Shiatsu massage is a form of Oriental therapy based upon the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. It promotes health and wellness, while improving the body’s own ability to heal itself. Many patients opt for Shiatsu massage for wellness because the technique works to improve a patient's overall health by affecting the internal energy system.
How shiatsu helps the body
Shiatsu massage therapy increases the body's vitality, energy and stamina. It helps target and treat a variety of health conditions, including but not limited to:
- Poor posture
- Joint problems
- Acute and chronic neck and back pain
Shiatsu is a beneficial type of massage for wellness because it releases toxins in the body and relieves muscle tension. The technique also stimulates the immune system and allows the patient to reduce stress. Some other immediate physical benefits include the regulation of the automatic nervous system activity and the stimulation of the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems of the body.
How the technique works
The methods used in Shiatsu practice are similar to those found in therapies like:
- Lymphatic drainage
However, Shiatsu practitioners believe physical health conditions and diseases result from blockages and imbalances in the qi — or life force energy — flow throughout the body. That differentiates the diagnosis and treatment used in the practice from some other massage therapy techniques, or modalities.
Shiatsu is sometimes called "Japanese physiotherapy." The method combines assisted-stretching techniques and acupressure to restore qi energy balance in the body. Shiatsu aids the patient in balancing the root causes of underlying medical conditions, while also accounting for psychological and physical health.
The method has some similarities to acupuncture in its focus on the meridians and acupoints, Shiatsu therapy treats certain points on the body but without the use of needles. Regular treatments can help a patient increase range of motion and improve coordination and mobility.
How to pursue a career in the field
A career as a Shiatsu therapist can be demanding but practitioners find it deeply rewarding. Massage therapy is a career that gives you the opportunity to go to work each day and help people. It also offers flexibility in scheduling and work location. Many Shiatsu massage therapists establish their own private practices. Others may pursue jobs in the medical or orthopedic arenas, or other specialty markets for massage. Spas and health clubs also employ Shiatsu therapists.
To prepare for a career in massage, the Acupuncture & Massage College’s program offers a comprehensive curriculum of techniques that includes Shiatsu. The program is designed for students seeking a career in the field of bodywork.
Students complete a specialization in Japanese Shiatsu, giving them a leg up in the job market after graduation.
The Massage Therapy program’s specialization enables students to develop experience working with a range of techniques within Asian systems of medicine. Students also complete courses in Swedish and medical massage and the biosciences.
For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department.