About Shiatsu
What is Shiatsu?
  Treating underlying causes
  Relaxation
What conditions can be treated?
  Shiatsu and change
  Keeping well
  Nuisance conditions
  Medical conditions
  Dissempowerment
  Shiatsu and other disciplines
  Very serious conditions
What happens in a session?
  First session
  Subsequent sessions
  The end of the session
  What to wear
You have a voice
Developing a treatment strategy
 
 

What is Shiatsu ?

Shiatsu is an Oriental bodywork therapy, which has evolved over centuries uses various techniques such as stretches, joint mobilisation and pressure applied to specific (acupuncture ) points on the body. The aim is to promote the vitality and relaxation of body and mind which is seen as the key to a long and healthy life.

Shiatsu is a many faceted subject which provides a large range of options, varying from extremely still and gentle meditative treatments to dynamic rotations and whole body twists and stretches. Each session is different and designed to be appropriate for each person on each day. We arrive at this decision together.

For Shiatsu you remain fully clothed and usually lay on a thin futon on the floor or sit in a chair, your choice.

Shiatsu feels good, bringing warmth and energy to weak areas and releasing stuck areas.

Treating underlying causes

Shiatsu has evolved over generations as a treatment for many specific complaints (see listing below). As part of the oriental medical tradition however it is designed to address the underlying imbalances (often responses to stress) which produce our physical and emotional symptoms i.e. it is important to deal with the cause as well as the effect.

Relaxation

Shiatsu produces a deep relaxation which allows the remarkable healing processes of the body to work at full potential.

 


What conditions can be treated?

Shiatsu has many roles in relation to the manifold ailments which beset humankind.

Shiatsu and change

Managing, coping with and embracing change is a great challenge to most people and is an area where Shiatsu is especially helpful. Even if the change is planned and desired there can be an imbalance between our intellectual, emotional and physical acceptance of the situation, which results in a surprising level of stress. Encouraging and allowing us space to integrate change on all levels makes Shiatsu a useful tool for initiating or accepting change; whether it be a small development or a major shock.

Keeping well

Many people use Shiatsu as a regular and effective treatment to help keep well and deal with the stresses of their lives. An hour, once a month or so, to be still and recharge can make a lot of difference. The Oriental tradition emphasises prevention rather than cure as the way to health.

Nuisance conditions (I don't want to bother the doctor)

Next come the things that are often seen as trivial and 'to be put up with' but which limit our vitality and calm. Headaches, digestive irregularities, period pain, insomnia, body stiffness, lack of motivation are examples of conditions, which even at a fairly low level can spoil a lot of our days and isolate us. Shiatsu can often alleviate such symptoms and lighten our lives.

Medical conditions

All the above things shade into and join the more severe conditions such as migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, dysmenorrhoea, depression, back pain, breathing disorders, anxiety, chronic fatigue, pre menstrual syndrome, sexual problems, old or recent sports injuries, responses to major stress etc..
Shiatsu can work to lessen the symptoms of many conditions, while at the same time supporting and encouraging the underlying vigour of your body to rebuild your physical and emotional health. (See developing a treatment strategy)

Very serious conditions/major diagnoses

The accepting, non-judgemental and loving touch, which characterises Shiatsu and makes it such a powerfully relaxing experience for us all, can help to lessen the anxiety and isolation felt by many people with major illnesses. Shiatsu can help people deal with pain and will often lessen the symptoms of drug side effects

Disempowerment

Quite often, especially with an ongoing condition, it can feel that the whole thing has been taken out of your hands and that you are a spectator at your own illness. While this can be reassuring in an acute situation, a sense of powerlessness over a longer period, especially when the symptoms are slow to change, can sap the will to get well. Shiatsu aims to re-focus power in the self and looks at the whole person not just a collection of symptoms. The practitioner and the client work together to achieve improvements.

Shiatsu and other disciplines

Shiatsu usually works very well alongside the efforts of your doctor, physiotherapist, counsellor etc. If you have a serious condition I will always recommend that you consult your doctor if you have not done so already.

top


You have a voice

Fundamental to Shiatsu is the concept of collaboration between giver and receiver.
To achieve this I need to know how you are with the treatment, and will ask you from time to time during the session.
Your voice will be heard at all times, so you are in control of the treatment you receive by telling me if you don't like something.

top


What happens in a session?

At the first session

I usually take a careful history and ask you to tell me in your own words about those things you wish to address and their relative priority. Some people prefer to talk less at this initial meeting, waiting until they have felt comfortable with me working on them before telling their story. This is your choice.

Subsequent sessions

Usually start with a chat, updating me on any developments or changes since last time and a space for you to say anything you wish. We then decide on today's priorities and begin the treatment or perhaps run through some Chi gung exercises first (see developing a treatment strategy)

The end of the session

Most people like to take a minute or two to collect their thoughts and I take this opportunity to write my notes and enjoy this peaceful time before we end the meeting.

top


What to wear

Wear warm, loose, preferably cotton clothing (eg. Jogging suit) so that your body is free to move and relax. Many people prefer to bring clothes to change into, especially if they come during or after work.

top


Developing a treatment strategy

For each individual it is important to arrive at the optimum treatment pattern, and to allow this to evolve in response to the client's changing needs and abilities.

Very often I will be able to teach relevant Chi gung exercises, if desired, to be practised between treatments. For many people this can speed the rate of change and is a way of being active in getting well, rather than feeling passive.( see Chi gung as part of treatment)

Some people like to look at aspects of their lives that may not be having a positive effect, for example, eating habits, working patterns or drug/alcohol use. Shiatsu and Chi gung can be very useful support and provide practical strategies for people who want to change aspects of their behaviour.

Shiatsu is a very flexible tool and my job is to help you find the strategy that works for you. This could be a series of gentle supportive treatments and subtle internal exercises to work on, or challenging dynamic treatments and visits to the gym.

top