Shiatsu massage therapy

Shiatsu is a bodywork holistic therapy whose benefits can touch all different levels of the body; these are the physical, emotional and spiritual. Relaxation is an important element of a Shiatsu treatment, but not the only one. Shiatsu can benefit the skeleton, the muscles, the body meridians (as perceived in the oriental medicine), as well as the functions of the human organism.  In other words, Shiatsu can benefit the systems of the body such as the nervous or the respiratory or the digestive and their corresponding organs, such as the lungs, stomach etc.

 

A Shiatsu practitioner, apart from the technical skills, Thumbs on the backhas typically spent some years of studying anatomy, physiology and pathology according to the conventional, western medicine as well as to the Chinese medicine (same framework used in acupuncture). Nevertheless, the key to a successful treatment lies way beyond these intellectual systems of understanding of the human body.  It is the body’s healing capability or power that the practitioner tries to resonate with and this requires qualities such as presence, listening and compassion. Thus, the true secret ingredient of good Shiatsu is love.

 

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I usually come across when talking to patients or the general public. Feel free to get in touch if you come up with a new one, or just want general information about Shiatsu and its benefits.

 

Q. What type of massage is Shiatsu?

Q. What are the benefits of Shiatsu massage?

Q. Is Shiatsu a stand-alone therapy?

Q. How often and how many Shiatsu treatments are usually required?

Q. Where is it practiced?

Q. What should I wear to receive a treatment?

Q. How long does a treatment last?

Q. What is the case history and why is it needed?

Q. Should a healthy person receive Shiatsu?

Q. Can everybody receive a Shiatsu treatment?

 

 

Q. What type of massage is Shiatsu?

A. Shiatsu originated in Japan in the beginning of the 20th century and it is an evolution of ancient Chinese and Japanese healing manipulative methods such as tuina, anma and ampuku, as well as acupuncture. Although Shiatsu literally means pressure with fingers, it incorporates a wide variety of techniques such as pressures, stretches, rotations, manipulations, shaking, rocking etc.

 

Q. What are the benefits of Shiatsu massage?

A. To summarise, some benefits of Shiatsu are:

  • Improvement of health, mood and well-being
  • Relief and prevention from common ailments
  • Increase of body awareness
  • Relief from stress, anxiety and worries
  • Improvement of blood and lymph circulation
  • Tonification of immune system
  • Improvement of digestion
  • Relief from physical stress and pain
  • Increase of flexibility and improvement of muscular tone
  • Improvement of body posture
  • Increase of libido
  • Treatment of gynecological discomfort
  • Relief from headaches and migraines
  • Empowerment of body, emotions and awareness.

 

 

Q. Is Shiatsu a stand-alone therapy?

A. Although Shiatsu itself can treat certain conditions, it can also be practiced as a complementary therapy to the conventional or alternative medicine. Nowadays, Shiatsu massage is one of the therapies that GPs may refer to, upon the patient’s request (New health act on National CAM Register). Nik is one of the Shiatsu practitioners listed on the commissioning.gp database in the UK. Shiatsu treatments are not meant to replace the doctor but rather to enhance him. Also, it is not uncommon for a practitioner to request for medical examinations prior to the initiation of treatments.

 

Q. How often and how many Shiatsu treatments are usually required?

A. Each person is a different case and therefore the Shiatsu treatment plan may vary. For instance, different people may suffer from the same symptom, such as headaches.

However, the underlying pathology or syndrome may be different in all cases.  Therefore, the type as well as the length of the treatment will vary and will be adjusted to each case.  For the clients who don’t require a specific treatment or don’t suffer from a specific condition, the treatments can be as many as they desire. A good period between treatments is a week but this can be longer depending on the client’s needs.

 

Q. Where is it practiced?

A. It is traditionally and most effectively practiced with the recipient lying on the floor over a futon, but it may also be applied while sitting on a chair or lying on a massage bed. Nik also offers on site massage services to companies and individuals, practiced on a massage chair.

 

Q. What should I wear to receive a treatment?

A. The recipient should be fully dressed with comfortable clothes.

 

Q. How long does a treatment last?

A. The duration of a typical treatment is about an hour. However, a detailed case history of about 30 minutes is taken at the beginning of the first session.

 

Q. What is the case history and why is it needed?

A. A case history is a detailed interview taken by the practitioner, during which the client will be asked some information, from current nuisances to sleeping patterns and emotional state. It usually concludes with a postural examination. By the completion of the case history, the practitioner has recorded the current health state of the client and has formed a whole and hence better picture of the condition and possible patterns. This information is crucial for an accurate diagnosis, which is one of the key elements for a successful treatment.

 

Q. Should a healthy person receive Shiatsu?

A. Shiatsu is not addressed just to the ‘sick’. The human body is a living organism, which is in constant war with viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms as well as other factors such as stress, pain, anxiety or fear. And the good news is that it excels at dealing with them the most of the times. However, minor imbalances always exist. As a matter of fact, the manifestation of a clinical pathology usually means that a series of imbalances have preceded. It is simply the ‘peak of an iceberg’. And that’s why Shiatsu is most effective when practiced at an early stage.

 

Q. Can everybody receive a Shiatsu treatment?

A. Generally speaking everybody can potentially receive a Shiatsu treatment. There are a number of conditions that could be considered as contra-indications for Shiatsu. These should be discussed with the practitioner prior to any treatment.

 

 

 

Clients' feedback 


"...His approach was to listen and diagnose, give useful and appropriate advice and then do a very thorough and enjoyable shiatsu massage..."   Read more

 Bret and Evy, Sidcup 

 

"....His caring approach to Shiatsu and the sensitivity and expertise he showed about my condition were a true blessing in such a special time of my life...." Read more

Maria, Sydenham

 

".....He showed a great deal of respect towards me and my problem, always made sure I was feeling comfortable and I was getting what I needed from the therapy...."  Read more

Elena, Athens