The main goal of the massage therapist or practitioner with shiatsu massage is to promote the flow of energy around the client’s body, which is sometimes referred to as Chi.
Through the ideas of acupuncture, shiatsu massage is often performed to provide relief to the muscles and soft tissue in the body. A pleasant side effect of this can often be a sense of relaxation and a general alleviation of tension in the body.
The thinking behind bringing balance to the body, and restoring good energy flow, is that it promotes a healthy body and prevents the risk of illness taking hold. In other words, it reduces and prevents imbalances.
The shiatsu massage generally consists of pushing into and stretching out certain areas on the client’s body, which are known as meridian channels. This is said to encourage blood flow and help to eliminate toxins present in the body. It also promotes the physical sensation of relief that is associated with the reduction in muscle tension.
Perhaps the most important benefit of shiatsu massage though is to soothe the mind, by reducing anxiety levels and improving mood. As with many other forms of massage, one of the more common applications of shiatsu massage is to lower levels of cortisol in the body and move the client toward a state of relaxation.
With regards to technique, the massage therapist will use their palms, fingers, and thumbs to apply pressure and press down on the meridian channels for several seconds. While this can feel slightly uncomfortable at times, it is necessary in releasing muscle tension.
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