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What Is Shiatsu Massage?

Learn what a shiatsu massage is from shiatsu practitioner Shandoah Goldman in this Howcast video.


Shiatsu is an ancient healing art that we borrow from Japan. It's based on the meridian system of energy. So these are pathways that run throughout the body similar to acupuncture. It's older than acupuncture and came before needles were invented. Shiatsu actually means "finger pressure" in Japanese and finger pressure is a big part of the work, as well as applying pressure with the palms and elbows, and knees and feet to free up the energy flow and create as much balance as possible.

Shiatsu is traditionally done on the floor. It involves stretching, gentle manipulations and pressure points. Shiatsu is useful for anything going on in the body from something internally out of balance to something externally, such as pain, discomfort. When we think of balance, the body is constantly striving to come into balance and this is a fluxes state. We're never always in balance. So, Shiatsu helps to bring us back and come back to this neutral sense of healing.

It's really looking at the body in the sense of a holistic picture. So rather than targeting one thing and sending all of our focus there we're looking at the whole story; internally, externally, the cause of what's going on and bringing the body out of balance, and working with each person individually to bring them back to a greater sense of balance and awareness.

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