Shiatsu (Acupressure)

Shiatsu is a Japanese word meaning "finger pressure". While its historical roots can be traced to China, it evolved into a distinct art in Japan over hundreds of years. Unlike most Western forms of bodywork, shiatsu is usually performed on a mat on the floor. (Though a table can be used, and our Shiatsu on the Spot service seats clients on a stool.) No oils are used and the recipient remains clothed. Light to medium pressure is applied with the thumbs, fingers, and hands along channels or "meridians" that help to balance and free the flow of physical and mental energy. When appropriate, a shiatsu therapist can create deep pressure with elbows, knees, and feet. Shiatsu therapy also uses soft tissue manipulation and stretching. Shiatsu" originated in Japan as a blend of traditional Japanese massage (Amma), and Traditional Chinese Medical theory (TCM). Amma uses rubbing, pressing, stretching, and manipulations to restore suppleness to the body and remove "blocked" areas. Traditionally the seeing impaired were recruited as Amma practitioners, as they were thought to have more sensitivity to the sense of touch. In the early 1940's Shizuto Masunaga, trained as an oriental medical practitioner, blended Amma techniques with an understanding of the meridian system, an integral part of TCM, and called this "Shiatsu". Since then, "Shiatsu" has been used as a generic name for many different styles of massage that employ the meridian system: Acupressure, Chi Nei Tsang, Five Element Shiatsu, Integrative Eclectic Shiatsu, Japanese Shiatsu, Jin Shin Do, Macrobiotic Shiatsu, Shiatsu Amma, Zen Shiatsu. As mentioned, Shiatsu is theoretically based on the "meridian" system of Traditional Chinese medical theory (TCM). Discussions of the "meridians" are found in classical Chinese medical texts dated back 2500+ years. All traditional Oriental medical modalities employ use of Meridian theory. Simplistically, the meridians are defined as "invisible energy lines".

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