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Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a Japanese healing art deeply rooted in the philosophy and practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Incorporating the therapeutic massage of Japan, and more recently embracing its original focus of meditation and self healing,

As far back as 5000 years ago - priests practiced a form of healing called Qigong - movements that cultivate life force - (Chi in Chinese) - (Ki in Japanese).

The purpose was to bring the body into balance - the Yin/ Yang - which results in good health on all levels.

In the 10th century, Japanese monks began to study Buddhism in China. They observed the healing methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine and took them back to Japan.

In Japan, the practice of medicine consisted primarily of diagnosis and treatment with massage-type methods.

The Japanese not only adopted Traditional Chinese Medicine, but also began to enhance its methods by new combinations, eventually achieving a unique Japanese form called shiatsu. Like the Japanese transformation of the Chinese tea ceremony and flower arrangement, shiatsu became uniquely Japanese.

Shiatsu combines the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine with practices similar to those of acupuncture but performed without needles. In later years, political pressures diminished the spiritual healing focus of the art.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Shizuto Masunaga, a Japanese psychologist and student of Zen, re-incorporated psychological and spiritual dimensions to shiatsu, once again transcending purely physical applications.

The word Shiatsu means ('Shi' means 'finger') - ('atsu' means 'pressure').

Shiatsu is more than pressure. It utilizes a combination of pressure and assisted-stretching tecniques.

It is a combination of many different techniques, including pressing, hooking, sweeping, shaking, rotating, grasping, vibrating, patting, plucking, lifting, pinching, rolling, brushing, and, in one school developed by Suzuki Yamamoto, barefoot shiatsu, it includes walking on the person's back, legs, and feet.

Shiatsu can be done with the patient lying on a mat on the floor - or on a table. The patient remains fully clothed wearing loose fitting clothing. The atmosphere in the area should be calm - light music can be used if desired - soft lighting.

The practioners hands are placed at various points of the body sending the energies to the more than 300 acupoints along the way - creating the healing.