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Shiatsu is a Japanese healing therapy that was developed as a combination of Chinese Massage called Anma, key aspects of traditional Chinese Medicine and the theory of Shizuto Masunaga. The word Shiatsu can be translated as “finger pressure”. During a session the therapist applies comfortable, sustained pressure to various parts of the body in order to help life energy or “chi/qi” flow properly.

Shiatsu is described as a very in depth and penetrating body massage. Pressure points are stimulated in the back to increase overall blood circulation to the body. Shiatsu is a great technique used to relieve chronic back, neck and shoulder problems due to old injuries or tension caused by stress and overuse. This technique has been known to be far superior to more common massage therapy treatments which can be often softer and less effective.


How is Shiatsu therapy different from massage?

The main difference is the theory they are based on, Shiatsu being based primarily on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Masunaga Theory. This means that energy pathways will be balanced, locally and distally, rather than certain muscles being massaged. Another difference is that during a treatment the recipient remains fully clothed and no oils or lotions are used. A session also includes gentle Shiatsu stretching of the Meridians before and also afterwards to entice the proper flow of energy. This could include bringing stretches home to do on a regular basis.


What conditions can be treated with Shiatsu Therapy?

The following conditions that are commonly treated with Shiatsu Therapy at Splendid Healing clinic.

– Stress

– Painful or tight muscles

– Headaches

– Delayed onset muscle soreness

– Pain or tingling in arms or legs

– Sports injuries

– Marathon or triathlon massage

– Prevention of new injuries

– Pain or restriction in joints

– Posture

– Pregnancy massage

– Prenatal pain

– Postnatal pain

– Sports injuries

– The effects of forced inactivity

– Repetitive stress injuries

– Fluid retention


Shiatsu versus massage?

Shiatsu and other Oriental therapies, like acupuncture, have very unique ways of looking at the body. In Shiatsu we do not diagnose a person but take the signs and symptoms of dis-ease along with observations, your medical history and what is felt in the body during a treatment to put together a personalized pattern of how the condition came to be.


In Zen Shiatsu theory every organ in the body has an energy pathway that runs along the torso, arms and legs. This gives the advantage of working to help any local discomfort but also balancing the energy of specific organs distally as well. Remember that you remain fully clothed, so come prepared with comfortable, loose clothing. Verbal contact is kept with you at all times to ensure the pressure is comfortable for your needs.