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What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a physical therapy that supports and strengthens the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself. It works on the whole person - not just with the physical body, but also with the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of a person too. 

The term shiatsu is composed of two words: 'shi' meaning finger and 'atsu' meaning pressure and so the therapist applies comfortable, sustained pressure with their thumbs, fingers, and hands to specific points on the body.​

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What is Shiatsu?
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How does Shiatsu work?


Shiatsu, like Acupuncture, works on the body's vital energy (known as 'Ki' or 'Chi'), and by harmonising this energy promotes better health and strengthens the body's own self-healing abilities. ​

Shiatsu Therapy is a healing art, which draws its theory and techniques from both  Oriental Medicine and from Western massage practice. It originated in Japan from Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), with influences from more recent Western therapies. Although Shiatsu means ‘finger pressure’ in Japanese, in practice a practitioner uses touch, comfortable pressure and manipulative techniques to adjust the body’s physical structure and balance its energy flow. It is a deeply relaxing experience and regular treatments can alleviate stress and illness and maintain health and well-being.

How does Shiatsu work?

How will Shiatsu help me?


Shiatsu helps to relax the muscles, tone up the circulatory and lymphatic systems, improve suppleness and flexibility in the joints, and assists the functioning of the internal organs. Shiatsu has a deeply relaxing effect on the body, calms the mind and produces an overall feeling of well being. Shiatsu may be used in conjunction with orthodox medical treatment or other alternative therapies. It is an excellent treatment for sports injuries, read more about Sport Shiatsu here.

The pressure applied in shiatsu can help to increase circulation, release muscular tension, relieve pain, increase range of motion and help the body to function at its best. While there has only been a limited amount of research on Shiatsu, what has been done has demonstrated a positive effect on short and long-term stress levels, anxiety, tension, sleep disturbances, and pain.

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How can it help me?
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What's involved in a treatment?


A full treatment lasts sixty minutes and is done with the client fully-clothed, lying on a massage table or, more traditionally, on a comfortable mat.

Shorter treatments of twenty or thirty minutes are also quite effective, particularly if done on a regular basis. Short treatments can be done using a massage chair and are ideal for a corporate environment.

Shiatsu can be performed on anyone, regardless of their age or state of health. The depth and strength of pressure is adjusted to suit the health needs and comfort level of each individual client. Pressure can range from extremely gentle for those who are quite sensitive or in a delicate state of health to very deep for those in robust health and with a strong tolerance.

What's involved
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