The literal meaning of the Japanese word Shiatsu is “finger pressure”. Shiatsu practitioners use hand and finger pressure and stretching techniques to stimulate the body’s innate internal energy to help produce a sense of well-being and, and maintain good health.
Background to Shiatsu
The basic principles underlying Shiatsu is that “qi,” or vital energy, flows throughout the body in a series of channels called meridians. For many different reasons qi can stop flowing freely and this then produces a symptom.
The treatment you receive will depend upon your general state of health, the symptoms you are experiencing and, depending on your constitution and general energy levels, a variety of techniques will be used to improve your energy flow. These may include gentle holding, pressing with palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees and feet on the meridians and, when appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches.
As the quality of qi changes, the symptoms associated with a lack of flow will gradually improve. Shiatsu is a therapy that works on you as a complete being, not just the physical body but also on an emotional and/or mental level.
What to expect in a session
Each session lasts approximately one hour. The first session may be slightly longer since we will take a detailed case history to develop a complete picture of your health according to the principles of oriental medicine.
The session usually takes place on a padded mat or futon at floor level, although it is possible to receive Shiatsu sitting on a chair if you are unable to lie down. During the treatment you will stay fully clothed. Following a treatment, there can be a feeling of increased vitality and you may feel invigorated yet relaxed.
Guidelines for receiving Shiatsu
Please bring or wear loose, warm, comfortable clothing, preferably cotton, e.g. sweatshirt, tracksuit trousers and cotton socks.
Do not eat heavily in the two hours prior to treatment.
Do not drink alcohol before or after treatment.
After treatment drink plenty of water to smooth the flow of changes through the system.
If at all possible avoid strenuous or stressful activities after your session.