What is Shiatsu Massage and What Are Its Benefits?
- Massage Therapy
- May 9, 2021
- 709 views
- 3 min read
If you’ve been into a gadget store recently, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen some form of Shiatsu messenger or massage chair being offered. If you’re wondering what this exotic type of massage entails, we’ve got the answers for you.
Read More: What Exactly Is a Shiatsu Massage?
What Is Shiatsu Massage?
Shiatsu Massage originates in Japan and China and is defined by the Japanese Ministry of Health as:
“A form of manipulation by thumbs, fingers, and palms without the use of instruments, mechanical or otherwise, to apply pressure to the human skin to correct internal malfunctions, promote and maintain health, and treat specific diseases. The techniques used in shiatsu include stretching, holding, and most commonly, leaning body weight into various points along key channels.”
Shiatsu translates to “finger pressure” in Japanese as was developed from anma, a Japanese style of massage developed in 1320 by Akashi Kan Ichi. The system was popularised in the seventeenth century by acupuncturist Sugiyama Waichi.
Interestingly, since Sugiyama was blind, massage in Japan became associated with the blind, resulting in official edicts being passed that made the practice of anma solely the preserve of the blind and prohibited sighted people from practicing massage.
What Are the Benefits of Shiatsu Massage?
Unlike more modern forms of massage, Shiatsu often contains a spiritual or metaphysical element, focussing on realigning meridian points and balancing qi energy.
There is no evidence that Shiatsu’s metaphysical elements have any benefit or can act as a potential treatment for any kind of medical condition. However, in line with other schools of massage, Shiatsu’s physical techniques do have some proven benefits, including:
- Improved circulation
- Reduced stress and tension as well as anxiety and depression
- Reduced muscle stiffness and pain
- Increased range of movement
- Generalized feelings of relaxation and improved wellbeing.
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