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Shiatsu massage: what it is and benefits

Shiatsu massage: what it is and benefits


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Is calledshiatsu(指 圧) and is a Japanese technique that has its roots in oriental Chinese medicine. The original practice is called "tui na" and came to Japan in the Nara period (710-793). It is clear that theShiatsu massageit counts on centuries and centuries of practice even if the first real centerShiatsuwas born in the 40s by Tokukiro Namikoshi, considered as the father ofShiatsu massagemodern.

A little curiosity: at the dawn of time, in Japan, theShiatsu massageit was practiced exclusively by the blind who, at the expense of the sense of sight, were able to enhance tactile abilities. Even today, the Japanese blind community continues to work as a professionalshiatsu massage.

Shiatsu massage: what it is

Wrongly writtenshatsu or shatzu, the wordShiatsuis Japanese and literally means "finger pressure". The use of machinery or mechanical tools is not allowed.

TheShiatsu massageit is practiced by applying pressure not only with the fingers, but also with those of the feet, with the palms of the hands and with the thumbs. It's about ahandlingismobilizationdesigned to correct muscular or structural problems, or to promote good musculoskeletal health.

Due to its characteristics, itshiatsumay include stretching techniques. The diagnosis is made by an expert with targeted palpations and, sometimes, an examination of the wrist.

Shiatsu massage: do you dress up?

The session can be held:

  • lie down on the floor on a mat or futon
  • lie down on a cot
  • seated

During the session, the expert may ask you to change your position several times, based on the areas of intervention and the symptoms to be treated.

Unlike othersmassages, the user can undergo a session ofshiatsu massagewithout the need to undress, therefore dressed.

Does shiatsu massage hurt?

The answer is very secretive, it depends a lot on the departure situation of the user who undergoes the massage. If you have doubts that the shiatsu massage can be painful, ask to intervene with more gentle, slow and repeated pressure. THEshiatsu massages, administered in this way, assist in muscle relaxation and, at the same time, improve the joint, lymphatic and circulatory situation.

How long does a session last?

The duration and cost are agreed with the professional before the start of the session. Typically, a full session lasts 40 to 60 minutes.

Benefits of Shiatsu

There is no scientific evidence that can bring out thebenefits of shiatsuas a specific medical treatment. However, the Shiatsu technique is approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health.

In 2015, the Australian Department of Health published research examining the possibilitiesbenefitsof differentalternative treatments, theshiatsu massagewas counted among the 17 therapies that did not report proven efficacy.

Please note: medical research focuses oncareor thepreventionof certain pathologies but not on relieving symptoms. In fact the massageshiatsuit should not be seen as a tool to "cure" pathologies but a technique forrelieve certain symptoms.

If soshiatsunotcareany disease, however, can be useful in the treatment of many symptoms such as:

  • Contractures from stress and nervousness
  • Sedentary contractures or poor posture
  • To relieve sore muscles and joints
  • To relieve muscle tension and relax the muscles
  • To relieve pain in the cervical area
  • To relieve headaches especially when generated by muscular tension or if of nervous origin
  • To assist relaxation and counteract insomnia problems
  • Digestive difficulties related to the emotional sphere (nervous gastritis, slow digestion, abdominal bloating ...)
  • To ease anxiety

Sixbenefits of shiatsu massagesthey are numerous, much less dense is the list of contraindications and side effects.

Shiatsu massage: contraindications

Given that theshiatsu massageis performed by an expert, should not existcontraindications.

The only cases in which they are presentcontraindicationsare: in case of recent fractures, during post-operative hospitalization, in case of inflamed or acute herniated disc, in case of breathing difficulties or severe liver problems.

Where to do shiatsu massages?

In Italy there are many centers and private professionals who offer sessions of shiatsu massage. To protect you from unauthorized operators, the Italian Federation of Shiatsu Teachers and Operators has made public the register of accredited professionals. To consult the list and locate an accredited professional, please refer to Italian Register of Shiatsu Operators.

There are also experienced masseurs in the shiatsu massage not accredited by the reference body reported, however, in these cases, we recommend that you inquire about the operator's reputation and the certificates obtained.

If you are fascinated by alternative medicine and oriental techniques, I recommend you read the article dedicated to Acupuncture.

You may also be interested in our related articleMassage therapy: what it is


Video: Health Benefits of Shiatsu Massage (June 2022).