The first thing they observe is a quiet and calm feeling. They normally go home with a ‘floating sensation’ and positive lightness. For sure, if it was pain that brought them to a session – by the end of the treatment, it is gone.”
Gemma Sachiko is a Shiatsuteacher and practitioner, based in Spain. Shiatsu is a body therapy created in Japan – it improves health by stimulating the body through pressure stimulation and stretching. It is highly energetic and holistic.
Sachiko explains the word ‘Shiatsu’:
“We find ‘Shi’ for fingers and ‘atsu’ [is pressing] on body parts. We can say then that Shiatsu is a manual therapy, applying appropriate smooth pressure to the body of the user [client].”
Westerners have defined Shiatsu therapy as “a mild osteopathy.” Due to its inclusion of stretching and mobilizations, based on pressure with the fingers and palms.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan outlines Shiatsu as: “Treatment that, applies pressures with the thumbs and palms on certain points. Correcting irregularities, maintaining and improving health, helping to alleviate certain diseases [discomfort, pain, stress, nervous disorders], thus activating the ability of self-healing in the human body.”
The combination of stretching, osteopathy and localized pressure corrects skeletal deformity, stimulates the circulation of blood and fluids, improves muscle flexibility, improves the harmony of the nervous system, regulates endocrine gland activity and stimulates internal organ function.
Treatment will often be used in conjunction with auriculopuncture (acupuncture on the ear: used to treat pain and addictions, to help with stress and anxiety, depression, allergies, PMS, vision problems.)
Sachiko says during the first treatment, changes can occur almost immediately. Our body’s natural waste elimination process kicks into gear. Innate healing mechanisms begin prepping the body to clear and detox organic materials stored in our adipose (fat) tissue. Clearing the urinary system of liquid waste, as well.
“The main objective is the prevention and treatment of diseases – a system to improve health by eliminating the factors that produce fatigue and stimulating the body’s own recovery capacity. Using manual pressure that is applied to certain established points on the body’s surface.”
Shiatsu is recommended for muscular and physical pain, especially for back pain. It is suggested for a range of conditions – especially during pregnancy – for concerns such as frozen shoulder, limited movement of joints, headaches and migraines, tiredness, exhaustion, difficult digestion and gynecologic issues – such as dysmenorrhea (painful periods). It also helps to calm down the nervous system when you are experiencing stress, anger, or sadness.
“You don’t need to be sick to receive Shiatsu – though it promotes and restore health – even if you’re in a good shape, you’ll definitely feel better, calmer and energetic. Shiatsu is very pleasant to receive. “
Sachiko has studied Shiatsu throughout Japan and Spain, but says her education in the healing effects of physical contact, through touch and massage, began much earlier.
“As far as non-official credentials, in Japan it was my family’s tradition to practice ‘Anma’ and massage to the elders. I began to develop my sense of the importance of touch at the age of two years old. We can say that I never stopped the appreciation of the practice of healing with my hands.”