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How to Give a Shiatsu Massage to Person Lying on Their Side

Learn how to give a Shiatsu massage to someone lying on their side from Shiatsu practitioner Shandoah Goldman in this Howcast massage video.


We use side position in shiatsu in a couple of instances. It's great if the receiver is pregnant. They would be laying this way unobstructing their belly. Another great reason to work in side position is if somebody has neck difficulties and they can't lay face down. This gives a really great surface space to work on the neck and comfortably support the cervical spine. And then it's also just a great position to be able to work lots of rotations in the shoulders and to work the whole side of the body where we have one long energy pathway.

So I can release here the shoulder, swing the arm up, and I can do a stretch for the whole side of the body here. I'm going to bring my hand to the hip and lean my weight back.

There's a lot of attention to the front and the back of the body in our daily lives, but we rarely get to really open up the side body and the whole rib cage. So, this is is a nice way to work on that. I can really access the whole body in this position. I could work on the hip and the shoulder, work on the IT band energy pathway that runs down the side of the body all the way down to the foot.

Then I could also do some really lovely stretches for the front of the leg by reaching around, depending on how flexible the receiver is, and this is great to open up the whole front of the hip and stretch the front of the leg as well as rotation. Again, that's really great for women who are pregnant to have that sense of weightlessness of having their limbs lifted and rotated. So, a great way to access the whole side of the body in this position.

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