Tag Archives: Zen Shiatsu

Shiatsu of Namikoshi and Masunaga

Shiatsu

Shiatsu being applied to the Yu points.

Shiatsu (pronounced shee-at-soo, from shi, meaning finger, and atsu, meaning pressure), originated in Japan and was recognised, by the Japanese Government, as a separate and distinct therapy. The first known reference to shiatsu is thought to have been in the 1915 book, by Tenpaku Tamai, Shiatsu Ryoho.

According to the Japanese medical department of the Ministry of Welfare –  “Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and palm of one’s hand to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses.” — December, 1957.

 

There are two main schools of Shiatsu: Namikoshi style and Masunaga (Zen) style.

 

Namikoshi Style

In 1940, Tokujiro Namikoshi founded the Japan Shiatsu College and systematised a form of shiatsu therapy based on Western anatomy and physiology. Namikoshi’s system of shiatsu is defined by the application of pressure using the fingers, palms the thumbs on points that are related to the central and autonomic nervous systems with the aim of preventing and curing illness by stimulating the body’s natural powers of recuperation and promoting general good health.

Diagnosis and treatment are combined with the hands and fingers of the therapists being sensitive enough to detect abnormalities in the skin or muscles, or body heat on contact, being able to pinpoint these irregularities and determine a treatment plan.

Holistic in nature, Namikoshi Shiatsu treats the whole body as well as focusing on any localised areas that require additional attention.

 

Masunaga, or Zen, Style

Zen Shiatsu was developed by Shizuto Masunaga (1925 – 1981) who was born into a family of Shiatsu practitioners. After graduating in Psychology from Kyoto University, he went on to graduate from the Japan Shiatsu College (1959) and went on to teach Psychology at there. Masunaga studied traditional shiatsu methods alongside the classic oriental medical texts, integrating these with western psychology. Masunaga went on to open his own Shiatsu school in Tokyo, the Iokai Shiatsu Centre. He integrated the traditional methods with western physiology, and went on to develop the extension of the classical meridians to cover the whole body along with a coherent theory to back his approach.

Masanuga, recognized extensions of the acupuncture channels in the arms and legs (known as the supplementary meridians). He thought that shiatsu should be holistic and involve the whole body. Zen Shiatsu requires the practitioner to be focused and sensitive to the Ki, and use both hands during treatment, the “mother” hand providing support and connection while the other hand treats by applying pressure to the tsubos (points).

In both styles the essence of shiatsu is that diagnosis and Treatment are combined.

Shiatsu was one of the eight disciplines named in the Collins Report adopted by the European Parliament in 1997 (European Parliament 1997) which called for steps to regulate complementary therapy practice.

 

Some of the conditions that respond well to Shiatsu:

  • Headaches
  • Migraine
  • Back Ache
  • Stiffness
  • Neck & Shoulder Pain
  • Panic Attacks
  • Palpitations
  • Stress
  • Digestive Disorders

Shiatsu is done at floor level on a futon mat. The recipient remains fully clothed and loose, comfortable, clothing preferably should be worn.

 

Therapist info

Shiatsu neck stretch technique.

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Lifelines, Dingwall

Jane Harper, Cornwall

Pro Holistic Shiatsu, Lanarkshire Pro Holistic provide Shatsu, Sports Injury treatment, Stress Management & Qigong form their clinic in East Kilbride.

 

 

Resources

Further information on Shiatsu including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Shiatsu please contact us with the details.

 

Please note that Holistic-Pages.com makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness.
Holistic-Pages.com is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.

Comparison of Zen Shiatsu and Five Element Theory

Comparison of Zen Shiatsu and Five Element Theory

The central concept of Oriental Medicine is all physical disease is the result of disruption/obstruction in the flow of Qi (intrinsic energy).

Zen Shiatsu

 

zen shiatsu - masunaga shiatsu

Zen Shiatsu operates on the theory/concept of Kyo and Jitsu within the meridian system of the body.  The terms Kyo and Jitsu are used to describe the quality of the Qi in the meridians and acupoints.  Kyo means empty, depleted, or hypo and can be associated with the Chinese concept of Yin whereas Jitsu means full, in excess, or hyper and can be associated with Yang.

As with the Yin and Yang theory, Kyo and Jitsu are relative descriptions of Qi and one cannot exist without the other.  Kyo being the underlying cause of the illness and tends to be covert, while Jitsu is manifest as the effect and is generally overt.

When a diagnosis is carried out using Zen techniques (ie. Asking, listening, hearing and observing) on the Hara or the Yu points the object is to find the dynamic between the meridians and this is generally manifest as being between the most Kyo and most Jitsu meridians.  Once the diagnosis is complete the treatment is decided on, normally the Jitsu meridian is sedated and the Kyo meridian tonified.  The exception to this is when the patient is chronically Kyo in which case sedation is not carried out.

This method of working can also be carried out within a single meridian when, if the overall diagnosis of that meridian is Jitsu, any Kyo points can be tonified and filled by transferring the Qi from the Jitsu to the Kyo.  It a may also be found that there are Jitsu points within a predominantly Kyo meridian and, once again, the Qi can be transferred and balanced within that particular meridian.

Zen Shiatsu also has meridians which are supplementary to the TCM ones and Masunaga’s Shiatsu recognises twelve meridians in the arms and twelve in the legs.

 

Five Element Theory within Shiatsu

Five Element Theory - shen / ko diagram

Five Element Theory also works with the principal of empty (Yin) and full (Yang) points but expands the concept/theory of Yin and Yang so that there are defined qualities of Qi for each Element and the need to relate one quality with another (Yin needs Yang and vice versa) is gone.

The Five Elements (Qualities) are descriptive of the quality of Qi as it changes from Yin to Yang and then back.  It follows the cycle of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood……… then back to Fire.  Each meridian is associated with one of these Elements and as such it is placed in the cycle.  For example, the Metal Element is made up of the Lung and Large Intestine meridians.  This is further broken down within the Element and the meridian pair is split into Yin and Yang.  In the case of the Metal Element, Lung meridian is Yin while Large Intestine is Yang.

The Five Element system is made up of the creative, or Shen, cycle which works on a mother to son basis following the previously described cycle.  When using the Five Element Theory for treatment, three meridians are worked on (Triad).  There is also a control, or Ko, cycle in which one of the Elements has a direct controlling influence over the other: Fire – ko – Metal, Earth – ko – Water, Metal – ko – Wood, Water – ko – Fire, Wood – ko – Earth.

On the Shen cycle, Yang feeds Yang and Yin feeds Yin.  On the Ko cycle Yang controls Yin and Yin controls Yang.

Once a diagnosis has been completed the associations between the symptoms/observations and the diagnosis are noted.  A composite diagnosis is then carried out, the meridians that are to be worked are decided, a plan of treatment is decided and, finally, the treatment is carried out.  On the face of it, The Five Element system appears to be much more complex but it is really straight forward.  It also strengthens the treatment by having a third meridian assist in the rebalancing of the other two.

Examples

  1. If you took the example of someone who was found to be LU Jitsu and KD Kyo, using Zen Theory you would simply sedate LU and tonify KD.  However, using Five Element Theory you could sedate LU, tonify KD and tonify SI, or TH, using the Ko cycle to control LU.
  2. Another example could be of a client who showed KD Jitsu and LU Kyo (the opposite of the previous example).  Using Zen Theory it would be a case of sedating KD and tonifying LU.  If Five Element Theory was used you could sedate KD, tonify LU and tonify ST, utilising the Ko cycle to control KD.If, for example, the client was chronically Kyo and alternative treatment plan (using the Five Element Theory) would be to leave KD, tonify ST to control KD, tonify LU and, lastly, tonify SP to bolster LU through the Shen cycle.

There is compatibility between the two systems that can be seen when using the Five Element treatment method.  If you find Jitsu within a Kyo meridian you can simply use Zen Theory to move Qi from one part of the meridian to another.

Acupressure and Shiatsu Medical Trials

Acupressure and Shiatsu Medical Trials

In the interests of raising awareness of the effectiveness of Shiatsu and Acupressure, I have listed some of the acupressure and shiatsu medical trials that have been carried out.  If you know of any more I would appreciate it if you could add to the list.

The effects of acupressure on primary dysmenorrhea.

Effect of acupressure at the Sanyinjiao point on primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized controlled trial.

Acupressure to reduce labor pain: a randomized controlled trial.

[Effects of Nei-Guan acupressure on nausea, vomiting and level of satisfaction for gynecological surgery patients who are using a patient-controlled analgesia].

Effect of acupressure on thirst in hemodialysis patients.

Acupressure using ondansetron versus metoclopramide on reduction of postoperative nausea and vomiting after strabismus surgery.

A randomized clinical trial of the efficacy of applying a simple acupressure protocol to the Taichong point in relieving dysmenorrhea.

Effects of acupressure on menstrual distress in adolescent girls: a comparison between Hegu-Sanyinjiao matched points and Hegu, Zusanli single point.

Effects of SP6 acupressure on pain and menstrual distress in young women with dysmenorrhea.

Acupressure for primary dysmenorrhoea: a systematic review.

Cardiovascular benefits of acupressure (Jin Shin) following stroke.

Effectiveness of acupressure for residents of long-term care facilities with insomnia: a randomized controlled trial.

Complementary medicine for the management of chronic stress: superiority of active versus passive techniques.

Shiatsu as an adjuvant therapy for schizophrenia: an open-label pilot study.

Effects of Meridian acupressure for stroke patients in Korea.

The potential of complementary and alternative medicine in promoting well-being and critical health literacy: a prospective, observational study of shiatsu.

Stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point P6 for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting.

Efficacy of wrists overnight compression (HT 7 point) on insomniacs: possible role of melatonin?

Efficacy of HT 7 point acupressure stimulation in the treatment of insomnia in cancer patients and in patients suffering from disorders other than cancer.

The effectiveness of shiatsu: findings from a cross-European, prospective observational study.

Cochrane systematic reviews examine P6 acupuncture-point stimulation for nausea and vomiting.

The effects of shiatsu on post-term pregnancy.

The use of motion sickness bands to control nausea and vomiting in a group of hospice patients.

Effects of SP6 acupressure on labor pain and length of delivery time in women during labor.

The effects of shiatsu: findings from a two-country exploratory study.

Continuous PC6 wristband acupressure for relief of nausea and vomiting associated with acute myocardial infarction: a partially randomised, placebo-controlled trial.

Acupoints massage in improving the quality of sleep and quality of life in patients with end-stage renal disease.

Shiatsu Bodywork

Shiatsu Bodywork

Shiatsu has its roots in the Chinese healing systems. It was later adopted and developed by the Japanese after the introduction of Chen (Zen) Buddhism, aspects of Chinese philosophy and culture, and Chinese medicine into Japan in the Sixth Century.  It incorporates a meditative approach to the healing process where the practitioner, through experience and with the proper training cultivates sensitivity to the movement of Ki by increasing his/her listening skill.

Zen Shiatsu bodywork is used to treat chronic ailments as well as promoting health, wellbeing and the ability to fight off illness.  Treatment consists of two main tools, sedation and tonification of the meridians and points. With sedation the object is to prepare the Ki for movement, and this is done through a series of joint rotations, stretches, rubbing and palming. tonification is the attraction of the mobilised Ki by using pressure on the meridians and points (tsubos), with this pressure being applied using the thumbs, fingers, elbows and the knees.  Shiatsu therapy is usually given at floor level on a futon. Unlike some other forms of body therapy, Shiatsu is carried out with the client fully clothed and without the application of oils, etc.

Shiatsu for health and wellbeing

Shiatsu for health and wellbeing

Shiatsu (pronounced shee-at-soo) is a Japanese word meaning finger pressure and is the name created early in the 20th century for this gentle, efficient, healing technique. The Japanese Government recognised Shiatsu as a valuable part of their health system over 60 years ago.  Here, in the West, we have only recently started to appreciate Shiatsu and it has now been recognised by the European Parliament and included in the European Register of Non-Conventional Medical Disciplines.

Shiatsu has some of its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine and it is a blend of Chinese acupuncture and the Japanese system of Anma (massage).  It is sometimes referred to as “Acupressure” but this is an inaccurate description as Shiatsu has so much more to offer. The practitioner may use fingers, thumbs, elbows and even knees to apply pressure on the tsubos (acupuncture points) as well as incorporating gentle stretches and manipulations.

These stretches, combined with the use of the tsubos, has the effect of stimulating the circulatory system and the lymphatic system, it works on both divisions of the autonomic nervous system, helps to release tension in the muscles, and can also stimulate the hormonal system. Shiatsu usually leaves a feeling of well-being and calmness, of being more in touch with one’s body and self.
Findings from the European Shiatsu Federation research study carried out by Professor Andrew Long at the University of Leeds.

 

The Experience and Effects of Shiatsu: A Cross-European Study.

  • 89% of Shiatsu receivers felt calmer and more relaxed.
  • Up to 60% of regular shiatsu receivers slept better.
  • Receivers rated their symptoms as significantly reduced throughout the 6 month study.
  • 86% said that shiatsu was effective in treating stress and tension, structural and postural problems, low energy and fatigue.
  • Overall, Shiatsu receivers adopted a more relaxed, healthier and balanced approach to life.
  • Reduced use of conventional medicine.

Shiatsu Therapy

Shiatsu Therapy

SHIATSU (meaning “finger pressure”) – is a Japanese therapy whose roots can be traced back to Chinese medical traditions and the Japanese massage know as Amna. Shiatsu combines Western knowledge of anatomy and physiology with the wisdom of, ancient, Eastern philosophy, employing techniques of manual pressure (using  the fingers, thumbs & elbows) while also employing stretching to release muscular tension and stress.
There are a number of conditions that Shiatsu can benefit.  These include: arthritic pain, menstrual irregularities, insomnia, muscular tension, muscular pain, digestive problems, anxiety, stress, and headaches.

By using sensitive, yet deep, pressure, applied to the tsubos (acupuncture points) along the meridians (the body’s energy pathways) Shiatsu induces a state of deep relaxation that allows the body’s natural healing mechanisms function more efficiently.  It is well documented that stress & tension are detrimental to health and the operation of the immune system.
Shiatsu is, traditionally, given at floor level, on a futon.  However, there are new techniques that allow for treatment to be carried out on a therapy chair or couch.  The client is normally fully clothed during treatment and no oils, etc. are used.
Shiatsu can be used to treat people with specific ailments but the real beauty of this healing system is that it is most efficacious when received on a regular to keep the receiver in a good state of health and wellbeing.
Shiatsu can help with:

  • Stiff neck and shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Digestion
  • Anxiety
  • Migraines
  • Sciatica
  • Menstrual/menopausal imbalances
  • Insomnia
  • Back pain
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Fatigue
  • Poor circulation

“This is the kind of massage I have always dreamed of and now I know it has a name, Shiatsu!” Billie Piper

Shiatsu Therapy – Natural and holistic

Shiatsu Therapy

Shiatsu has a good reputation for reducing stress and relieving nausea and vomiting. Shiatsu is also believed to improve circulation and boost the immune system. Some people use it to treat diarrhoea, indigestion, constipation, and other disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. For menstrual and menopausal problems, chronic pain, migraine, arthritis, and; toothache. Shiatsu can be used to relieve muscular pain or tension, especially neck and back pain. It also appears to have sedative effects and may alleviate insomnia. In a broader sense, shiatsu is believed to enhance physical vitality and emotional well being.

Shiatsu is a Complementary form of therapy that was developed in Japan from a blend of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Japanese massage system of Amna.  Shiatsu can also be used as a form of a self-treatment.  However, the best benefits are received when treatment is carried out by a fully qualified and experienced practitioner.

It, possibly through its ability to assist the receiver to relax, has the reputation of being able to improve circulation and boost the immune system.  Many people now use Shiatsu to help treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal tract disorders.  It is also used to treat  chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, tension, anxiety and depression.  Sports injuries also react well to Shiatsu treatment and it is excellent when dealing with muscular pain or tension, especially neck and back pain.  Shiatsu enhances physical vitality and emotional well being.

Shiatsu is usually given, at floor level, on a flat mat called a futon.  It is applied by massaging certain points (acupuncture points), that may be associated with the symptoms or cause of the underlying ailment, using pressure that is applied by the fingers, elbows, or even the knees.  The literal translation of Shiatsu is “finger pressure“.  Through this stimulation, the flow of energy (ki) is restored and balanced.

Groin Strain

Groin Strain

Groin strain may present as a sharp, sudden pain in the groin or inner thigh area in the course of activity, or the pain may not arise until the next day. In cases of chronic groin strain, the sufferer may not recall a specific incident where the injury could have occurred.
Symptoms include:  tenderness to touch (palpation), swelling (oedema), and bruising along the inner thigh adjacent to the groin. Pain may be reproduced by adducting (bringing the leg to midline) the leg against resistance. Proper physical examination is vital to distinguish adductor muscle group strains from other causes of groin pain.

Western treatment for any muscle injury initially consists of the RICE protocol – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Generally, grade one groin strains should be rested from exercise for about three weeks, and grade two injuries for about four to six weeks. In the worst cases, when there is a complete rupture, the muscle may have to be repaired surgically and the rehabilitation will take at least three months.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, you are advised to avoid ice as it causes further contraction and stagnation of the qi (vital energy).  If ice is used, you are advised to apply it for no more than 10 to 15 minutes per hour during the first 24 hours after the injury.  After the pain and inflammation has gone, or has been reduced, light exercise and stretching can be introduced but with caution, taking care so as not to aggravate the injury.  Massage (Tuina, or Shiatsu) is also recommended in order to speed up recovery by stimulating, among others, the acupuncture point of LV3 and GB34.

Treatment for Insomnia

Treatment for Insomnia

There are a number of holistic, natural, treatments available for Insomnia. Here are some:

Complementary Treatment Options

Shiatsu

Shiatsu has been found to be extremely beneficial in the treatment of insomnia, creating a feeling of deep relaxation and wellbeing. Shiatsu practitioners can work with conditions of both acute and chronic natures.

Qigong

The practice of appropriate Qigong exercises creates a feeling if inner calmness and tranquility that can help the practitioner to achieve quality sleep.

Herbal

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a strong relaxant and sedative that can be used without any ill effects. There are many commercially available tablets, for insomnia, that contain this herb.

Allopathic Treatment Options

  • Sleeping Pills.
  • Behavioural techniques, such as relaxation therapy, or sleep restriction therapy, to improve sleep patterns.

Treatment for Fibromyalgia

Treatment for Fibromyalgia

There are a number of holistic, natural, treatments available for Fibromyalgia. Here are some:

Complementary Treatment Options

Alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia through the use of Shiatsu  and Qigong stretching exercises has shown promising results. Fibromyalgia reacts positively to the use of the gentle stretching and muscle manipulation, along with finger pressure on some of the trigger points (That are, coincidentally, located on acupuncture points).

Low impact aerobic exercises are also recommended, especially Taiji and Qigong as as they focus on posture and deep breathing and can lead to an increase energy levels.

There is an article on immunesupport.com that talks about the beneficial use of  Shiatsu in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Check out the link: Aches Define Life for Fibromyalgia Sufferers

Allopathic Treatment Options

At present, there is no cure and no specific treatment for fibromyalgia, but there are things that can help. There are drug regimes using a mixture of different drugs including painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication, and antidepressants to treat pain and any associated emotional problems.