What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is an Asian style of body work focused on balancing the whole system through dynamic pressures, compressions, and stretches that work with the meridian channels. Shiatsu is done with clothes on so the brain does not get distracted by skin sensations and absorbs the pressure on a much deeper level. Rather than just focusing on symptoms, Shiatsu focuses on the person’s overall emotional and functional state to get to the root cause of those symptoms.
Communication is an important part of the massage session. Before beginning any of the hands on techniques, the practitioner should discuss current symptoms, past injuries, and lifestyle to paint a clearer picture of the source of imbalance. The massage then begins with finger pressure applied to Back Shu Points along the outside of the spine to help determine what channels are in an excess (jitsu) state or in a deficient (kyo) state. From there the session is designed for the individual to bring the body back to balance, by strengthening the weaker channels and dispersing the channels in excess, stimulating the person’s own body to heal itself.
The garden analogy
Both the garden and the human body are microcosms of nature. The processes, cycles, and conditions that exist in a garden can also be observed in the life of a human being. If we use this analogy the practitioner becomes the gardener. The gardener does not make the garden grow. Nature does. The gardener protects the integrity of the garden by promoting growth in some areas and restricting it in others, always observing the interaction between the garden and the outside environment.