The shiatsu massage is an alternative practice that was first developed in China over two thousand years ago. It was later adapted by the Japanese and today also includes Western influences.
Shiatsu massage is derived from the Japanese meaning 'finger pressure.' Shiatsu massage follows the same principles as acupuncture but without the use of needles.
Pressure is applied to points on the body to help improve the circulation of the blood and lymph vessels. It is based on the belief that the human body contains a 'life force' or energy known as chi.
This energy travels along certain lines in the body known as meridians. If you suffer stress or trauma, your chi may become blocked and be unable to travel correctly around your body. This can lead to aches and pains as well as other forms of illness. The body consists of a basic system of twelve meridians. Each of these meridians is associated with an organ, although they effect other areas as well. Through the power of touch, this ancient therapy can help the body to use its own natural healing methods.
Though in some ways similar to Western massage, the principle difference lies in using the application of pressure and manipulation of specific points to get the chi flowing again. It is not a treatment that is directed at a particular disease but rather deals with the body as a whole. Practitioners hold that the mind, body and spirit are all interconnected. They believe that maintaining the correct balance in the body by keeping your life energy moving helps to deal with the stress and tension modern life may cause.