Shiatsu sounds simple enough. The word shiatsu literally means thumb and finger pressure, in Japanese- shi means the digits (thumbs and fingers) and atsu means pressure. The technique involves a trained practitioner pressing with digital or palm pressure on a pattern of points all over the body. Shiatsu relieves pain, promotes relaxation and gives people a wonderful sense of their own bodies.
Shiatsu can be especially effective in relieving cases of back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, whiplash, stiff neck and shoulders, headache, and insomnia. It speeds recovery and rehabilitation after illness or accident and it reduces the harmful effects of stress on the body. It also cultivates mental focus and concentration.
Shiatsu is not an oriental form of medicine, and it is not western medicine. Rather, it is classified as natural and preventive health care. There are so many chemicals and so much pollution these days.
Shiatsu as a therapy uses only the body’s own natural chemicals in healing, and causes no pollution at all. Shiatsu works for people of all ages and stages of life. It can soothe an infant, as well as ease the pain of aging.
Shiatsu is pretty amazing, but it is not magic. It is not some spaced-out New-Age spiritual therapy. It has nothing to do with meridian lines. There’s nothing occult or mystical or incomprehensible about it. Shiatsu theory is scientifically valid. It works for sound, concrete, scientific reasons.
Shiatsu works where it is needed because it stimulates your body to use its own forces the very best it can. It triggers the release of hormones and body chemicals necessary to heal, to soothe and to make your mind and body perform at their peak. That gives it an extraordinary range of operations. It sends its message to reach the different parts of the body through the largest sensory organ we have- the skin. Part of its effectiveness comes from the fact that it uses skin-to-skin contact in the form of human touch. This is a very basic human need that we have all too often forgotten in our mad rush towards bigger and better intellects and smaller and better microchips.
Touch is an important kind of communication. We need it in our healing, and we need it in maintaining our health.