Researchers have found that shiatsu massage promotes relaxation and sleep. It also decreases back pain and improves symptoms of arthritis.
Shiatsu massage works with the body’s energy meridians and pressure points. This can be a great option for those with chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and insomnia.
Shiatsu is safe for most people, but pregnant women and those with bleeding disorders should not receive it. Always talk to your doctor before receiving a massage.
What is Shiatsu Massage?
Often described as “acupuncture without needles,” shiatsu is a form of hands-on massage blending Japanese massage traditions with traditional Chinese medicine theory. It utilizes acupressure points, known as shu, and follows the energy meridians of the body, similar to the way that acupuncture does.
Shiatsu can help with digestion, constipation and fatigue. A recent study found that combining shiatsu and self-hand massage can reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Shiatsu can also help to improve sleep patterns and decrease anxiety.
During a Shiatsu massage, the client remains fully clothed in stretchy, light clothing and uses thumbs, fingers and hands to apply rhythmic pressure on specific points. A 60 to 90 minutes session is typically given on a massage table. A good shiatsu practitioner from Motion Massage will take the time to assess the client’s needs before starting treatment. Clients must avoid Shiatsu treatment if they are pregnant or have a high fever.
How is Shiatsu Massage Different from Traditional Massage?
Shiatsu massage differs from traditional massage techniques in several ways. The most obvious difference is that a shiatsu practitioner typically wears light clothing instead of completely undressed for the session, like other forms of massage therapy.
During the massage, the therapist uses her fingers, thumbs, knuckles, palms, elbows, and knees to press against acupressure points on the body. These acupressure points align with the same energy channels (called meridians) used in Chinese medicine.
Drinking plenty of water after a shiatsu massage is important to flush out the toxins released into your bloodstream. This will also help reduce muscle soreness for up to 48 hours after treatment.
It’s best to avoid shiatsu massage if you’re pregnant or have a serious illness, such as cancer. The therapist will let you know before the massage begins if you have any health concerns that would prevent it from being safe for you to undergo the treatment.
What is the Benefit of Shiatsu Massage?
Many health problems benefit from Shiatsu massage, including musculoskeletal issues, respiratory problems, digestive disorders and emotional balance. Shiatsu practitioners may also address psychological perceptions linked to physical ailments and help treat conditions for which official medicine cannot find the cause.
Shiatsu is safe for most people, though some may experience mild side effects a few minutes to hours after treatment. Your therapist must know your medical history to avoid points on your body that might increase the risk of bleeding or low blood platelet counts.
Regular Shiatsu massage can decrease cortisol levels and increase serotonin, dopamine and prolactin levels. This helps balance your nervous system and increases oxytocin, the opiate known to reduce pain, anxiety and depression. Shiatsu can also aid in addressing chronic pain, improving sleep patterns and decreasing stress. A 2019 study found that combining shiatsu with standard back treatments improved symptoms and quality of life in patients suffering from low back pain. Another study showed that hand self-shiatsu (HSS), a form of massage you can do at home, promoted sleep in young adults who suffered from sports-related concussions.
What is the Benefit of Traditional Massage?
Shiatsu works as a therapy and preventive method, boosting energy levels in the body and harmonizing energetic flows. It also enhances the natural process of self-healing.
The therapist uses kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping and stretching techniques. It is generally performed with the patient wearing loose clothing, such as a tracksuit or cotton trousers.
In one small study, a professional Shiatsu massage reduced anxiety levels in patients with cancer-related stress and decreased pain in their hands. However, more research is needed to assess the benefits of this technique.
It is important that your therapist takes your full medical history and is aware of any health conditions you may have, such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. You should not get a Shiatsu massage in the first three months of pregnancy, as certain points on the body might increase the risk of miscarriage. You should also avoid getting a Shiatsu massage if you have: