If you've never tried shiatsu massage, you are missing a treat. Developed in Japan in the 1920s by Tokujiro Namikoshi, shiatsu massage is a finger pressure technique that involves a combination of pressing and rubbing.
Namikoshi developed the system to treat his mother's painful rheumatoid arthritis, and found that a combination of 80% pressure and 20% rubbing had the maximum benefit.
Shiatsu massage therapists use a variety of techniques including rubbing, tapping, squeezing, and of course gentle pressure, applied along the body's energy meridians.
These energy meridians are an integral part of eastern medicine, and relate to the flow of energy between the body's major organs. By applying pressure in the correct place it is possible to unblock the flow of energy (or Qi) and allow the body to naturally heal itself. Reiki and acupuncture also work on similar principles.
The benefits of this form of therapy are well established - not only is it profoundly relaxing, it can successfully treat a range of physical and mental conditions, including:
- Pain management
- Deep muscle and tissue relaxation
- Stress management
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced anxiety
Since it was introduced into the west in 1953 it has steadily grown in popularity, and today you will find therapists in most areas of the UK.
Why not try it for yourself? At very worst you will come out feeling relaxed and re-energised, but more than likely you will find it is able to help you deal with chronic pain or other conditions.