Shiatsu literally means thumb pressure which is applied along the energetic meridians and to the specific acupuncture points found in Oriental Medicine. It influences by sedating or stimulating via the point pressure the flow of energy through the limbs, muscles, surface , core of the body and organs along those meridians or energy channels.
Energy can be either excessive or deficient so Shiatsu works with imbalances such as:
•Over/under energy conditions
•Numbness or pain
•Stiffness or laxity
•Anxiety or depression
•Insomnia or fatigue
Our approach to Shiatsu Touch…
•“Running” the meridians or energy channels to stimulate the flow through the Five Elements
•Building or dispersing the energy in the different muscles
•Stimulating the main Source Points for a general balancing treatment
•Drawing on a series of points known to be effective for a specific condition
Its origins date back to Chinese antiquity with the origins of Oriental Medicine which archaeologically date 5000 years ago but upon written record dates 2000 years ago in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic Internal Medicine-Nei Jing. During the unification of the Northern and Southern China in 500bc, the science of Oriental Medicine evolved so that mastery of oriental bodywork was required of each OM medical physician to help them refine their palpation skills necessary for the practice of acupuncture.
In 600 AD, a Buddhist monk, Gan Jin Osho brought to Japan the medicine of the Imperial China which included Oriental Bodywork which came to its peak 10 to 1200 years later. However, in 1900s the influence of Western medicine, caused the ruling elites to ban Traditional Oriental Medicine OM.
But, Tamai Tempaku in 1919 merged Western understanding of anatomy, physiology and massage with oriental bodywork therapies. He wrote “Shiatsu Ho” and “Ampuku” (Hara-similiar to the Chinese Dan Tien in the middle of the lower abdomen, the elizir of Life). His students Ka tsusuke Srizawa, Tokujiro Namikoshi and the mother of Shizuto Maunaga developed their own approaches and founded schools which still influence modern Shiatsu. Momentarily Shiatsu was again banned by the US army post World War II but was re-instated after an outcry from the Japanese people. In 1985 it was legally recognized by the Japanese government and throughout the Japanese industries it is offered free to their workforce as a preventative for loss of work. Toshiko Phipps brought and taught Shiatsu to the US in 1950. In the 70’s, Shiatus became more widely known and by the 80s the following forms evolved…
•Acupressure Shiatsu-focussing on acupuncture points
•Five Element Style Shiatsu-Points, breath, food are selected based on Five Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine
•Macrobiotic Style Shiatsu-Developed Ojsawa, Kushi …and focusses on meridian work and living in harmony with the Tao, the elements and nature through lifestyle changes
•Nippon Style Shiatsu-Developed by Namikoshi with emphasis on Western physiology, OM and meridians
•Zen Shiatsu-Developed by Masunaga, synthesizing tonification and sedation principles of TCM with western anatomy and physiology