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Definition: Shiatsu

Shiatsu involves a rhythmic sequence of pressure to unblock and balance flows of life energy, commonly known as "chi." Similar to acupressure and acupuncture, this form of massage focuses on your body's points and pathways considered essential for health and well-being.

The word shiatsu means "finger pressure," so it makes sense that practitioners use mostly finger pads, and no massage oil, while you wear loose cotton clothing. According to MassageTraining101:

The focus is on specific zones on the skin that are located along the energy meridians. When these meridians are unblocked the major body systems and organs they represent are encouraged to heal and attain perfect balance. Shiatsu bodywork brings about a sense of relaxation while stimulating blood circulation and lymphatic flow.

Sounds great, but it still comes with a warning: After their first Shiatsu massage, many clients complain of flu-like symptoms, body pains, or headaches as side effects. (Wait, I thought the purpose of a massage was to relieve aches and pains?!) Thankfully, these symptoms (should) never last long and decrease with each additional treatment.


Join The Conversation
This is so so fabulous,, aaahhhh!!!
wren1 wren1 8 years
I love shiatsu massage and feel so relaxed afterwards.
fleurdelispink fleurdelispink 8 years
I was in a store the other day and sat in a demo massage chair and it had a Shiatsu option on it and it hurt like anything. :-( I like Swedish massage the best.
candace87 candace87 8 years
What do you all find to be the most relaxing type of massage? I've been meaning to go for one but I REFUSE to go to a chiropractor, and all the other places ask what type you want and I don't know what to say :oops: any suggestions?
lotuslight lotuslight 8 years
Not to be a debbie-downer, but I am a massage therapist, and i trained in Shiatsu briefly, and I think it's pretty ineffective--according to personal experience, and experiences of many of my clients. It may work for some people, but I don't think it is as effective as regular massage methods.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
That sounds heavenly!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Damn, I need a massage.
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