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How to Give a Diagonal Stretch Shiatsu Massage

Learn how to give a diagonal stretch shiatsu massage from shiatsu practitioner Shandoah Goldman in this Howcast video.


To strive for greatest balance, we are looking to be symmetrical. And often the case is that one side of the body is more tense than the other, and we move off of balance. A great way to work on that is to do diagonal stretches, because it's basically looking at the four quadrants, the shoulders and the hips, and creating some length in between them. I'm going to demonstrate a diagonal stretch for, really the whole body, but to focus on the spine, a spinal twist, and rotation of the pelvis and the hips.

To do that, I'm going to just pick up the leg right over mine so I'm using my knee here for leverage to pick up hers. I'm going to place one hand on her heel and one under her knee and just do a few, small rotations of the hip and you can see I'm moving my whole torso to create that motion. I'm going to just take one foot and just step right over.

I'm really comfortable here, I could just go hands-free too, her leg is just supported on mine. Then I'm going to tell her to just take a nice, deep breath, and as she exhales, I'm going to slide her knee across mine, placing her foot behind her calf, and lean my body weight forward as she is exhaling.

Then I'll just back up, but I'll keep her leg in position, place one hand under the lumbar spine, one under the shoulder. Take another deep breath in. Then pulling as I move my body weight to the side. I can hold there. I can also just keep her in that position and work on the meridian energy pathway that runs right along this side of the thigh and all the way down to the foot.

So, as Shiatsu is a holistic form of body work, it's really useful to think of how can I incorporate the whole body, even though my focus might be on one area or one thing, such as the diagonal stretch. A few more rotations, and placing the leg down.

Then of course, I would do the other side, same flow. So from that diagonal stretch, I am really seeing how perhaps the hip and the shoulder now have come into more of a symmetrical alignment across both sides. This is just pressure into the shoulder, front of the hip, on both sides, to find that balance.

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