The Japanese art of Finger Pressure or Shiatsu has come to assist people not only in stress reduction and relaxation but also pain management and overcoming nausea, depression and anxiety. Shiatsu consists of specific massage techniques that use palm and finger pressure, stretches and so on.
How Shiatsu works
Like acupressure, shiatsu targets specific pressure points to stimulate the energy systems of the body. The person is required to lie on a padded mat and subjected to massage of the hands, fingers, palms and feet. The pressure is always gentle and relaxing; never painful and may include kneading, percussion, vibration and so on.
The term “Shiatsupractor” is sometimes used to describe a practitioner of Shiatsu and in some areas the certification of the practice of Shiatsu is regulated by the amount of training and the numbers of hours of practice that the person has received.
Shiatsu for pain management
Muscular pain is often relived by shiatsu. Because it can reduce chronic inflammation of the muscles it can be helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. By applying Shiatsu pressure to hands, feet as well as affected joints, circulation is improved and pain relieved. There is some evidence to show that migraine and other headaches can reduce in severity as well as frequency with the help of Shiatsu massage.
Shiatsu for women
Menstrual pain, aches and pains relating to pregnancy and other benefits are known to come from Shiatsu. Its principles can also be used to help a baby assume the proper birthing position in the uterus. There is also the claim that it can help to start labor for overdue pregnancies.
Skin and hair benefits
It is also claimed that shiatsu massage can impart a glow to the skin, due to improved blood circulation. It is also supposed to stimulate the skin’s sebaceous glands, helping to keep skin supple and well hydrated.
Benefits to mental health
While it may well be argued that this is nothing but a placebo effect even clinical studies have been able to demonstrate the calming and relaxing influences of Shiatsu. It can help lower worry and anxieties, and can be a useful adjunct to mainstream treatments for depression and even illness rehabilitation.
Studies have shown that participants have reported to feeling better able to cope with stresses and pressures and that muscular and joint pain has been seen to improve significantly.
Though there is dispute raised by much of the scientific community as to the efficacy of Shiatsu in treating illness and ailment, many will claim to deriving great benefit from this alternative practice.