There’s a wonderful world of alternative therapies out there just waiting to be discovered. This month, we shine a light on shiatsu massage
Shiatsu is a physical therapy which supports and strengthens the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself, focusing on not only the physical aspects of massage but also the psychological, emotional and spiritual side.
Originating in Japan, after adapting originally from traditional Chinese medicine, shiatsu means ‘finger pressure’, with the practitioner using touch, comfortable pressure and manipulative techniques to adjust the body’s physical structure and balance energy flow. “It’s traditionally hands-on, supporting and strengthening the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself in a deeply relaxing experience,” says Jon Jarvis, who is a fully qualified Shiatsu practitioner at Ragdale Hall Spa.
“It can help with a range of conditions, from specific injuries to more general symptoms of poor health. The most common conditions I come across are back injuries or stress from modern living, but I also see a lot of people suffering from digestive problems, menstrual issues, sports injuries and headaches. As a shiatsu practitioner I am trained in treating both mental and physical conditions.
“The oriental tradition of shiatsu defines the world in terms of energy, and one of the fundamental concepts of Chinese and Japanese medicine is called ki’ by the Japanese, ‘chi’ or ‘qi’ in China. This is the vital energy in our bodies which underlies all functioning. It flows through us in a series of channels called meridians, which are a bit like waterways – emotional, physical and spiritual. For many reasons, ki can stop flowing freely by either becoming deficient or out of balance or because of an obstruction and, as such, symptoms arise. Shiatsu stimulates and harmonises the flow of ki throughout the body.”
To find out more and discover a shiatsu therapist near you, visit shiatsusociety.org
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