What is Shiatsu and what does it do?

Shiatsu is a relaxing and effective form of massage or bodywork using pressure points and gentle stretches to bring harmony to body and mind.

Shiatsu means ‘finger-pressure’ in Japanese. The practice originated in China and was developed in Japan, and has been used for centuries to promote health. Today, Shiatsu practitioners combine an understanding of pressure points and meridians with knowledge of modern Western anatomy and physiology, making Shiatsu a versatile treatment suitable for most people.

Shiatsu works with the same system of pressure points and meridians as acupuncture, but instead of using a needle the practitioner uses their thumb or finger to treat the points. Through these points and meridians, the body’s energy, ‘chi’ in Chinese or ‘ki’ in Japanese, is encouraged to flow more smoothly. During the treatment enjoyable stretches and movements stimulate the meridians while releasing stiff muscles and joints. These movements are a way of promoting flexibility while reducing pain and tension.

Shiatsu is an enjoyable way to relieve neck and back problems and to ease muscular tension. Shiatsu can also be helpful in treating many common complaints and chronic conditions, both physical and emotional. It helps you to reduce and manage stress and promotes deep healing relaxation.

Shiatsu is practiced fully clothed lying on a comfortable floor mat, giving support as well as space for movement.

Shiatsu treats the individual needs of each person and all treatments include a consultation.

Shiatsu is often used to help with

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Neck, shoulder and back pain
  • Muscular tension and pain
  • Stiff joints
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty relaxing or calming the mind
  • Care during pregnancy and after labour
  • Many chronic conditions


Shiatsu during pregnancy

Pregnancy and motherhood are healthy states, but ones which put new demands on your body and mind. Shiatsu is a way to respond to your needs. Shiatsu is safe and beneficial during pregnancy and you can have treatments at any stage. Preparing your body for pregnancy and restoring your balance after giving birth are also wonderful times to have a treatment.

Shiatsu works to support your body as it changes, so treatments during the first trimester are especially gentle. Since Shiatsu is used to help with digestive complaints and aches and pains it can be a gentle yet effective way to treat morning sickness and back pain. It can help you respond to the developments you experience during your pregnancy as it harmonises the flow of energy in your body.

Shiatsu and preventative health

You don’t need to have something wrong to benefit from a treatment. Shiatsu is preventative; it has been developed to maintain the individual’s wellbeing on energetic and physical levels. Regular Shiatsu can help to prevent imbalances from developing, whether an aching back or emotional strain. It is also a wonderful way to learn more about yourself and feel more in tune with your body and mind. Many people find that having Shiatsu every month helps them to stay feeling balanced in body and mind.

Shiatsu for the first time, or for a treat

Everyone has their own reason for trying Shiatsu. It may be a sore shoulder, feeling stressed, looking for relaxation, or because someone has bought you a gift certificate. Just as everyone’s path to Shiatsu is individual, so is every treatment. No two treatments are the same, even for the same person, and Shiatsu responds to the individual as they are on the day. If you give someone a Shiatsu treatment as a gift, their treatment will be designed around them.



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