Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage and bodywork that has become well known and popular across the western hemisphere. It is similar in practice to Thai Massage though generally less physically dynamic and rooted in a different diagnostic system.
The application of Shiatsu is based on the beautiful philosophy and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, an organic system that is ancient yet forever growing, adapting and evolving. This includes theory and purposeful application of the meridian pathways, their related qualities and organs; yin and yang; the 5 Elements and other aspects. The Japanese made their own unique interpretation of this system, added some of their own qualities and transformed it into what is now Shiatsu.
This, and the other Eastern bodywork art forms, are more complete, in my experience, then their western counterparts, as holistic healthcare systems. Focusing on harmonising the flow of energy in the body, particularly in the meridians, Shiatsu is not limited to the treatment of the muscular and postural, as are so many western approaches such as Deep Tissue and Sports Massage.
Shiatsu can be deeply nurturing and strengthening where there is depletion and exhaustion of a person’s energy reserves.
Using acupressure, Shiatsu penetrates very deeply into the body and energy of a person, even when the physical pressure is light. The main focus of Shiatsu is to find the areas of a person’s energy that are deficient and needing support, and by strengthening these areas, the tight, excessive and tense parts of a person’s body, often those that cause pain, can be easily dispersed. This creates a longer term healing within the body, rather than targeting tense and tight areas and releasing them without first supporting the essential needs of the body.
This is reflected in how we respond to the world – when our needs are not met and we are left feeling wanting, we often create compensatory and protective measures to hide and avoid our internal lack. This can be applied at every level of our being. Shiatsu helps in addressing and satisfying the deep energetic needs of a person.
Therefore, Shiatsu can help to alleviate a variety of conditions that are not limited to just muscular problems.
Zen Shiatsu, in its purity, works with the meridians as postural expressions of different aspects of our personality, feelings and psychology. The modern Shiatsu tradition expands upon the Chinese diagnostic system into a realm where bodywork meets psychology. Every aspect of how we feel and think is reflected into the form of our physical bodies which more often than not become constricted and limited.
Each meridian and Elemental pair i.e. Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth and Water reflect a different but equally vital aspect of human growth and consciousness. Disturbances in the flow of the energetic pathways in the body will offer information not just about the physical body but about the condition of the associated aspect of the person’s mind and emotions. If we truly wish to find the root cause of a physical problem in our body, such as chronic muscular pain or tension, we must take our explorations deep into our mind and emotions and make the changes required to assist our bodies.
Sessions are available for 1 – 2 hours. The cost is £80 an hour.
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