Shiatsu is traditionally practiced on a futon on the floor but some therapists may also work on a table. Effectively shiatsu involves acupressure, stretching, tonification and dispersal techniques throughout the whole body. If appropriate treatment may also involve moxa, cupping or application of therapeutic ointments, as in the case of injuries etc. – These techniques are also traditionally used in Chinese Medicine.
Treatment begins with an assessment inquiring into history, presenting symptoms, and broader holistic perspectives before palpatory work begins. Recipients are encouraged to where loose fitting or comfortable clothing.
Shiatsu helps us strengthen our core and center, the source of our energy and life, while at the same time re-integrating the sections of our body that may have become energetically blocked or disconnected. The practitioner uses his hands, fingers, thumbs, elbows, knees and general body weight to apply pressure over various areas and points. Pressure and comfort are always gauged with open feedback throughout the session, that is if the receiver hasn’t already fallen asleep in response to touch. Effects of a treatment are usually akin to feeling relaxed, energised, lighter and more physically attuned and connected. Its like being re-acquainted with some degree of your whole bodied vitality, while also promoting greater mindfulness and clarity of purpose.
As a safe non-invasive therapy, the basic quality and tenant of shiatsu, which differentiates it from other body work techniques is that of “natural support”; one human being or “figure” supporting another. This is aptly depicted by the Japanese character for “Human”, where one character rests on another. Each supports the other through motion and transference of body weight, while always working from a center of gravity, energy and motion. Much like how a baby crawls or tiger cat moves from it’s center.