Background

Massage and acupuncture were used for centuries as part of traditional Chinese medicine practice. The Japanese further developed medical massage, evolving the special techniques used in Shiatsu today (such as abdominal diagnosis, and the use of pressure with thumb/finger etc. for healing).

Zen Shiatsu in particular was developed by Shizuto Masunaga, who further evolved the practice and understanding of Shiatsu by combining Western psychological studies and special exercises to stimulate the Chi, or energy, in the meridians.

Principles of Shiatsu

Oriental perspective on medical practice involves the perception of the Chi or universal energy which pervades all living entities. (It is otherwise known as Ki, Qi, Prana or energy.)

With mindful practice in Chi Gung (energy development exercises), it is possible to feel the sensation of Chi and develop a sense of how it moves.

In Oriental medicine, the harmony and balance of Chi in the human body is perceived as being essential to health.

Oriental medicine practice discovered Chi runs through energy lines or meridians in the body. Various situations cause this to block or become irregular, leading to symptoms of ill health. Rebalancing the energy in the body can help ease symptoms and health.

So a Shiatsu practitioner listens to and works with a client’s energy, bringing support to areas that need it and smoothing the flow of Chi in order to bring more balance to the system and support the client’s health.

An emphasis in the touch of Shiatsu is to pay attention to and listen to the body’s energy and responses, so the receiver feels nurtured, respected and empowered in their own process. Reactions and responses are welcomed to be discussed at any time during or after treatment.

Shizuto Masunaga, founder of Zen Shiatsu