Shiatsu is a Japanese style of massage therapy that has developed over thousands of years. In the late 1800s the Japanese massage style known as anma was brought into mainstream Japanese society and Shiatsu is the grandchild of this ancient system. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that this offshoot of anma was given the name Shiatsu. In the 1940s, healer Tokujiro Namikoshi brought Shiatsu into a new realm. His work with Shiatsu was geared towards helping people to relax, deal with stress, recover from muscle pain, and stop anxiety. It wasn’t until 1955 that Shiatsu was officially recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare acknowledged as a beneficial form of treatment.
This one form of ancient healing has grown into two different schools. One school is based on anatomy, physiology, and more western ideals around medicine and healing. While the other school of Shiatsu is connected to the roots of Shiatsu and has a connected to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The word Shiatsu translates in English as ‘finger pressure’ and this style of massage therapy is often described as a finger pressure massage treatment. The treatments are performed while the client is lying on the ground on top of soft mats while fully clothed. Traditional practitioners follow the beliefs of Chinese medicine, treating misalignment in the energy system of the body. In Chinese medicine the belief is that there is a natural flow of energy throughout the body. This energy is call ki, qi, or chi. When this energy is out of balance it can lead to disease or discomfort in the body.
The Shiatsu system of massage works to treat the whole person and not just the issue or cause of discomfort. This is why it is considered a holistic treatment. Shiatsu practitioners use their fingers and palms to put pressure on these energetic pathways where chi flows through the body. These energy lines are called meridians and they are the same lines that acupuncturists use in their treatments. As practitioners press on these areas they help to improve circulation and alleviate stress.Historically Singapore Shiatsu massage has been used to treat people who were experiencing the following medical issues:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Menstrual problems
- Chronic pain
The pressure that Singapore massage Shiatsu practitioner uses is a continuous rhythm and it is localized to specific points on the body. Some have described these treatments as painful, as the continuous pressure create sensitive areas after some time. It is important during a Shiatsu treatment for the client and the practitioner to stay in conversation with each other in case discomfort is felt.
Just like with any massage treatment there are certain conditions that are contraindicated for Shiatsu treatments. If a client has recently had surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, Shiatsu massage is not recommended. If you are dealing with blood clots or are currently pregnant you should not get a Shiatsu massage.
There are trained and skilled Shiatsu Singapore practitioners all over the world. If you would like to try out one of these treatments it is recommended that you not eat a heavy meal before going in for a massage. Practitioners also recommend that people arrive to their treatment early so that they can rest and prepare for their treatment.