What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork that utilizes the same assessment and energetics as acupuncture and traditional Asian medicine. Shiatsu translates ‘Shi’… finger, and ‘atsu’ … pressure. It comprises of compression and stretching, movement and rotation along energetic pathways or meridians to affect the entire body in an energizing and relaxing way.

Does Shiatsu hurt?
Occasionally/sometimes. There are many forms of Shiatsu, some more rigorous than others. The style I use/perform should not be painful. We use a pain scale decreasing from 10 as being painful, 8 as being ouch but in a ‘hurt good’ way and I work between 6-8. However, some areas of the body are mere sensitive than others and I adjust my pressure accordingly.

Do I have to have something wrong for Shiatsu to be effective?
No. Shiatsu like many forms of traditional medicine is best used as a preventative intervention. Often, while receiving regular treatments, the body comes into balance which will prevent symptoms from forming.

Does Shiatsu work on pain?
Yes. Even as stated above, shiatsu works as a preventative measure, Shiatsu is effective in relieving stagnation and blockages, thus reducing inflammation and swelling. Whenever possible, it’s always better to prevent issues, than have to treat them after they have appeared.

What shall I wear for a Shiatsu session?
Shiatsu is performed fully clothed. It is recommended that you wear loose fitting comfortable clothes such as leggings, sweats, baggy pants and tops because there will be movement and stretching to the body.

How does Shiatsu differ from massage?
Shiatsu is based on traditional Asian medicine and therefor it works on the energetics of the entire body, which includes body, mind, and spirit. Therefore, the assessment and techniques used in shiatsu address the physical aspects as well as energetic aspects.

How does Shiatsu differ from acupuncture?
Shiatsu and acupuncture use the same meridians, energetic pathways, acupoints, and assessment tools. Acupuncture is done with needles; Shiatsu uses pressure applied by fingers, thumbs, hands, forearms, elbows even knees and feet when appropriate. Shiatsu also covers the entire body’s energetic pathway system where as acupuncture generally addresses specific points along selected meridians.

Why would I choose one method over the other? The first answer is that people have preferences for one style of bodywork over another. Some people prefer touch, or dislike needles. I personally receive many forms of bodywork; shiatsu, acupressure, massage, Reiki, chiropractic, and acupuncture. Over time I have learned which modalities work best for me under different circumstances.

What can I expect after my session?
Clients have a variety of responses. Some are deeply relaxed and just want to nap. Others are energized and want to get up and run and get things done. I always suggest, listen to your body’s responses to the work and do what it asks of you.

How often shall I receive a Shiatsu session?
This varies as to whether you are working on treating long standing conditions, or are just coming for healthy maintenance. Sessions should be more frequent if treating a specific condition. I generally suggest a visit 3-6 weeks apart for maintaining wellness if clients are doing good self-care at home. For those coming frequently for conditions, I suggest allowing 24-72 hours minimum between sessions to allow integration of the work.

Are there any reasons why a person shouldn’t receive shiatsu?
Each person and condition, is unique. While shiatsu is appropriate for most people of all ages, there are always special concerns to take into consideration. I am always open to discussing circumstances with individuals as to whether Shiatsu is appropriate.

Is Shiatsu covered by insurance?
To my knowledge, Shiatsu is not recognized by most providers.

Do I need to get permission from my doctor before receiving Shiatsu?
Permission is not required; however, if you are under any doctor’s care, it is always good to check-in with your physician when beginning any new complimentary modality. Likewise it is an important part of your Shiatsu assessment to know what concerns you are being treated for medically, what medicines you may be taking, and what other factors are involved in your symptom management.

Is Shiatsu appropriate if I am taking medications?
In most cases, interaction with medication is not a big concern; however it is important to know which medications you are taking, what effect they have for you, and/or side effects, as it offers a more complete picture of your condition, symptoms, and health.