What exactly is shiatsu?

April 25, 2018 6:44 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Shiatsu is something many of our customers are interested in. Like yoga, mindfulness and wellbeing, it seems to go hand-in-hand with an interest in good, natural eating and a desire to protect the world around us.

Shiatsu is a physical therapy that originated in Japan, but has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. It literally means ‘finger pressure’ in Japanese: it’s a form of massage that uses touch, gentle pressure and certain other forms of physical manipulation.

Translating as 'finger pressure', shiatsu is all about rebalancing.

As gentle as finger pressure: shiatsu aims to rebalance your body’s energy

It’s not primarily a physiotherapy exercise. Instead, it’s intended to work not just with a patient’s physical body, but with their emotional and spiritual wellbeing too. According to the Shiatsu Society UK, its overall aim is to ‘adjust the body’s physical structure and balance its energy flow’.

Shiastsu is intended to be deeply relaxing. Regular treatments are said to lessen stress, ward off illness, alleviate ongoing physical problems, and promote general wellbeing. It’s not something you turn to just when you’re suffering, but an activity that many people make a regular part of their life.

What’s Ki – and meridians?

Practitioners of shiatsu often talk about Ki and meridians. Ki is the word for the vital universal force of energy, in the Oriental tradition. It’s thought to flow through the body, as if in a system of canals. Ki can be blocked up in certain areas, leading to weaknesses and tensions, both physical and emotional.

In certain pathways, it’s believed that Ki moves in a more concentrated manner. These pathways are known as ‘meridians’ and are named after physical organs (for example, the Heart meridian, Bladder meridian and Lung meridian). A Shiatsu practitioner will often refer to one of the meridians being ‘blocked’, or conversely, ‘empty’, and will try to work on specific points of the body to rebalance the flow.

Many Shiatsu practitioners begin with a session of gentle palpation to try to work out where a patient’s imbalances lie. In subsequent sessions, massage works to rebalance these. Rocking, stretches and joint rotations are also used, working on the whole body rather than just specific areas, to overhaul the body’s entire energy system.

Making us aware of our body’s needs

Need to relax deeply? Give shiatsu a try!

Rebalance your body – and connect with yourself and the world again.

Shiatsu aims to make us much more aware about the way our bodies work – to tune in to what our bodies need. In much the same way, we at Naturally Good Food believe it’s important to ‘retune’ our bodies to a natural way of eating, for the best health and the best internal balance. When you understand your body’s needs, we feel, you can meet them in the best and the most natural way.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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