Shiatsu is a Japanese bodywork therapy that works with the vital channels or meridians carrying our ki, which is also known as chi or ‘life force’. Shiatsu works with the same principles as Traditional Chinese Medicine (and acupuncture also works with the meridian system). A treatment is performed on a futon on the floor with the client fully clothed, and although Shiatsu literally means ‘finger pressure’, the practitioner uses fingers, palms, elbows, knees, even feet to connect with the meridians.
Any action in the body uses ki – be it physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual. Different meridians are responsible for specific functions on all of these levels. Therefore, shiatsu can be very targeted for specific emotional/mental/spiritual conditions as well as physical. The aim of a treatment is to restore harmonious flow of ki throughout the body, hence promoting health and wellbeing. A treatment may include some advice on beneficial Ki Yoga postures and simple dietary suggestions to help maintain the new balance.
Shiatsu can assist in the treatment of most ailments. It works to harmonise workings of the body in general and therefore can support people to find a healthy balance whatever their condition. The Shiatsu Therapy Association of Australia lists the following as some of the conditions Shiatsu effectively assists with:
- Back, neck and shoulder pain
- Sports injuries
- Menstrual Issues
- Muscle Tension
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Stress Related Conditions