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How to Use Your Knees in Shiatsu Massage

Learn how to use your knees in a shiatsu massage from shiatsu practitioner Shandoah Goldman in this Howcast video.


So one of the things that makes Shiatsu very unique compared to other bodywork methods is that we use the knees, and this is a great way to use my body weight into the receiver without using my hands, so my hands can take a little break.

One thing to be aware is that, because it's actually sending a lot of weight while using the knees, not to use them on areas like the forearms or even next to the spine. So I'm going to work on the hamstring, which is a really great area to use the knees on. So I'm just going to place both knees here. And depending on the dimensions of the receiver, both knees usually fit really nicely in between just above the knee, making sure there's no pressure on top of the knee and right underneath the buttocks. Just like that. And then I'm just going to place one hand here for support and maybe one hand on the calf too.

I'm just going to rock my weight forward a little bit. This is a great way to cover a lot of surface area at a time and to release the whole hamstring which follows a parallel energy pathway meridian that runs right along the back of the leg. So just shifting my body weight forward. And then to get more specific work here with the knee, I might just use one knee here and rocking back or forth or just staying still and just that pressure.

So also a big difference of Shiatsu is that we're working on the floor and the reason is is that now I can send my body weight into hers and that's what creates the pressure. I'm really balanced here. If I didn't have all of my weight going in through the knee and I was sort of halfway doing it, I might not feel as balanced. So of course you want to make sure that you're not just like pouring it in without being aware of the size of the receiver and the amount of pressure you're giving, but if you feel comfortable and the receiver feels comfortable, you can go ahead and really just pour your weight all the way down into that hamstring.

And then to work on both legs at the same time, I'm going to place my knees right underneath the buttocks line here, into that fleshy area, and then I can use my hands here too and I'm going to tell my receiver to take a deep breath. Please take a deep breath. And then as she exhales, I'm going to just pour my weight into the knees and the hands at the same time.

So here we're like giving Shiatsu to the whole body at the same time by sending an opposing stretch up towards the head and also down towards the legs. Of course, I want to just transition off really gently here, by placing my hands into the hefts as I move my weight off. So the knees are a great tool to use in Shiatsu and those are just some of the ways that you can use them.

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