There are a lot of different massage therapies nowadays. One well-known type among them is the ‘Shiatsu massage.' It is a practice that offers individuals a variety of health benefits. Most of us have heard about this type of massage, but we don't actually know exactly what the treatment entails. So, what is Shiatsu massage, and why should you consider it as a relaxation therapy?
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What is Shiatsu Massage, and why do you need it?
Shiatsu is a kind of massage therapy that has its origins in Japan. The term itself originates from a Japanese word that describes finger pressure. That can easily be explained by the fact that the whole practice is based on rhythmically applying pressure to specific points on the body, moving from one point to the next in a particular sequence.
What Is Shiatsu Massage Therapy?
Although the term Shiatsu denoted the use of fingers, nowadays practitioners use other parts of their hand, including their palm and forearm when they offer a Shiatsu massage to clients. The pressure applied to specific spots of the body helps in healing any ailments, as well as painful conditions.
While Shiatsu massage has its origins in Asia, it is nowadays practiced a lot throughout the world.According to the Shiatsu Society, Shiatsu massage was introduced in Japan by a Buddhist monk who knew the secrets of the human body. There are currently a lot of modern devices, like shiatsu massage chairs and cushions that make the whole practice even more effective.
How does Shiatsu massage work?
The whole process of a Shiatsu massage resembles a lot another popular type of therapy, known as acupressure. Nowadays, Shiatsu has a variety of different styles and therapists around the world are still evolving new philosophical, as well as theoretical approaches to the treatment.
Shiatsu massage is based on the pressure that is applied in different parts of the body. That pressure can not only promote the flow of vital energy (commonly known as “chi”), but it is also capable of relieving stress, treating unhealthy conditions and helping the patient feel better.
Shiatsu is actually a means to properly regulate essential systems of the body, including the circulatory system, the hormonal system, as well as the autonomic nervous system. Scientists have discovered that a Shiatsu massage session can actually calm the sympathetic nervous system and that in turn, leads to a reduction in stress levels, as well as to an improvement in the overall health of the participant.
It is worth saying that Shiatsu, just like acupuncture, focuses on acupuncture centers. Those points are found in particular spots of the body, and they are highly associated with physical, mental, and spiritual energy. For this reason, every single Shiatsu session affects all of the above, and it does not focus only on the physical invigoration of the body.
What does Shiatsu feel like?
Having mentioned acupuncture in the context of Shiatsu massage, you might be wondering if there is any pain involved. But it's good to know, right of the bat, that unlike acupuncture, Shiatsu doesn't require piecing your body with hundreds of pins –thankfully!Still, the fact that some consistent pressure is applied to certain parts of our body can make us wonder if you will feel some during the session or afterward.
It is true, that to some extent, you're are going to experience some kind of tenderness to the spots where pressure was applied. This tenderness is usually described as “pleasant pain.” However, feeling uncomfortable during the whole process is not something natural. You should, in fact, inform your therapist immediately if such is the case.
During a typical shiatsu session, practitioners do not use oil or balms, and you will be fully clothed. Generally speaking, Shiatsu is considered a soothing and gentle form of massage that makes you feel relaxed and renewed afterward. The technique releases tension from a person's body, and that results in the well-being of the body and mind.
The fact that during the whole therapy, certain hormones that are strongly associated with happiness and contentedness are released proves that the person who undertakes such treatment will generally feel relaxed and positive afterward.
Who is it for?
You're now probably wondering if you should give Shiatsu massage a try and if it's really meant for people like you. In recent years, Shiatsu massage is being recommended to patients by their doctors in case they suffer from consistent pains or other conditions, like poor posture, joint damages, lower back pain and arthritis.
It is also effective for those of us who may find ourselves in a state of recovery from injuries. A significant percent of the global population pays a visit to a Shiatsu massage center to lessen stress and increase energy.
Shiatsu is also, ideal for those patients who suffer from lack of sleep, fatigue, and body imbalance. Generally, this type of treatment can be used by people of every age group, both young and old, healthy or fragile, men or women.
How do you learn Shiatsu?
Sounds like something you would love to learn more about? Well, Shiatsu is a type of practice that cannot be performed by everyone. Practitioners have actually undertaken a variety of lessons, both theoretical and practical, before receiving the special license that enables them to practice it officially.
There are also, some online courses that offer students the opportunity to learn some basic Shiatsu massage skills. Moreover, there are free online step-by-step guides that can help those interested in learning Shiatsu. However, if you wish to obtain an official certificate and become a certified massage therapist, you must hold a current massage license that is obtained through accredited exams.
There are a number of Back and neck pain relief gadgets available that can be used to augment your treatment. Check with your doctor.
The Benefits of Shiatsu Massage
Although there are not many available studies about the benefits of Shiatsu, there is sufficient evidence nowadays that justifies the use of this type of massage in all of the conditions mentioned above.
Most people will experience significant positive results after their first Shiatsu massage session. However, it is true that a maintenance program is usually required if you wish to deal with everyday health issues.
- As the body becomes more relaxed and renewed after each session, the body learns how to be more flexible and balanced. A research conducted by the European Shiatsu Federation proved that more than 95 percent of the study's participants felt a lot calmer and relaxed after each session.
- Shiatsu massage is also, capable of acting as a painkiller and therefore, relieving pain from the body of the participant. Various types of pain, including back pain, posture problems, joint pain, and neck discomfort, can be improved after a Shiatsu massage, according to one review study.
- Improves and strengthens your body and relieves fatigue.
- Speeds healing for sprains and other similar injuries.
- Relieves stiffness from shoulder and neck.
- Helps relieve back pain.
- Help relieve constipation.
- Improves respiratory problems.
- Eases symptoms from a cold and cough.
- Helps you sleep better.
Apart from the above health benefits, some other noteworthy effects of a Shiatsu massage include the following: quick relief from the common cold and influenza symptoms, constipation relief, alleviation of the frustrating symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome in women, as well as an improvement in the strength of the body in general.
This type of massage can be really beneficial for the mind and the spirit as well. It triggers the release of two vital hormones, serotonin, and dopamine, both of which are responsible for the feeling of happiness. For this reason, a Shiatsu massage can be really beneficial in medical conditions, like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Safety and Side Effects
Shiatsu is generally considered a safe type of massage therapy when it is performed by a certified professional. However, you should not trust a therapist who is not officially trained and certified, since that could not only worsen your condition but possibly create other health problems as well.
For safety reasons, Shiatsu should not be used on pregnant women, and people who suffer from serious health conditions, including osteoporosis, severe heart disease or blood clotting disorders and to those who have recently undergone a surgery.
Moreover, Shiatsu should never be practiced directly on bruises, open wounds, inflamed skin and generally areas with recent fractures. Although patients have recorded no side effects, some slight tenderness or pain may be observed after a session. Such a situation is normal, and it is due to the pressure that is applied in some spots of the body.
You should avoid Shiatsu Massage
Do not use a Shiatsu massage if you are experiencing these conditions: Consult your doctor if you are not sure.
- If you have an infectious disease of skin or a rash.
- If you have an open wounds.
- If you recently had surgery.
- If you are on chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Ask your doctor first.
- If you are at risk of getting blood clots.
- If you have a heart disease.
- If you are suffering from osteoporosis. Ask your doctor first.
- Massage should not be applied over inflamed skin, bruises, tumors, hernia, fractures etc.
Shiatsu massage is a well-known practice in modern days around the world. Whether you need the massage for relaxation and balancing your body, or have a specific medical condition you wish to improve, now might be an ideal time to give it a try.
There are so many benefits you can gain from even a single session, and you can rest assured you will not regret it. Although everyone can learn the basic techniques of a Shiatsu massage, it is always preferable to trust a professional practitioner who has undertaken specialized courses and has a more thorough knowledge of the whole practice.
After all, this type of massage is not something entirely practical or physical. It contains theoretical knowledge that dates thousands of years back.
Different home Shiatsu Massager Available
Fortunately you do not have become a certified massage therapist to get the benefits of a daily Shiatsu massage. There are many inexpensive Shiatsu Massage Gadgets available at Amazon that will give you the benefit of a Shiatsu. Most are inexpensive and will pay for themselves with only a few uses.