What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu originated in Japan and is a technique to activate the body and refresh the mind. With gentle pressure, stretching and rotation the whole body is touched and mobilized. Thus, connective tissue, muscles, tendons, joints and organs are carefully readjusted and metabolism is improved. This allows deep relaxation, allowing thoughts and emotions to float freely. The physical impulses help you rediscover your body and develop new ways to use it in a healthy way. Shiatsu is being practiced and further developed the world over.
What is Shiatsu for?
Shiatsu is ideal for prevention and supports the health of the entire body. No matter if you are young or old, a more dynamic person or feeling a little weak and slow, you can benefit from a Shiatsu session. Shiatsu re-establishes an improved self-perception and helps release stiffness or improper posture before it turns into a chronic disease. Thus, job-related strains are brought back into balance before they cause a headache, a stiff neck or back problems. Shiatsu can complement a conventional medical treatment and support rehabilitation after surgery or prolonged illness.
How Shiatsu is practiced?
Leading principles of Shiatsu are your well-being and a calm atmosphere. Any technique applied helps to calm you down and get into a flow of slow and continuous movements and impulses. Shiatsu is usually practiced on a mat on the floor. The patient is dressed comfortably in long, wide pants, a long-sleeved T-shirt or a sweater and fresh socks. The position on the floor can be supported with various cushions, if desired. The practitioner exerts pressure depending on your physical condition and sensitivity with palm, thumb, elbow or knee. During the course of the treatment the practitioner addresses your whole body. A Shiatsu treatment session takes about 60 minutes. To achieve a lasting effect, several treatments in a row are useful. A good rhythm is one hour per week.
A bit of theory
The base of this form of body work is the concept of energy paths (meridians) in Chinese medicine, which also plays an important role in acupuncture. If the flow of energy (qi) is unhindered, the body and spirit are in harmony and healthy. Congestions and blockades along the energy pathways are the causes of diseases. Shiatsu harmonizes the flow and the distribution of the energy in the body, thereby activating the natural power of the body’s resources.
What you should NOT expect from Shiatsu?
Shiatsu practitioners do not relocate limbs and are not the first contact for unexpected acute and serious diseases. For those symptoms, you should consult with your general practitioner or a specialist doctor first. As mentioned above, Shiatsu is an excellent complement for conventional medical treatment.
What kind of quality assurance exists for the practice of Shiatsu?
In Europe, country-specific organizations have formed to ensure solid training and examination regulations. These include the Shiatsu Society in Germany (www.shiatsu-gsd.de), the the Austrian Shiatsu Federation (www.shiatsu-verband.at) and the Swiss Shiatsu Federation (www.shiatsuverband.ch). There are numerous schools for Shiatsu. One of the few internationally organized ones is the European Shiatsu Institute or ESI (www.shiatsu.de).
In Japan, Shiatsu was officially recognized as an independent method of treatment in 1964 by the Japanese Health Authority. In Europe the EU Commission described Shiatsu in 1997 as one of eight methods that complement Western medicine. In addition to Shiatsu, homeopathy, acupuncture and chiropractic were also mentioned.
If you want to know more about Shiatsu, make an appointment and test it. Shiatsu is practice, not theory!