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What is Shiatsu – and what’s the point?

Shiatsu massages are a popular wellness treatment. How do they work, what do they bring and where does the popular massage therapy actually come from? An overview.

What exactly is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is not just a massage technique, but also represents a philosophy that deals intensively with the human body. Here, the life energy Qi plays a major role. The life energy Qi is defined by the idea that different energy pathways run through the body, which influence the function of the individual organs and also provide for the well-being.

However, if there is a congestion of energy in one part of the body, this also affects the rest of the body, which is why it ultimately becomes unbalanced. With the imbalance, physical complaints become noticeable at the same time. So when the energy pathways in the body are disturbed, the Shiatsu massage comes into focus. This should help to bring everything back into its original balance. It must be explained that these energy flows are connected to special points on the surface of the skin. These points are also relevant in acupressure and acupuncture to remove blockages.

What is the origin of Shiatsu?

The term Shiatsu originates from Japanese and means fingerprint. It is a form of massage, which in turn has its origins in Chinese. In Europe, this type of massage is now also widespread and very popular. Although there are now many different forms of massage, this one is characterized by its special method against specific physical ailments.

For which ailments is Shiatsu used?

Shiatsu is not limited to a specific part of the body, but is applied to the entire body. In general, Shiatsu is performed when headaches or migraines are present, but classic tensions can also be a reason for treatment. Massage can also help with circulation problems, circulatory problems or digestive problems. However, it should be remembered that such a Shiatsu therapy is best discussed in advance with a treating family doctor. This form of massage is not necessarily curative, but rather serves as a complementary treatment.

How does the massage work?

First, the Shiatsu practitioner takes a close look at the patient. A conversation with the patient is also included so that the practitioner can locate the blockages and discomfort. First, the masseur carefully palpates the affected parts of the body. Then he carefully massages along the energy pathways. He uses circular, stroking and also pressing movements.

These movements cannot be compared to a traditional massage, they are much gentler. This is because they are designed to get the energy flow going again. In order to actually drive the flow of energy and thus activate the self-healing powers, masseurs use their fingers, elbows, knees, feet and also hands. During the therapy, the masseur or masseuse uses his or her whole body.