You probably know that Shiatsu is one among several different types of massage therapy, but you may not know what the treatment entails. What is Shiatsu massage therapy exactly, and how does it help those who receive treatment? Shiatsu practice originated in Japan based on traditional Chinese medicine with elements of Western therapies, according to the Shiatsu Society. It amplifies the body's own ability to heal itself.
What is Shiatsu massage therapy and how does it work?
Shiatsu massage therapy relies on the use the fingers, thumbs and palm to apply pressure to various areas of the body’s surface to help heal common ailments and conditions, and correct imbalances in the body. Pressure applied to points on the body promotes energy flow and corrects disharmonies throughout the patient's body. In addition to being a deeply relaxing experience, Shiatsu helps relieve stress, treat pain and illness, and contributes to a patient's overall health and wellbeing.
Shiatsu regulates the automatic nervous system activity and stimulates the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems. Poor posture, joint problems, sprains, arthritis, sciatica, acute and chronic neck and back pain, sinusitis, and bronchitis are treatable with Shiatsu.
Who receives massage therapy and for what?
More than 39 million Americans received a massage in the last year, according to an annual survey commissioned by the American Massage Therapy Association. More than half — 53 percent — who discussed massage with their healthcare providers say their doctor recommended they get massage therapy. Massage has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate while increasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Shiatsu is among the types, or modalities, of massage therapy to choose from.
How is Shiatsu similar to or different from other techniques?
Shiatsu massage therapy uses techniques similar to those found in other treatment methods such as osteopathy, lymphatic drainage and physiotherapy. However, Shiatsu practitioners attribute physical health conditions and diseases to blockages and imbalances in the energy flow throughout the body, which differentiates its diagnosis and treatment from other massage therapy modalities.
How does Shiatsu help?
Shiatsu works to improve overall health by affecting the internal energy system. Therapy often results in increased range of motion and improved coordination. Used as either a primary or complementary therapy, Shiatsu combines assisted-stretching techniques and acupressure to restore muscle and bone structure.
AMC’s Massage Therapy program offers a specialization in Shiatsu, which enables students to develop experience working with a range of techniques within Asian systems of medicine. Students complete courses in Shiatsu, Swedish and medical massage. Graduates of the program receive both a Shiatsu Certification and a Massage Therapy Diploma.