Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shiatsu Massage: Stay Stress Free

Want to go in for a massage? Try Shiatsu.

What is shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a traditional oriental therapy that had its origin in China, traveled to Japan and then finally to the West. The word 'shiatsu' is of Japanese origin and is made up of two words "SHI" meaning "FINGER" and "ATSU" which means " PRESSURE".

The basic concept of this massage is to encourage a positive outlook to life. According to Shiatsu, the working of our body is guided by a 'vital force' which is energy or 'Qi'. Thus in this massage, the fingers are used to apply pressure on various parts of the body to cure many diseases and ailments. Sometimes even the thumb, palm, elbow, knees and feet are used. Walking barefoot on the patient's body too is not an unknown thing!

This technique is very similar to acupuncture however in acupuncture needles are used but in shiatsu it is the parts of the body that are used to apply pressure. Pressure is applied on the acupuncture points link to 915 as well as on general areas. Shiatsu is a much wider concept that includes stretching, joint rotation and manipulation and also very light holding techniques for spiritual healing. It thus helps create flexibility and restores balance in the body.

It can help

Shiatsu not only helps us get over specific ailments but also maintains overall health. It is known to be very effective in rectifying problems such as:
  • Insomnia
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Skin irritation
  • Circulatory problems
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Menstrual problems
  • Respiratory problems
  • Reproductive problems
  • Emotional problems
  • Nervous system ailments
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Posture problems
  • Behavior imbalances

The treatment

'Touch' is an integral part of shiatsu. It is the way in which the practitioner can communicate his love and compassion, in other words positive energy, to the patient so that the body balance can be restored.

The treatment takes nearly an hour or more each time and 3 or 4 sessions are spaced out in a time period of 4 to 6 weeks. However it is also guided by the nature of the problem.

The two basic techniques are:
  • Stimulating, and
  • Sedating
  • Pressure is applied for may be 2-3 minutes to a particular area. Sometimes the practitioner will apply pressure in different forms like rotating some part of the body, stretching some limb or simply holding. The end of the session will result in a relaxed and at times a sleepy person. So go ahead and take some rest.

After effects and cautions

Shiatsu is generally a very safe treatment that can even be practiced on children, pregnant women and the elderly. However, sometimes you may experience some after-effects like:
  • Cough and cold
  • Tiredness
  • Emotional ups and downs
  • Headache or some aches and pains
This is a sign that the treatment has had an effect. In fact, what it means is that the body is getting rid of unwanted foods, stress and tensions.

Keep these cautions in mind:
  • It should not be practiced or taken if there is high fever
  • It should not be practiced or taken if there is some infection
  • It should not be practiced or taken if there is a cut, bruise or inflammation of any sort.
  • Never take or give shiatsu after a large meal.
  • Always wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes.
  • No pressure at any time should be applied to the varicose veins.
  • The room in which it is practiced should always be quiet, warm and clean.
Try this oriental therapy and stay relaxed and stress free.

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