Most people have heard about Swedish massages or deep tissue massage but not too many people know about Shiatsu massages. The Shiatsu massage originated in Japan and is based on an older Chinese medicinal practice. The word “shiatsu” means “finger pressure” in Japanese, which is the primary technique used to promote healing and relaxation. King David Therapy would like to share more about the origins of the Shiatsu massage and what key elements make this style different from other massage forms.

Who Invented Japanese Shiatsu Massage?

Shiatsu massage was formally developed in the early 20th century by a Japanese therapist named Tokujiro Namikoshi. He began his study in traditional Chinese medicine and massage techniques as a way to treat his own mother’s rheumatoid arthritis. Namikoshi developed a unique form of massage that combined finger pressure, stretching, and joint manipulation to relieve pain and promote healing. Over time, Namikoshi’s method of massage became very popular in Japan and was recognized as a form of alternative medicine. In 1964, the Japanese government officially recognized the Shiatsu massage as a legitimate form of therapy, and it has since gained popularity in many other parts of the world as well. Today, Shiatsu massage is often used as an additional form of therapy for a number of medical conditions.

Main Shiatsu Massage Techniques

            Focus on Acupressure Points – Shiatsu massage involves applying pressure to very specific acupressure points on the body. The acupressure points are believed to be connected to different organs and systems in the body. By stimulating these points, the Shiatsu massage can help to improve the flow of energy or “ki” throughout the body, promote healing, and reduce pain and tension in the body.

            Use of Fingers, Palms, and Thumbs – Many other forms of massage use a variety of techniques and tools, such as oils, lotions, hot stones, or massage balls. However, Shiatsu massage is different as it primarily uses the fingers, palms, and thumbs to apply pressure to the various acupressure points in the body. A Shiatsu massage therapist may also use other parts of their body, such as elbows or knees, to apply pressure in certain areas.

            Clothes Stays On – Shiatsu massage is typically done with the client fully clothed, as they do not use oils or lotions on the skin. During a Shiatsu massage, loose and comfortable clothing is usually recommended. This way your clothing will allow free movement of your body and to help the therapist apply pressure to the needed areas.

            No Stretching or Joint Manipulation – While some forms of massage may involve stretching or manipulating the joints, Shiatsu massage focuses primarily on applying pressure, again to those acupressure points and does not involve significant amount of stretching or joint manipulation. However, in some cases the therapist may feel it beneficial and do some stretches or manipulation of the body.

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Shiatsu massage is a unique form of massage that can be beneficial for those looking to address specific health concerns, improve energy flow, and promote relaxation and well-being. If you find you want to schedule a Shiatsu massage, contact King David Therapy today.

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