is a Japanese form of pressure therapy, which aims at restoring energy, equilibrium and health to the body by applying pressure to specific points located throughout the body. The first syllable "Shi" translates from Japanese as "fingers", and "atsu" as "pressure". Therefore, Shiatsu means 'to apply pressure to the body with the fingers'. Various styles of Shiatsu are now practiced throughout the world.

This pressure massage treats special points called "meridians" - channels of energy flow (or Qi or Chi) in the body. The underlying belief is that blocked meridian points can cause physical discomfort and that techniques applied to specific meridian points can "release" the blockage, thereby balancing energy flow.  There are many benefits of Shiatsu including stimulating circulation to the skin, improving muscular nutrition and stimulating and improving nerve function.

In addition to applying pressure, shiatsu practitioners may manipulate the soft tissue over and around meridians, and perform passive and active stretching exercises as part of treatment. Scientifically speaking, shiatsu is an excellent form of pain relief. Research has shown that applying extensive pressure initiates the release of endorphins, natural pain-killing substances produced by the body. Shiatsu may also lower the levels of adrenaline and other stress hormones, producing a relaxing effect.

Applying a different type of pressure has a different type of effect. Weak or medium stimulation is used to stimulate the nerves and is helpful for fatigue or a weakened condition.
Strong stimulation is beneficial for tight muscles, muscle twitches and spasms.

Pressure on the cells helps to move toxins that have become stagnant with disease, lack of use, or trauma. This produces a rejuvenation effect at the cellular level, enhancing cell function, increasing cellular metabolism, thus lengthening the life of each individual cell while extending the time tissues can exist in a state of health.

Shiatsu can be used to:

keep skin moist, smooth and taut, giving skin resilience, preventing wrinkling.

Limber up muscles - Amplify muscular strength and endurance - Relieve muscular pain.

Stimulate circulation - Strengthen bones, facilitating movement and decreasing joint pain.

Stimulate and improve nerve function and prevent nerve fatigue - Relieve nervous stress and tension.

Assist in digestion of food - Improve elimination of waste products - Assist in fat metabolism and removal and help maintain hormonal balance in the body.


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