Manali Modi

Manali Modi

Shiatsu Massage: A Complete Guide

  Mar 18, 2024

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu is a Japanese system of working with the body, based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. It is derived from the Japanese words ‘Shi’ (finger) and ‘Atsu’ (pressure).

This type of massage has an impact on biologically vital points to relieve pain, relieve stress, and help in the maintenance and prevention of various pathologies. For cosmetic purposes, the system is used for skin rejuvenation.

Despite its Japanese origin, this type of massage has become very popular all over the world. Even in Arab countries such as the UAE, some salons can offer you this. 

For example, the highly trained professionals at Dubai’s leading spa Armonia will relieve your stress and make you feel completely rejuvenated. Both men and women can go to this spa to get a professional massage from a top-notch parlor.

So today, let us delve deeper into the world of Shiatsu.

Shiatsu Philosophy

Shiatsu Philosophy

It is believed that vital energy is responsible for the emotional and psychophysical state of a person, which circulates in the body through special channels (meridians) and creates a balance of all systems. 

If there are no obstacles to movement, people feel healthy. If a channel is blocked, the associated organ begins to suffer. With shiatsu massage, the meridians can be released. Thanks to this, the balance in the body will be restored.

Tokujiro Namikoshi

Did You Know?
Tokujiro Namikoshi (1905-2000) was recognized as the Father of Modern Shiatsu by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in 1964!

Area of influence and effect

Area of influence and effect

There are more than 600 energetically active areas in the human body. Shiatsu is used for:

  • Scalp
  • Face (forehead, nasolabial folds, bridge of nose)
  • Chest
  • Forearms
  • Outer Thighs
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Back (the area along the spine).

The effectiveness of the technique is related to the activation of the body’s internal reserves. Due to deep pressure with fingers on certain points, microcirculation of blood and lymphatic fluid improves, and the rate of metabolic processes in tissues increases.

Massage favorably affects the nervous system: helps to get rid of chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depression, achieve mental and emotional balance.

In addition, shiatsu:

  • relieves pain syndrome after injuries, and surgery
  • eliminates muscle tension
  • has a strengthening effect on the body
  • boosts the natural immune defenses
  • improves posture
  • normalizes the digestive system

Indications for prescribing Shiatsu massage

The doctor can recommend the procedure as an adjunct to medication for several pathological conditions. These are:

  • Cardiovascular disease;
  • circulatory disorders;
  • bowel disorders;
  • diseases of the spine, and joints;
  • chronic headaches;
  • nervous disorders;
  • sinusitis;
  • instability of blood pressure;
  • decreased sex drive;
  • seizure syndrome;
  • overweight, etc.

Indications for taking a course of shiatsu are constant fatigue, being in a stressful situation, and persistent sleep disturbance.

Important!  The method is suitable for people of all ages — those who have no health problems and those who need treatment. Acupressure is especially attractive for patients who feel uncomfortable removing their clothes before the session. There is no need to undress for shiatsu.

Features of execution

Features of execution

During the procedure, the specialist works with elbows, knees, palms, and fingertips. The modern method allows the use of special metal balls to press on the points to be massaged. 

The shiatsu posture should open all the areas necessary for the treatment. The Asian variant (sitting on the knees with spread heels and straight back) is unfamiliar to Europeans, so the patient lies on the side, and a small pillow is placed under the head. 

You can do a massage on a chair depending on the spot on which the master is applying pressure, the posture changes.

The pressure on the active points is strengthened or weakened. One pressure lasts five to seven seconds, and six to ten movements are made per minute. The methodology includes stretching and rotation of body parts and tissues.

It is based on the detection and alleviation of areas of increased neurological activity or pronounced muscle hypertonia. An important point is palpation of the abdominal region. If necessary, abdominal massage is performed. The course of procedures is 8-10 sessions with breaks.

How to do shiatsu massage: the main points

In a specialized salon, the procedure takes place in several stages:

  • removal of makeup from the face;
  • skin cleansing, peeling with light massage movements;
  • actual performance of shiatsu technique: impact on biologically active spots;
  • application of serum on the skin;
  • using a special mask for the eye area.

Fun Fact!
Shiatsu is called a “dry” manual technique, as oils and creams are not used for massage!

It is better to plan the procedure for the morning hours. At this time, you can get maximum benefits and a boost of energy for the whole day.

For the greatest effect, Japanese experts recommend combining shiatsu with lymphatic drainage massage. The complex approach will help to activate the metabolism faster, thanks to which facial rejuvenation is carried out more intensively.