The Japanese word ’shiatsu’ means “finger pressure” and is
based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Fingers and palms are
mainly used, however sometimes knees, elbows and feet are used to apply firm but
gentle pressure to specific points on the body’s energy pathways (meridians) to
improve the flow of energy or “Qi” and balance the system where appropriate.
Shiatsu has some features in common with European style
massage and other forms of bodywork in that the use of physical pressure and
stretches serve to reduce muscular tension and loosen stiff joints.
The big difference between Shiatsu and European-style massage
is that the receiver remains clothed during the treatment. The principal aim of
Shiatsu is not to work on localised muscles and joints, but on the overall
energy system of the client. A Shiatsu practitioner working on a shoulder joint,
for example, will not just be focusing on the joint but on the pattern of energy
throughout the client's body.
Most often your physical aches and pains are simply the
external manifestation or surface ‘action’ required in meeting a deep underlying
need or psychological pattern. Shiatsu, whilst acknowledging and working with
the manifestation, ultimately aims to work on meeting the underlying cause or
need to eliminate the resultant action. If we are agreed that you would receive
added benefit through then this will be incorporated into the treatment.