Frequently Asked Questions

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a Japanese "hands on" healing art based on traditional oriental healing principles and modern anatomy and physiology theory. Literally translated as "finger pressure", Shiatsu consists of simple manipulations and pressure applied to acupuncture meridians and points. Hence, it has been called "acupuncture without needles".

Shiatsu aims to regulate the energy known as "ki" or "chi", which flows through these meridians, nourishing the organs, muscles, glands, nerves and blood. An imbalance in this energy network can lead to fatigue, pain and illness. Shiatsu treatments help to relieve stress and pain, improve muscle and joint function, strengthen the body, and improve health and well being.

Today, many styles of Shiatsu are taught and practiced in Japan and throughout the world. The most widely known are the Masunaga, Namikoshi, and Ohashi styles.

What happens during a treatment?

Treatments are given in a safe, comfortable environment, which promotes relaxation. The practitioner will use either a futon or a low table. The client is usually clothed and no oils are used. Pressure is applied with hands, thumbs, fingers, elbows, knees and feet, according to the style of Shiatsu practiced, and adjusted to each person's body type and condition.

Is Shiatsu painful?

Shiatsu Therapy offers a deep yet relaxing experience. Pain is a signal that an imbalance exists within the energetic system. A skilled practitioner will locate these areas and/or points, and apply appropriate pressure within the client's comfort zone. As the body comes back into balance, the client may experience a certain level of discomfort.  Gradually, the pain subsides or changes character. Tension is released, the flow of Ki is restored, and the healing process begins.

How can Shiatsu benefit you?

Some of the many benefits of Shiatsu Therapy include:

  • relieves stress and tension
  • improves digestion
  • promotes menstrual regularity and comfort
  • relieves headaches
  • relieves back pain
  • strengthens immune system
  • improves energy level
  • relieves post-traumatic stress
  • promotes healthy pregnancy

Is Shiatsu covered by my Extended Health Care Plan?

Shiatsu is covered by some extended health care plans.  We are campaigning to have it covered by as many EHC providers as possible. If your plan does not have Shiatsu coverage, please ask for it!