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.