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Shiatsu: Therapeutic Massage and Healing

The healing power of massage cannot be denied. Several alternative remedies, physical therapy remedies and traditional medical remedies employ therapeutic massage in order to bring relief to patients. Not only does massage relieve localized pain and promote healing, it creates a calm and stress free state of mind that only serves to promote a quicker recovery process.

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage that uses hands-on massage therapy to relieve pain and induce healing. The name Shiatsu is Japanese and literally translates to “finger pressure.”

Shiatsu was formally introduced in the 1900’s when it was first cited n a book in the year 1915. By the year 1940, the first Japanese Shiatsu College was founded by Tokujiro Namikoshi. Namikoshi developed a technique of massage that brought much relief to his mother who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. Namikoshi’s style of Shiatsu is often referred to as Zen Shiatsu.

In addition to Namikoshi’s style of Shiatsu, there are numerous other styles of therapeutic massage that are still in use today. Some common forms of Shiatsu include: Aze Shiatsu, Quantum Shiatsu, Ohashiatsu, Tsubo Shiatsu, Tao Shiatsu and Zen-Touch Shiatsu among others.

Modern Era: How Shiatsu Is Practiced Today

There is a lot more involved in Shiatsu than the laying on of hands and massage therapy. Shiatsu is a two-pronged approach to healing that involves both the diagnosis and the therapy phases. But instead of relying on medical tests and lab results for diagnosis, Shiatsu relies on several indicators that the practitioner observed in the patient including: superficial appearance, sounds made, appearance of the tongue, pulse and impact of the illness on the psyche.

Once the diagnosis has been made, the massage begins. Shiatsu is a full body massage that treats the whole body. In some cases, localized, intense massage can be added as part of the whole treatment. Shiatsu massage differs from other types of therapeutic massage in that only the fingers, palms and thumbs are used. The thumbs are especially important in Shiatsu as they are often placed over the pressure points that are to be stimulated during the massage.

Shiatsu is an extremely popular alternative remedy and is used to promote relaxation and healing. It is a standardized practice with many countries requiring formal training and licensure in order to practice.



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