Shiatsu and Thai Massage are Oriental healing arts that were developed in Japan and Thailand respectively. Most Oriental countries use similar forms of bodywork. These Healing Arts are all based on principles similar to Acupuncture which works with an underlying electromagnetic field of the body. Each of these massages concentrates on unblocking the flow of life energy and restoring balance to the meridians, organs, and emotional state in order to promote self-healing.
Both Shiatsu and Thai Massage work on the principle that disease is caused by a disturbance in the flow of energy through the body. This disturbance usually comes from stress, emotional state, diet or lack of rest. It is now recognized scientifically that the build up of stress impairs the function of the immune system, the internal organs and causes emotional volatility.
As in all Chinese Medicine, the aim is to bring the whole being, physical and emotional, into a state of balance by restoring the free flow of energy. This means that not only can these healing arts help with physical ailments, for example, sinus problems, arthritis, backache or indigestion, but it is also very helpful with emotional or mental states, such as anxiety, bereavement and other stresses.
Shiatsu and Thai Massage have the effect of stimulating the circulation, working on the nervous system, helping to release toxins and deep-seated tension from the muscles. The practitioner applies pressure with the fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows or knees to specific areas on the body located along the energy meridians. She might also use a variety of stretches in stagnant areas in order to stimulate energy flow. Treatment usually leaves a feeling of deep relaxation, calmness and well-being.
Shiatsu and Thai Massage can be adapted to suit all needs from those of the vigorous and athletic to those of the frail, elderly, those who are extremely sick or in acute pain.
Shiatsu is a gentle, supportive massage which is received fully clad. Pressure (usually with thumbs or palms) is applied down the Traditional Chinese Medicine energy channels. Generally the whole body is treated.
To fully treat the body, a 90 minute session is recommended but not required. During the initial health intake, the receiver tells the practitioner of any problems they may be currently experiencing and also any relevant health history. The therapist then treats according to her assessment of the pulses, the written health intake, and observation of various qualities of the body.
By relieving stress and creating energetic balance, a Shiatsu session acts as preventative medicine and can be used as a way to stay healthy.