All professional Shiatsu therapists are trained to respect and observe the integrity of the whole person. This holistic perspective is consistent amongst all Shiatsu professionals and is evident in our philosophy of care.
During a Shiatsu treatment therapists create deep sensitive pressure using the thumbs, fingers and hands. Some Shiatsu therapists are also trained to apply techniques using their elbows, and knees. Whereas Swedish massage involves the use of oil or lotion for the purpose of gliding techniques, Shiatsu is delivered using direct rhythmic pressure and contact is sustained. During a Shiatsu session you may wear loose comfortable clothing or may receive Shiatsu therapy while covered by a sheet. Shiatsu therapy employs stretching and range of motion techniques to improve joint mobility and muscle pliability. Shiatsu can be performed on a futon on the floor, in a chair, or on a table. Shiatsu tables are low to allow the therapist to apply weight rather than relying on strength.
Assessment and treatment in Shiatsu can vary depending on whether a therapist has been trained to utilize eastern or western medical theory. In the eastern tradition, the shiatsu therapist works to harmonize and regulate the energetic pathways (meridians) and to attend to areas of energetic congestion and depletion. From a western medical perspective energetic congestion/depletion may be observe as an area of poor circulation/structural imbalance or pain. Some therapists are educated to offer nutritional and dietary advice and are also trained in exercise and stretching techniques.
Shiatsu therapy can positively affect emotional wellbeing. After a Shiatsu session you are most likely to feel a sense of deep relaxation and reconnection with your somatic self. You may also feel sleepy or energized depending on your general health status. The Therapist will most likely encourage you to keep well hydrated after the treatment and to notice if there has been improvement in signs and symptoms.