What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a traditional Japanese healing art. It is a preventative, complementary therapy, and it is used to help a wide range of conditions – from specific injuries and illness, to more general symptoms of poor health.

Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular Shiatsu sessions help to prevent the build up of stress in our daily lives.

The philosophy underlying Shiatsu is that vital energy (known as Ki  in Japanese, Chi  in Chinese) flows throughout the body in a series of channels called meridians. For many different reasons Ki can stop flowing freely and this then produces a symptom.

Vimeo ‘What is Shiatsu?’ link

Vimeo ‘The Shiatsu Way’ link

back shiatsu (Sh Soc)

As your Shiatsu practitioner, I would consider your state of health, the symptoms you are experiencing and, depending on your constitution and general energy levels, I would use a variety of techniques to improve the Ki flow in your meridian system. These might include gentle holding, pressing with palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees and feet on the acupressure points (Tsubos) and, when appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches.

As the quality of Ki changes, the symptoms associated with a lack of flow gradually improve. Shiatsu is a therapy that works on the individual as a complete being – not just the physical body but also on an emotional and/or mental level.

I have found Shiatsu has been useful for

  • back pain
  • headaches, migraines
  • whiplash injuries and neck stiffness
  • joint pain and reduced mobility
  • menstrual problems
  • digestive problems
  • asthmatic symptoms
  • sports injuries
  • depression

Shiatsu with cancer, MS, IBS and ME/Chronic Fatigue

What to expect in a session

Each session lasts approximately one hour.

The session takes place with you lying relaxed, and fully clothed throughout, on a padded mat or futon at floor level. I am also experienced in giving Shiatsu on a massage table, sitting on a chair, or in a wheelchair.

matt seated

Following a treatment, there can be a feeling of increased vitality and you may find that you feel invigorated, yet relaxed.

Guidelines for receiving Shiatsu

  • Please bring or wear loose, warm, comfortable clothing, preferably cotton e.g. sweatshirt, tracksuit trousers and cotton socks.
  • Do not eat toomuch in the two hours prior to treatment.
  • Do not drink alcohol before or after treatment.
  • After treatment drink plenty of water to smooth the flow of changes through the system.
  • If at all possible, avoid strenuous or stressful activities after your session.

Recent Research

‘An important piece of professional research has been carried out by Professor Andrew F Long at the School of Healthcare, University of Leeds,  in conjunction with The European Shiatsu Federation.

As a result of this study, carried out over 3 countries (Britain, Spain and Austria), we can now state that Shiatsu is good for stress, back and neck pain, and for sports injuries.’

This rigorous, longitudinal study indicates the value of the powerful therapy for the benefit of our long-term health.

Read more… (external site)

Other PhD research by Dr. Zoe Pirie MRSS Dip.BSS-DO showed that GP attendance rates and numbers of prescriptions written fell by half after only 6 Shiatsu sessions and that this amazing result lasted up to 2 months after the final treatment.

There is other interesting information about research, including the Shiatsu Systematic Evidence Review on The Shiatsu Society (UK) website.