Shiatsu therapy was developed by the Japanese Toru Namikoshi. He merged traditional Asian massage techniques with Western massages. However Shiatsu is not a massage. Literally the word Shiatsu means finger pressure (shi=finger, acu=pressure). It is a pressure point technique, which is based on Ying and Yan, Zen Buddhism and the Five Elements theory; it is similar to acupuncture. During the treatment also palms, elbows, knees and soles also used for stronger pressurizing besides the fingers. No special equipment or oil required for the treatment.
The aim of Shiatsu therapyis to restore the energy flow of the body and to maintain balance. Energy shall be decreased at areas with high energy level, and energy shall be increased at areas with low energy level. The pressure point technique is complemented by pulling, tensioning and relaxing exercises. It is beneficial for the blood and lymphoid circulation and for the muscular system. Shiatsu therapy is very successfully applied in the case of visceral diseases. During the therapy the aim is to restore the oxygen saturation of the blood and to improve the oxygen supply of the organs. The treatment strengthens the immune system, improves metabolism operation, refreshes the mind and mental tension is eliminated. Shiatsu helps the body to kick-start its self-healing processes. According to Eastern philosophies the human body’s energy system consists of the followings:
- ether body
- astral or emotional body
- causal or spiritual body
Energy flow is the strongest through the spiritual channel. The seven main centres located in the spiritual channel are called the chakra.
Shiatsu was developed from anma, which was the Japanese version of the Chinese massage. It used to be practised by the blind for the treatment of general illnesses. In the western world it has started to spread for the last 20 years.