Massage rose in popularity in the United States in the mid 19th century. Over time, many types of massage gained popularity, including shiatsu massage. However, as popular as these massages are, not everything about them is known.
What is Shiatsu Massage?
Shiatsu massage had its roots in Japanese culture. Like all types of massage therapies, shiatsu helps the body feel relaxed. However, the principles behind a shiatsu massage differ from other massage therapies like deep tissue massage or aromatherapy.
The Japanese believe that shiatsu helps maintain the body’s energy flow called Ki or Qi (pronounced chee). According to their belief, blockades of this energy flow cause illnesses and pain. Similar to Chinese acupuncture, shiatsu massage frees blockages to the energy flow.
Its difference from acupuncture is that shiatsu doesn’t use needles. Shiatsu means “finger pressure.” Shiatsu massage is a form of acupressure – the use of the fingers to apply pressure.
Shiatsu massage therapists restore Ki energy to areas of the body where it is low by pressing or stretching points on the body that are along the body’s meridian channels. The meridian channels are the lines of energy – the highway through which Ki energy flows.
In more practical terms, shiatsu massage stimulates the body’s blood flow, helps release tension, and aids the hormonal system. All of this helps the body naturally heal.
Benefits of Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu massage gives many benefits, some of which are similar to other massage types. The benefits of massages include:
Many types of massage therapies help eliminate stress. Shiatsu releases stress from the body by easing the tensions in it. The pressure applied to tense muscles relaxes them and increases the blood flow around them.
This Japanese massage therapy promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation. After a good shiatsu massage, anyone will feel good and light.
Eases Muscle Pain
Shiatsu massage relaxes muscles tissues. The simple act of applying pressure on knotted muscles reduces their painful contractions and spasms.
Improves the Quality of Sleep
Stress is a humongous cause of sleeplessness and insomnia. The relaxing effect of shiatsu massage helps improve sleep quality.
Aids in Post Stroke Recuperation
Shiatsu massage helps improves muscle function. Massage therapy helps the body’s blood circulation. By delivering more blood to muscles, more nutrients reach the muscles. Shiatsu massage encourages movement among stroke patients.
Additionally, stroke causes swelling or inflammation around the body. When these swells subside, a professional shiatsu therapist can use gentle pressure to improve circulation—the gentle pressures of a shiatsu massage help with lymphatic drainage.
However, it is not advisable for stroke patients to immediately seek massage therapies after having the stroke.
Shiatsu massage applied around the abdominal area helps loosen muscles responsible for a good bowel movement.
By applying pressure, pulling, and stretching the muscles around the abdomen, shiatsu massage can help relax the colon and the intestines.
Shiatsu helps stimulate the body’s blood circulation. With better blood circulation, more blood flows through the capillaries. The capillaries are tiny blood vessels found within the soft tissues of the skin.
The circulation of the blood around the skin helps release sebaceous glands that keep the skin smooth and moist. Shiatsu massage helps the skin maintain its resilience and youthful appearance. It prevents the development of wrinkles.
Eases Pains Due to Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the healthy cells around the joints of the body by mistake. It causes painful swelling. The pressure from a shiatsu massage helps ease the pain of arthritis.
Additionally, because shiatsu massage helps deliver more blood to areas of the body, it helps provide proper nutrition where it is needed.
Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
Similar to how shiatsu massage relieves constipation, it can also alleviate menstrual cramps. The relaxing pressure applied on the muscles and skin prevents the muscles around the area from spasming and cramping.
Plus, this massage has been used for centuries to induce labor in overdue women. Therapists use shiatsu massage to turn an upside-down baby in the womb. And finally, shiatsu massage has been proven effective in easing other pregnancy issues, like morning sickness and swelling.
Combats Depression and Anxiety
This massage aids the body in a lot of ways. It helps ease pain, improves sleep, releases stress, and makes the body feel better. It is no surprise that it lifts the mood and fights off depression and anxiety.
There are more benefits to shiatsu massage. But the examples above are the most prominent.
Side Effects of Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu massage is good for the health. But it does have its side effects. Here is a list of the most common shiatsu massage side effects:
- Muscle stiffness
- Sore muscles
These side effects are due to the body detoxifying. They are not symptoms to fear. However, if they persist for more than two days, contact the massage therapist immediately.
To better help you get the most out of a shiatsu massage, do the following:
A massage leaves you dehydrated. The blood circulation and lymphatic systems become sluggish immediately after a massage. You will need water to help these systems detoxify the body.
Light Snacks ONLY
After a massage, the overactive blood circulation takes the body into increased activity mode – including the digestive system. It will feel natural to eat a hefty meal, but eating a large meal after a massage makes the body more sluggish instead of energized.
Prolong the Relaxation
After a massage, the body is relaxed. Prolong that relaxation by doing light activities instead of strenuous ones. A strenuous activity right after a relaxing massage may harm the muscles.
Do anything which relaxes both the body and the mind.
Want to Feel Relaxed?
Shiatsu massage is excellent for relaxing the mind and body – if the massage therapist does it right. InBalance Yoga and Wellness wants to help you relax your body, mind, and soul. Get the shiatsu massage that you deserve, the shiatsu massage that you’ll come back for again and again. Book your appointments at 801-691-1090 or email us at [email protected]