How to Give a Shiatsu Hip Massage

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


I am going to start by talking about what the hip actually is. Often we think about the hips being on the side here, or maybe even here where we bend from, but our true hip joint is right at the top of the leg. Right in here, right where we have that crease. And so, that's really important information when we are working on hips in Shiatsu. I'm going to really focus on releasing the front of the hip, right into the crease here.

To do that, I'm going to start by a little bit of rocking. This is called Kembiki, which is a Japanese word, and this is the action of Kembiki. It's a pushing-pulling, gently rocking the leg. You can see this is actually traveling all the way up towards her head and down to the feet. So even though we are focusing on the hip, this technique is great for the whole body. I'm going to reach, there is a space right under the knee here, and I'm going to reach under and pick up her knee, right on the top of my knee here.

I'm using my body for leverage to pick up the weight of her whole leg. Then, bringing my hand to the front of the knee, I'm going to keep one hand right here just to stabilize the pelvis and increase in to a 90-degree angle.

So this is the true hip joint, right in front there. I'm going to bring one hand to the knee, and one underneath the ankle, and do some rotations. I've turned my body to face hers so that I can move my own body to create that circular motion and rotation in the hip. I bring my hips back and forward, and that's what is making this rotation of her hip, rather then me staying still and muscling to do it, I'm using my whole body. Really important in Shiatsu.

Then I'm going to set my foot right next to her torso and do a nice hip stretch right here. I'm just creasing in. Her knee is supported on mine. I'm going to place my other hand here, just to give a little counterweight, just feeling what the limit is, and then bringing the leg back, just the way that we started, sliding off the knee and maybe just releasing again.

Sometimes, you can see as those hips release that the pelvis is actually tilted a little bit, since this side is released more than the other. That's a great way to release the front of the hip, and again, all of the energy pathways that run though this area up and down the length of the body.

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