May 112010

When it comes to exploring the ways to improve one’s health, the Japanese are surely known as one of the best and most knowledgeable. It’s no surprise that they are also the creators of one of the most prominent massaging therapy techniques, Shiatsu. Shiatsu combines various therapeutic activities that benefit the body greatly, while also paying great attention to the needs of the spirit – basing the entire study on the idea that a healthy body cannot exist without an equally healthy mind running it.

The body energy, known in Eastern cultures as Chi (or Qi), plays a great role in Shiatsu – it’s a common belief in Shiatsu practitioners that in order for a body to be healthy and strong, it must have an uninterrupted, proper flow of Chi inside it. The therapy involves several techniques aimed at the places where Chi’s movement commonly becomes problematic, allowing the body to be rejuvenated and refreshed.

The technique is known to be very useful in treating various conditions, such as headaches – from minor ones to migraines; joint problems, like swelling and stiffness (which are notoriously hard to get rid of); and also problems related to your mental state that are stemming from your poor flow of Chi – you’ll feel more energetic and lively, and you’ll find yourself in a positive mood a lot more often.

According to the Shiatsu teachings, your body is divided into several “meiridians,” the most important two of which are the Governor Vessel and the Conception Vessel – the first one is located on the back of your body, while the Conception is along your front. The therapist will first have to diagnose your body’s condition by feeling you and trying to discover places where Chi’s flow is interrupted – they’ll also ask you questions to make this process easier, and you should try to think of any ailments you’re having or have had on a regular basis.

The general style of applying Shiatsu involves using various parts of the therapist’s body, including the entire hands (palms, fingers and knuckles), and also some parts of the legs such as the knees and feet, and even toes. It may seem strange to one who’s not familiar with the process and technique, but there’s a lot of logic and sense behind it for those practicing it and studying the Shiatsu.

A good Shiatsu massage will leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated. The feeling should be noticeably different than that left after other popular types of massage, but you should find it just as enjoyable – some say that they like it even more. The important thing is, though, that by freeing your pressure points and allowing Chi to flow through your body freely, you will feel better not only physically, but mentally – which is something not every type of massage can give you.

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