What is Shiatsu Therapy?

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with the pace of your life? Is your nervous system over stimulated by stress, technology, caffeine and other stimulates? Are you struggling to keep your work and life in balance while tension and pain is a daily reminder?

Shiatsu is a holistic therapy that can help alleviate these and other common ailments that are a result of living in today’s fast paced society.

Its roots go back as far as the 14th century in China with Anma massage which was a deep relaxation and pain relief massage that was given by blind people. The Chinese Buddhist monks brought Anma, to Japan in the 19th century where it was refined and developed into “Shi” (Finger), “Atsu”(Pressure). Today’s Shiatsu combines traditional eastern knowledge and techniques such as; acupressure, Chinese medicine theory and Hara (Abdominal) diagnosis with western sciences of anatomy, physiology, pathology and techniques borrowed from physical therapy and western massages. It is part of the Japanese healthcare system and used as a preventative and rehabilitative treatment.

In the 60’s and 70’s with interest growing in Eastern medicine and philosophy, Shiatsu evolved into an international therapy that is popular due to its holistic view of the human body. It came to Canada in the 70’s and since has had local and international associations that help to govern, regulate and educate the public and health organizations about the many benefits it has to offer.

Shiatsu is a unique form of massage as no oils are used and patients don’t need to get undressed. When going for a treatment, a thorough assessment is done with a holistic approach to discover the root of your problem. Organ assessment is done in conjunction with physical examination for imbalances in structure. Past history is taken into account, with current state of sleep, energy and stress levels, digestion issues, emotional state, lifestyle and life changes. Diagnosis continues with the massage treatment, where thumb, palm and elbow pressure are used down Meridians (energy channels) to move Qi (energy), blood and lymph fluid. Shiatsu also incorporates techniques such as stretching, joint mobilization, soft tissue corrective exercises (SOTAI), and passive resistance techniques.

Shiatsu is a very effective therapy for many conditions and has gained a reputation even to the point of the famous Dr Oz implementing it into his own US hospital setting for pre & post heart surgery patients. It is also used in clinical settings with physiotherapists and rehab assistants, or integrative wellness centre’s and spas.

Shiatsu fosters a patient’s reconnect between mind and body and reminds us of the importance of being aware of our actions as they so easily manifest in our tissue.

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About the author

Mihael Mamychshvili

As a registered Shiatsu therapist, Mihael Mamychshvili has treated thousands of patients, including celebrities and media personalities over the past 10 years. He is the owner of Angel Hands Wellness Centre that offers an array of holistic healing therapies and is past President of the Shiatsu Association of BC. Mihael believes Shiatsu is the antidote to stress in the 21st century and is passionate about educating people on the many healing benefits of Shiatsu. He is the creator of Everything Shiatsu Facebook Group which works to connect all Shiatsu therapists worldwide and create a cohesive community among all holistic natural therapies. He has had articles published in news and industry publications and is an avid spokesperson for Shiatsu.