic pain find that holistic health remedies like massage help alleviate their symptoms. One of the benefits of Shiatsu massage therapy is that it can be effective in treating chronic pain.
How Shiatsu massage can help
Shiatsu massage involves using the fingers, palms, elbows and feet to manipulate the body at specific points along the body's meridians, depending on the patient's specific condition. Your practitioner may also use gentle tapping, kneading or stretching techniques to alleviate your pain during a Shiatsu session.
Your practitioner will do a comprehensive diagnosis before treating you to understand your medical history, the areas of the body you are experiencing pain and what underlying problems you may have. Shiatsu combines the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine with the Western sciences to help make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment.
Many studies have shown that massage helps reduce the intensity and duration of episodes of pain, making it helpful for treating many conditions. It also helps improve blood flow and release chemicals within the body that reduce stress and anxiety and elevate your mood — all good things for those who suffer chronic pain!
Other holistic and natural remedies can help with chronic pain. Those may include:
- Counseling or talk therapy
- Relaxation therapy
- Behavior modification
- Tai chi
Shiatsu massage is also great for treating many other common conditions, including headaches, sleep disturbances, stress and anxiety, muscle pain and stiffness, and pregnancy discomfort. Another one of the benefits of Shiatsu massage is that it also works wonders for general health and wellness.
Finding a Shiatsu practitioner
Massage therapists may have different specializations within their practice. When searching for a therapist online, use the keyword Shiatsu to find practitioners who specialize in the style of massage.
Don't be afraid to ask any therapist from whom you're considering getting a massage whether they have a Shiatsu certification or use Shiatsu methods. Check out schools of massage in your area that teach Shiatsu — they may run a community clinic or have resources to direct you to a local Shiatsu practitioner. The benefits of Shiatsu massage therapy are worth it.
The Acupuncture and Massage College offers Shiatsu massage at our community clinic in Miami. Call (305) 595-9500 to book an appointment today.