Massage Techniques - Shiatsu

massage techniques include shiatsu



There are many different massage techniques but right now we are going to talk about a fabulous Japanese technique called Shiatsu.

Shiatsu is a general or generic term that includes several different techniques but all focus on the idea of balancing “chi” or “ki” energy which travels throughout the body over channels known as meridians.

In healthy people, chi flows smoothly over these channels without hindrances and obstructions. When we are not healthy and our body is weakened by any number of things, such as:

  • physical mechanics
  • emotional stresses
  • altered life styles including:
  • exposures to weather changes
  • exposure to chemicals
  • injury
  • disease

then this flow of energy may be altered. The result is an abnormal flow of energy in these meridians which cause either a deficiency of energy in various parts of the body or excess accumulations in other areas of the body.


In Chinese medical philosophy, all disease is the result of this type of imbalance of energy in the body.

Shiatsu, like acupuncture and all other types of Oriental medicine and massage techniques which utilize the meridian energy concepts, seeks to correct the flow of impaired chi energy.

When this is accomplished by these massage techniques, a normal smooth flow of energy is seen and health returns to the body whether it be physical, emotional, or other.

This could take anywhere from one treatment to several treatments. Along with this correction, it is also important to change the original precipitating causes that brought about those disruptions in the first place.

Example. If the cause was an emotional upset of significant enough proportions and duration to bring about the energy flow interruptions - and then, after treatment, the patient returned to his original circumstances without changing them, the imbalances would be recreated again and the problem would continue.


The massage techniques of Shiatsu (sometimes referred to as an offshoot of acupressure) treats the meridians by applying pressure to the active points along the involved channels and is often applied to the surrounding tissues. This is done at various durations and intensities.

It may also often include various stretching techniques to tissues surrounding and associated with the involved points. Shiatsu does not use needling as does acupuncture nor does it utilize various oils and lotions as are used in massage therapy.

The pressure is applied with the fingers and/or thumb, the palms and knuckles of the hand, the elbows and sometimes even the knees. In one of the massage techniques of shiatsu even the feet are used in a treatment method.


So what are the results of doing shiatsu?

  1. The primary thing that is sought for is the return of a normal chi energy flow.
  2. When this accomplished, healing is generated and health is able to return.
  3. This will be accompanied by a reduction of pain and or stresses and an increased sense of well being.
  4. There will be stimulation to the venous and lymphatic flow of circulation.
  5. There will be a release of metabolites from the tissues that are involved and treated and tensions in the muscles will be reduced.
  6. The metabolites will then be removed by the lymphatic system primarily.
  7. There will be an improved activity of the nervous system and therefore a higher quality of their functionality.
  8. Hormone release will also be affected and the result will be a greater ability on the part of the patient to deal with life in general.
  9. The patient will feel more relaxed and will experience a greater sense of well-being.

The list goes on but these are some of the major benefits of participating in the massage techniques and therapy of Shiatsu.


Before you go, check out our page on "How to Massage the Face and Head." I think you will really enjoy it.



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