What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a type of bodywork. The word 'Shiatsu' literally means 'finger pressure' in japanese. it is a hands- on therapy. Shiatsu has it's roots in Chinese and Japanese thought but these have been integrated with the influences and understandings of Western Science.

Shiatsu works with stillness and movement, awarness of sensations and breathing. It uses stretches and joint mobilisations to open and get flow moving in the body. It does not use manipulation to get results but depends on our body's own ability to heal, given the conditions to do so. Ideally it offers the perfect support for this to take place.

Finger, thumb and palm pressure is mostly used. Pressure is sustained at a level agreed by you.

A Shiatsu treatment normally lasts about an hour. It is usually given on a futon mat on the floor but can be received in any position you feel comfortable. You remain fully clothed for the session. Loose comfortable top and trousers are ideal. It is best to not have a large intakes of food within an hour of the session but be comfortable not hungry. 


The Western scientific approach acknowledges that Shiatsu will tend to sedate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and promote the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS is associated with the 'fight or flight' response. In our society, this is activated far too much of the time by all the various stresses to which we are subject. The PNS relates to what we might broadly describe as the nourishing and healing functions (digestion, deepened breathing, blood circulation, etc). These are suppressed when the SNS is more highly activated.


This is also written as 'Chi Kung' and 'Chi Gong'. It means ‘Flow-renewing work’. It is a way to work with, and to cultivate - or increase, the basic flow patterns within our being. It consists of specific movements, usually done in time with the breath, and with close attention. These exercises activate and increase the intake of Qi (What i am calling flow-renewal, because 'energy', the usual description has too many conotations that do not describe Qi). TaiQi (Tai Chi) is a particularly long and complex form of Qigong. Many of the exercises are very simple to learn, but are profound and act deeply.

Qigong practices fall into two main categories: health-related and martial-arts related. Martial arts practices concentrate on the development of strength, power and the ability to resist blows, etc. Health related forms are designed to improve health. Different exercises act in different ways. Some are very specific and may be intended to improve the health of particular organs or parts of the body, while others are intended to have more general and widespread effects. The common factors seen in Qigong exercises are use of the breath, movement and mindfulness.


One day the sun admitted, I am just a shadow: I wish to show you the infinite incandescence.



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