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Shiatsu Therapy 101

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

What is Shiatsu Therapy?

Shiatsu therapy is a non-invasive manual therapy, which is performed with knowledge of Western anatomy, physiology, pathology and Eastern health care principles. Shiatsu therapy involves the systematic application of sustained manual pressure to the body surface, primarily with the thumbs, fingers and palms to help maintain and restore health.

Shiatsu therapy is designed to stimulate the body’s innate healing and balancing mechanisms. Shiatsu treatments stimulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS) through the application of varying degrees of pressure. The results are improved body functioning, decreased pain, tension and stiffness, increased range of motion of joints and improved flexibility.

A shiatsu treatment may be performed on a thick floor mat, or on a low treatment table. As no oils or lotions are used, you are requested to wear loose comfortable clothing. At the initial treatment, a complete medical history is taken along with a thorough assessment of your condition. Progress and changes are recorded at each subsequent visit.

During treatment, the therapist applies sustained pressure to the body surface. The amount of pressure applied is always dependent on your individual condition. A CST® (Certified Shiatsu Therapist™) has knowledge of the physiologic and pathologic process of the body and is able to ascertain when treatment is indicated or contraindicated, if cautions are required and whether referral to another health care professional may be indicated.

What conditions benefit from Shiatsu Therapy?

Shiatsu therapy is beneficial for a wide variety of conditions including:

· Headaches

· Migraines

· Back pain

· Arthritis

· Insomnia

· Menstrual problems

· Fibromyalgia

· Chronic fatigue

· Asthma

· Whiplash

· Neck pain and stiffness

· Repetitive strain injuries

· Muscle tension and spasm

· Digestive problems

· Anxiety and depression

Massage Therapy vs. Shiatsu Therapy

Generally, massage therapy refers to Swedish massage, a therapy that involves rubbing and kneading the body using oils. Swedish massage acts on the circulatory system of the body to improve circulation. It also affects muscle tissue to relieve muscle tension and pain.

Shiatsu therapy uses stationary, holding pressure to apply pressure to the body to regulate body functioning. No oils are used; you may wear loose clothes during the treatment. Shiatsu treatments help to relieve pain and improve organ function. The whole body benefits.

Shiatsu Therapy massage techniques

**All information taken from Shiatsu Therapy Association of Ontario.

Please visit their website for more information

Meet our Shiatsu Therapist: Erin

Hello, I'm Erin a Certified Shiatsu Therapist. My background is in music. One thing that always held me back from going for my musical goals was my health. While I was studying music, I suffered a bad case of tendonitis. The physical limitations of that condition was something I will never forget. Around the same time, I started having migraines because of my cycle and due to this, I was restricted with how much travel and musical performance I was able to do. Being a traveling musician also takes its toll on the body; random eating and sleeping patterns, too much caffeine and definitely not enough exercise. I realized something around that time; if you don't have good health, you can't do what it is you were meant to do.

I discovered a Shiatsu therapist in Windsor and tried it out. What I felt happen in my body from this therapy was amazing. It was like I could feel my body trying to heal itself even after the treatment was over! I knew after my first treatment that this was something I needed to learn one day so I could help others. I looked up schooling and a couple of years later, I moved to Toronto to learn Shiatsu Therapy. While studying, we did a case study on each other. This was the only time in my life that I had Shiatsu treatments on a weekly basis, for about 5 or 6 consecutive weeks. I was pretty impressed by the changes I saw. At the time I was suffering from anxiety, stress, monthly migraines and was overworked and tired from school demands.

During these weeks of treatment, I felt much less stress, controlled anxiety, and NO migraine that month. I felt supported dealing with my health issues. Amazing! I have been practicing Shiatsu Therapy off and on in the Windsor area for over 10 years. I have experience working with clients who suffer from Scoliosis, sciatica, Fibromyalgia, TMJ, tendonitis, migraines, anxiety, any repetitive strain injury, hip alignment, neck tension, stress and fatigue, complications from HIV, arthritis, poor sleep quality, rotator cuff injury, and constipation/digestive issue, to name a few.

What I love about Shiatsu Therapy is that it is so effective. Shiatsu looks at the entire body to determine the best treatment for that person and brings your body to higher levels of health by working with the Meridian system. The meridians are used in traditional Chinese medicine to heal the musculoskeletal system as well as the internal organs. Treatment is done over the clothing and no oil is used. So simple yet so effective. I enjoy being able to help others do what they are meant to do.

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