All About Shiatsu Massage

You probably have guessed it already. Yes, Shiatsu is a Japanese term which means ‘finger pressure.” It’s a form of massage therapy in which the masseuse applies pressure on specific points of the body, shifting from one point to another in succession.

Even though shiatsu traces its root to the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is common in many places across the globe. There’s a plethora of equipment such as cushions, neck massagers and massage chairs that can stimulate shiatsu. In fact, you can visit to check out some of the most sought after shiatsu massage chairs on the market.

Now, back to basics,

 How Does Shiatsu Work?

As stated, Shiatsu applies pressure to points on the body connected to pathways referred to as meridians. It stimulates these points and in turn, promotes the body to generate vital energy (also called “chi”). The therapy also facilitates healing.

While it’s unclear how and why Shiatsu improves health, scientists say it calms down the sympathetic nervous system. In effect, this results in increased circulation, lower stress levels, and pain relief.

 What Does Shiatsu Feel Like?

A therapist will use his or her fingers, thumbs or palms to perform Shiatsu . He or she will apply pressure on a specific body point for a maximum of eight seconds before moving to other parts in rhythmic sequence. Most of the time, the pressure points will feel tender.

Those who’ve ever received Shiatsu say this tenderness feels more or less like “good pain.” Nonetheless, it is essential that you notify your therapist if you feel pain or discomfort during the massage session. Your therapist will then change the pressure to make it as comfortable as possible.

Shiatsu is typically carried out on a mat on the floor or a massage table. However, paying a therapist can be quite expensive not to mention that not everyone has the time to attend the sessions. By design, a shiatsu massage chair works on your body points using the same action as a therapist’s fingers and palms. In essence, it saves you time (and money) while giving you the same results.

What are the benefits of Shiatsu ?

Practicing shiatsu on a regular basis comes with a host of health benefits including;

  • Reducing stress
  • Promoting better sleep
  • Regulating menstruation cycles
  • Helping deal with sinus problems
  • Lessening the intensity of neck and shoulder pain
  • Pain relief from headaches
  • Preventing premenstrual syndrome

Other than that, Shiatsu also increases your energy levels, stimulates your digestive system and promotes recovery from injuries.

 Is Shiatsu Safe?

Yes, but you have to take the necessary precautions. You may not be fit to practice Shiatsu if;

  •  You’re pregnant
  • You have recently undergone radiation or chemotherapy
  • You have  heart disease
  • You have osteoporosis
  • You have blood clotting disorders

Also, you should not perform Shiatsu over inflamed skin, bruises, tumors, unhealed wounds, areas recuperating from recent fractures and abdominal hernia. Avoid abdominal massage if you have leg stents. If you have an infectious skin disease or have recently undergone surgery, Shiatsu may not be fit for you.

 The Bottom Line

If your stress levels remain unchecked, they can have an adverse impact on your health, increasing the risk of conditions such as insomnia or heart disease. However, with Shiatsu as part of your wellness plan, you can live a healthy, productive life.