What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu, which translated means “finger pressure,” is a form of traditional Japanese therapeutic massage.  It is similar to acupuncture in that it uses specific points on various areas of the body to treat a variety of conditions, but rather than using needles, the therapist uses thumb, finger and hand pressure. Occasionally, the elbows and knees may also be used when deeper pressure is required and various stretches may also be incorporated into the treatment.

In clinical studies, Shiatsu therapy has show excellent results in the relief of pain, and can be very effective in treating a variety of ailments and conditions, as well as serving as an excellent general preventative for those who are already in relatively good health.

Shiatsu can be helpful in treating the following:

  • neck, shoulder and back pain (including sciatica)
  • joint pain and postural problems
  • muscle soreness
  • headaches, migraines
  • fatigue
  • digestive issues
  • circulatory issues
  • pregnancy and menstrual issues
  • insomnia
  • stress and anxiety
  • depression

If you have a specific condition and would like to know if shiatsu can help, please contact us.

How many treatments do I need? / How often should I receive treatment?

This can be a difficult one to answer, as the need for treatment can vary greatly from person to person.  If the issue being addressed is acute and not longstanding, then one or two sessions will often be sufficient to remedy the ailment.  If a more chronic condition is present, several return visits may be neccessary.  Frequency of treatment can range from several days in a row, to weekly, to monthly. Ideally, shiatsu works best as a preventative and our goal is to work with you so that you will eventually need to come in only for occasional maintenance.

Is Shiatsu painful?

The pressure applied during a shiatsu treatment can occasionally result in a moderate degree of physical discomfort, as tight and “stuck” areas on the body are gradually cleared away. Most often, this discomfort increasingly subsides with each pass on a particular area, with the end result being a reduction or cessation of the condition that required you to book in for treatment. We are very mindful of your individual tolerance for pain and will always work well within your own threshold.

Is there anything I need to do before coming in for treatment?

Not much, though we do ask clientele to wear or bring a change of loose, comfortable clothing, as working through thicker fabrics such as denim can greatly reduce the efficacy of the treatment. We advise that you come in with neither too empty, nor too full of a stomach — a light meal, an hour to an hour and a half before treatment is optimal. We also ask that you please refrain from wearing any scented oils, perfumes or colognes.

How about afterward?

After a treatment, we advise a reduction in activity, as the body requires some time to assimilate the effects of the therapy.  If you’re an active individual, it’s best to refrain from any form of heavy exercise for at least six hours after a treatment — ideally, you should save your run or workout until the next day.  Drink plenty of room-temperature or warm fluids (particlarly during the damp and cold-weather months), to keep the body hydrated and aid in flushing out accumulated toxins.  A warm shower or bath is also advisable, as is a good night’s rest.  Applying some or all of these suggestions afterward will assist in improving the effects of your treatment.