Allied Health Care Professions: Shiatsu

Shiatsu or Japanese finger pressure therapy practitioners use touch and pressure to rebalance the energy of the body. The practitioners aim is to align the mind, body and spirit of their patients using their energetic system and their meridians.

The practitioner will take a diagnosis of their client using yin and yang, the five elements and their qi (energy). As a result of diagnosis the practitioner will then be able to determine what meridians will be best used in the treatment.

Shiatsu is performed on the ground or lying down on a table. The client is not required to remove their clothing as they are not using any massage oils or lotions. The practitioner will use elbows, knees, feet as well as finger and palms to apply pressure along the meridians they are working on.

The meridians are the energetic pathways through the body that were codified in Chinese Medicine. There are twelve major channels that we deal with, each one being given the name of an Organ (in the Eastern, not the Western medical sense). The twelve Organs are: Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Heart Protector, Triple Heater, Gall Bladder and Liver.1

According to Tokujiro Namikoshi, the founder of Shiatsu therapy, the underlying principal of shiatsu is that the body can fix itself if the qi is balanced.

The meridians

Modalities Used
The modalities used in shiatsu are; qi (energy), yin and yang; the 5 elements (metal, water, wood, fire, earth), meridians, acupuncture and acupressure points, exercise, stretching, pressing, touch, massage and diagnostics.

When would you seek this practitioner?
Shiatsu is good for treating headaches, back pain, aid relaxation, arthritis, muscle stiffness, sports injuries, digestive problems, menstrual problems, asthma, insomnia, anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders, and pregnancy problems.





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