Shiatsu literally means finger pressure and as such describes part of the therapy whereby natural body weight (finger, thumbs, elbows, forearms, feet and knees) is used to apply pressure to specific points on the body. This is combined with stretches, joint rotations and joint manipulation to give an all-over treatment that ultimately aims to re-balance the flow of energy (Ki) along the body's meridians.
A Shiatsu treatment is carried out fully clothed, usually with the recipient lying or sitting on a futon mat on the floor. The treatment can be deep and firm, but is just as suited to people prefering gentler touch, as it is always applied with great sensitivity to the unique requirements of the recipient. A typical session will last about an hour.
Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience. Regular Shiatsu sessions are intended to prevent the build-up of stress-related ailments.
Common conditions helped by Shiatsu include: