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Shiatsu as therapy

Shiatsu is a healing art, originating in Japan, which uses the power of touch and pressure to give us access to our own self-healing abilities. In a Shiatsu session, the practitioner uses pressure from the thumbs and other fingers, palms and even elbows, knees and feet to bring about deep relaxation and a feeling of well-being. Sometimes it is a dynamic process, sometimes it is apparently static, involving the pressure and stretching of the limbs and trunk, kneading and releasing contracted muscles and supporting weak areas. From the recipient's point of view, Shiatsu massage is deeply relaxing, yet invigorating, giving us a feeling of tranquility and awareness of contact with each area of the body.

Shiatsu evolved from traditional massage in the East and, like acupuncture and other oriental therapies, it acts on the body's energy system through the network of meridians, or energy pathways, which relate to the functioning of internal organs. as well as our emotional, psychological and spiritual harmony.

The energy, known as ki in Japanese (qi in Chinese), travels through the body, much like a network of rivers and canals.

Things can happen that disrupt the smooth flow of Ki, causing blockages, or "dams," in certain areas and in others, weaknesses, or pits of stagnation. All of this, in turn, can give rise to physical symptoms, psychological disturbances or the feeling that "things are not quite right".

Shiatsu uses physical pressure and stretching the meridians to unblock "dams" that show themselves as contracted muscles and tight areas and to revitalize non-irrigated areas that may be cold, weak, or just in need of support. Oriental medical theory provides a framework that allows the practitioner to assess the state and energy needs of the body, being able to explain why the body retains tension in certain areas, or points, and feels weak in others.

Elaine Liechti

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