Japanese massage or shiatsu massage is an ancient therapy in eastern cultures but it didn’t become popular in the West until the early part of the 20th century. This type of massage differs from traditional Western massage (which is typically Swedish massage) because the emphasis is on a focused pressure in one spot rather than long light strokes throughout.
Shiatsu uses palms and fingertips to apply pressure to one specific part of the body at a time. It can cover the whole body eventually but since it does it one area at a time this could take quite awhile.
Like a lot of Eastern therapies, Japanese massage emphasizes energy points and attempts to correct imbalances in the body’s energy. While there is little scientific evidence to say this works, there is no question that it does have a healing effect on the body.
When you have a shiatsu massage, the therapist will ferret out joint problems as well as muscle stiffness and apply pressure to the areas that are affected. This requires a level of skill and experience because anytime you’re applying pressure to part the body you could do some damage so it takes a practice therapist to be able to heal these areas as opposed to damaging them.
Muscles can become knotted for a variety of reasons including stress and poor posture as well as straining your muscle or even injury. Your muscles become tense in order to protect themselves from further injury. This creates and knot in the muscle that hurts. Shiatsu applies pressure to these knots that causes them to be released and your muscle to get back into a healthy state. Using pressure with the thumb and fingertips as well as palms can help improve circulation and blood flow to the muscles. Which can be both relaxing and stimulating at the same time.
There is evidence to show that shiatsu massage can provide health benefits as the increased blood flow, proper joint movement and decreased muscle tension resulting from the massage can all benefit your health. Many people with muscle injury, arthritis and tendinitis say that they feel great after one of these massages but you don’t have to have any injury or illness to get one, even if you are feeling pretty good you can have this type of Japanese massage that might make you feel even better!