In Japanese, "press with the fingers"
Shiatsu is considered a Japanese technique , but its true origins date back to ancient Chinese philosophies. This was possible thanks to the trade between the two peoples who favored important channels of cultural exchange.
Starting from the sixth century Buddhist monks came to Japan who favored the a Buddhism synthesis' , Taoism's and Confucianism's spread and the Traditional Chinese Medicine's principles (TCM).
In a period when Japan was owned by samurai warriors dynasties, martial arts became especially important, taking by Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM) how and where to hit with minimal effort and maximum effectiveness by studying the human body's vital points.
It was only around 1900 that shiatsu took shape and substance. The creator was Tamai Tempaku, who published a book called "Shiatsu Ho" (finger pressure method). His influence was decisive for the formation of two personalities such as Tokujiro Namikoshi and Shizuto Masunaga, who will make know Shiatsu worldwide.
Tokujiro Namikoshi, very young, in 1905, he moved with his family on an island in northern Japan. Because of the very harsh climate, his mother was suffering from arthritis in the knees and consumed many other body's areas. Tokujiro, decided he had to help his mother and began to experiment with a technique based on the pressures developed with the hands; little by little realized that the treatments carried improvements. Continuing with the experiments he noticed that by pressing on the back's both sides , glands designed to produce cortisone were stimulated, producing a curative effect on rheumatism. Tokujiro opened the Shiatsu Institute in Hokkaido in 1925. And then, in 1940, he founded a new school in Tokyo to teach his technique. In 1957 he was legally recognized by the American Ministry of Health with the name of the Japan Shiatsu School proving very successful. The style Namikoshi, just because it is recognized by Western medicine does not include in its treatment the meridians theory; requires a deep human body's and nervous system's skeletal-muscular structure's knowledge .
Shizuto Masunaga, born in 1925 in the Hiroshima's suburbs (Japan), was the founder and President of Lokai Shiatsu Center of Tokyo. He graduated in psychology at the University of Kyoto and subsequently professor at the University of Tokyo, was influenced by the mother who had studied Shiatsu with Master Tempaku. Towards the twentieth century's end, Shizuto Masunaga led Shiatsu led to its origins, developing his own style, which he called Zen Shiatsu, which combined the fundamentals of Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine and Western Physiology knowledge . In this system, the operator acts on the person's mind, spirit, emotions and body . This recalls Japanese Buddhist monks' simplicity and spiritual approach.
Zen Shiatsu introduces a diagnostic system known as Kyo / Jitsu, which examines the energy present in the meridians, both in the absence (Kyo) and excess (Jitsu) and a new set of exercises, Makko-I, so specifically to help the Ki's flow sliding within the meridians. Masunaga also developed a form of abdominal diagnosis known as Hara diagnosis and he extended the traditional meridians' paths used in acupuncture including additional paths. After his death in 1981, his students began the teaching and dissemination of Zen Shiatsu; in particular, Wataru Ohashi, Masunaga collaborator , contributed to the development and spread of this style in America, customizing it to suit his needs. Masunaga's style is a Shiatsu style that encourages the study and personal development; his theories are now widely used in the U.S. and Europe.
As was said initially, the word Shiatsu means, in Japanese, "press with the fingers," and in fact Shiatsu uses hand pressure on certain human body's parts and points. According Shiatsu in our body there are energy channels, meridians, along which vital energy flows, Ki, and each of them is connected to an organ. Pressing will stimulate the meridians affected and outbuildings points, with the thumbs and palms pressure , you are acting in an analgesic manner on organs, resulting in an effect both at the physiological level and at the psychological level.
The shiatsu's aim is to rebalance the too much or too little in the various body's parts . Where there is a tension excess , energy must decrease, relax. Where there is a shortage, lack of strength, you have to warm up, tone up, fill. So what is out of balance must be rebalanced.
Usually the treatment is preceded by an interview of a few minutes allowing the operator and the receiver to identify the problem and plan the various treatment stages.
The environment is immersed in the stillness and silence.
The receiver must comfortably lie down on the ground, on a special mat.
The pressure is made with the thumb, because it has the largest number of sensory receptors in the hand. it is possible, however, use other body's parts such as the palm, when the area to be treated is larger and requires a more immersive contact or the elbow when you need to use a stronger stimulation to unlock a large energy accumulation .
Both who performs the treatment, both those who receive it, however, experiences an alternation of an active phase (movement - attention) and a passive phase (relaxation - awareness). To be effective, treatment must have both phases.
Joints become more mobile and lubricated, tensions relax and tou have a general relaxation feeling ; you will experience an improvement in the metabolism regularity, a stimulus in individual capabilities, cervical alleviatio, fighting back pain and headaches, an improvement in the circulation with lymphatic drainage effects, regularity in sleep / wake cycle, the nocturnal leg cramps resolution etc. ..
After treatment, the recipient will still remain a few minutes lying down in a pleasant abandonment state , so as to allow the Shiatsu beneficial effects to continue their deep action, while the body slowly and gradually resumed contact with the surrounding reality.
At the end the receiver will be provided with some useful tips to improve health condition and to maintain over time the benefits obtained with the treatment.
FOR WHO IS RECOMMENDED THE SHIATSU MASSAGE AND CONTRAINDICATIONS
The Shiatsu treatment has no specific contraindications and it is open to all people, there are no age limits or condition to receive treatment by expert hands (adults, children, pregnant women and the elderly).
In any case the professional operator will evaluate the type of process most suited to be carried out on each individual.
Shiatsu pressures translate into concrete easing of tensions verifiable in the immediate warmth and lightness feeling, in the lucidity of mind, mood enhancement, in most energy and enthusiasm! For those in search of Wellness, Shiatsu greatly reduces discomfort due to daily stress.