Shiatsu is a form of massage therapy developed primarily in Japan. With its name derived from the Japanese term for “finger pressure,” it involves applying pressure to specific points on the body, moving from one point to another in a rhythmic sequence.

The theory behind Shiatsu is that our bodies are made up of energy, called “qi,” and that energy becomes blocked and causes suffering.

Shiatsu Massage helps clear these blockages by rearranging the meridian points, balancing the “qi” and relieving the body and mind.

When one balances the “qi” or vital energy, healing takes place in the body. The nervous system of the immune system is stimulated by applying pressure to the meridians, relieving both body and mind.

The body has twelve meridians, named after the corresponding organ: lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, heart governor, triple heater, gallbladder and liver. The functions of these organs have a broader definition in Eastern medicine

When performing shiatsu, the therapist applies deep pressure with the fingers, thumbs and/or palms in a continuous sequence. The finger pads are used to apply pressure and each point is typically held for two to eight seconds.

In some cases, the pressure points stimulated during shiatsu may feel tender. Those who receive shiatsu often describe this tenderness as “good pain,” but it is important to alert your therapist if you feel discomfort or pain during your massage. Your therapist can then adjust the pressure to make the massage more comfortable for you.

Shiatsu is usually done on a low massage table or on a mat on the floor. At Massage Sense, we use a heated futon on the floor.

Although the sequence is often similar to other types of massage, NO massage oil is used, so it is done with the client fully clothed in loose, comfortable clothing. Do not worry if your are coming straight from work on your regular clothes, as we always have a Clean pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt available.

Shiatsu massage has many benefits for the body and mind.

– Restores and maintains the body’s energy, especially useful for those suffering from fatigue and general weakness.
– Improves circulation
– Reduces stress and tension, as well as anxiety and depression.
– Relieves headaches
– Promotes healing of sprains and similar injuries
– Helps bring relief to arthritis sufferers
– Reduces problems with stiff neck and shoulders and back pain (including sciatica)
– Coughs, colds and other sinus and respiratory problems
– Helps those who are dealing with insomnia
– Helps treat various things such as digestive disorders, bowel problems, morning sickness and menstrual problems.

Safety and side effects

Although shiatsu is generally considered safe when done by a qualified professional, certain individuals should exercise caution and consult a health care provider before receiving shiatsu. For example, there is some concern that shiatsu may have harmful effects in pregnant women, patients who have recently undergone chemotherapy or radiation, and people with conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease and blood clotting disorders.

In addition, shiatsu should not be performed directly on bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas with recent fractures. People with stents in their legs should avoid abdominal massage.

Shiatsu should also be avoided immediately after surgery, and by people with infectious skin diseases, rashes or open wounds.

Unfortunately, few insurance companies cover this form of massage unless it is prescribed as part of physical therapy for an injury or other health issue.

You should ask your insurance company if they cover Shiatsu, and we can provide you with a detailed invoice.

However, there are some ways you can reduce the financial burden of treating your body on a regular basis.

If you plan to have regular Shiatsu sessions at Massage Sense, we have developed a number of discounted packages that are sure to meet your needs.

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