Shiatsu FAQ

Can Shiatsu help relieve Inflammation?


Inflammation is a blockage in chinese terms, where energy has built up and caused heat, swelling and pain. The question is whether it is appropriate to remove inflammation, normally not as this is the body dealing with a situation. However if the inflammation arises out of a reocurring issue, injury or weakness then Shiatsu addresses the underlying problem, strengthening this point to alleviate inflammation happening in future. If you have Arthritis, this is a slight different scenario, I work to open the joints, allow fluid to flow and this in turn can reduce inflammation and therefore ease some pain.




Can Shiatsu help with Depression?


To be in a frame of mind like low moods, mood swings, anxiety and a deeper deppresion is a difficult place to be an has knock on effects to our health. The way Shiatsu deals with depression is to work on any blockages in the body, some people say they feel 'weighed down', in this scenario Shiatsu around the head and shoulders can make a real difference. Sometimes the issue is physical, so release can lead to the receiver feeling quite euphoric in the coming days, as unblocked energy flows. Even with being on Anti-depressants Shiatsu can still make you feel better, and you can enjoy the relaxing experience.




Can Shiatsu help Arthritis?


Even when I was training and not really know what I was doing I was helping my mum's friends get relief from Arthritis. Not only is the pain you feel of the joint but also a lot of people tense their muscles around the effected joints and this leads to just as much if not more pain. Shiatsu relaxes the muscles, opens the joints and allows the flow of blood and fluids. Shiatsu can maintain you and keep your pain minimal. As Arthritis is degenerative you would need Shiatsu regularly to maintain your wellbeing. I also treat dogs, and Shiatsu is fantastic for helping your dog if they have pain or mobility issues. See Shiatsudog.co.uk for more details https://www.shiatsucheltenham.co.uk/canine-pain-relief-cheltenham




What is Shiatsu Massage?


A Shiatsu massage is no different from Shiatsu, its just terminology. Shiatsu can't be likened to having a massage as it is a very still treatment, however the effect afterwards is if not as relaxing even more so. I always ask new clients if its like anything they've ever experienced before, they always say no, but they always add 'its amazingly relaxing'.




What is Shiatsu?


Shiatsu uses finger pressure on the acupuncture points. It's based on exactly the same theoy as acupuncture. Tapping into the energy channels in your body. When they're blocked you can experience pain, feel lethargic, muddle headed, have low moods, feel stiff and inflexible, wonder what to do next and just feel 'bleurgh'. Unblock these channels, your energy flows and you can feel invigorated , enthusiastic and focused again.




What is a Shiatsu Back Massage?


We don't separate out parts of your body, as Shiatsu is holistic, it treats the whole body. However there are days when your back is feeling inflexible, exhausted or wanting something deeper. I have the ability to do cupping, this is a mini back massage where suction cups are then slid into place. Where the cups sit they stimulate the blood vessels in the back to release inflammation or blood stagnation. It leaves your back feeling really energised and flexible again. Whilst the cups are in place you do receive some Shiatsu to the legs and arms to really help you relax into the treatment. Once the cups are removed, another short massage to help the blood flow freely again. It's an amazing experience.




What can Shiatsu treat?


Chronic conditions, symptoms linked with emotions, menopause, tight muscles, tension and stress. Shiatsu can treat what you can't take a pill for. If you take a anti-inflammatory and it doesn't do any good, you need what Shiatsu can do. We can't legally say that Shiatsu will help anything (that's due to the Advertising Standards Authority). However I can say I'm always happy to talk on the phone about what your particular situtation is and give you an honest answer as to whether I feel I can help you.




What can Shiatsu help?


Shiatsu can help so many symptoms, because the underlying cause comes back to me assessing you from a Chinese medicine point of view. Amazingly one of the first things is to find out whether your issue is hot or cold. I'm sure you've heard of 'Frozen Shoulder' this is exactly what it is, the muscles are cold and flat, blood doesn't flow and the shoulder has seized up. I can apply this theory to anything from back pain to hot flushes, from headaches to stomach ache. The beauty and simplicity of Shiatsu is that I look for differences in the body, this tells me where there is a blockage, and then I aim to release that blockage, and this in turn relieves your symptoms.




What is Shiatsu Acupressure?


Acupressure is the term for pressing the 'acu-points' as in Acupuncture with finger tips. This is more ancient way of treating as needles came along a lot later. Shiat-su is the Japanese term for 'finger pressure'. Shiatsu came about formerly in the 1970s when Masunga linked the vital organs being out of balance to the spinal nerves. So we now check the whole of your spine to feel for differences and this can tell us which organ needs help on the day.




Is Shiatsu Painful?


No Shiatsu isn't, it is so gentle. Quite the opposite, some people wonder if its going to do anything. The power in Shiatsu is its gentleness, this acts on the body's energy and emotions and can bring out aches and pains. To receive Shiatsu is not painful, but I do warn you if I think the following day you're going to feel achy.




Is Shiatsu good for Sciatica?


Shiatsu is fantastic for Sciatica, it releases tight muscles and allows the blood to flow again and pinched nerves to be free, reducing pain. Also Shiatsu will help you get flexibility back again into tight muscles. Shiatsu is fantastic treatment to maintain your physical and flexible well being!




Is Shiatsu good for Back Pain?


Back pain can be caused by many things, but one thing is always in common, the quality of your muscles. They can be too tight (go into spasm), and they can be too weak, leaving you with a dull ache, tiredness and prone to injury. In a Shiatsu treatment, I listen to the quality of your muscles, releasing tight ones, bringing Ki (chi) energy back to weakened flat ones. We don't tend to realise how many aches we carry around in our backs, but the great thing about Shiatsu is that so many of these are temporary blockages that can be moved on. For optimal back health you should receive regular treatments. https://www.shiatsucheltenham.co.uk/back-pain-cheltenham




Is a Shiatsu massage painful?


No Shiatsu isn't, it is so gentle. Quite the opposite, some people wonder if its going to do anything, as it is so minimalistic compared to a massage. The power in Shiatsu is its gentleness, this acts on the body's energy and emotions and can bring out aches and pains. To receive Shiatsu is not painful, but I do warn you if I think the following day you're going to feel achy.




How Shiatsu works


Energy flows like electricity around our bodies, that's the science bit! Life can contort our bodies, sitting at a desk for hours, getting knocked around and injured in sports, holding ourself when dealing with emotions, and they all take their toll on our body. When this happens the soft tissue in our bodies can tighten, whether this is muscles, organs, fascia, tendons. When these things become tight, energy doesn't flow, so blockages can form, and so can weaknesses. Think of a dam, that's the blockage, on one side the water has built up and is pressing hard (this is inflammation), on the other side there is only a trickle getting through, just not enough, this is weakness and deficieny. In Shiatsu, using gentle finger pressure, we access the energy channels of your body, where are the blockages, what needs to be released, and what needs to be supported because it is weak. Once this happens the inflammation can flow away naturally.




How Shiatsu massage works


Just like Shiatsu! (see above) - Shiatsu really isn't a massage in technique, though its effects are just as good as massage. However Shiatsu can be specifically targeted to health problems and this can make it more effective than massage. Why not have a relaxing treatment and get targeted health benefits too?




How much does a Shiatsu massage cost?


"You can't put a price on your health" I truly want to help you get better and when I know when I need a therapy, cost is irrelevant, if you truly want or need something you find the way (I put my treatment on credit card every month, its just a standard). If you're not quite there yet on dealing with your health in mind and body, you'll find an excuse. See 'Treatments' page for price list.




How long is a Shiatsu massage?


The appointment times vary depending on whether consultation, assessments are included so anywhere between 55 mins and 1 hr 25. The physical treatment itself is relative to what you need within that time frame. I'll always let you know how long to expect to be at an appointment.




How is Shiatsu practiced?


Shiatsu is Japanese, you're very comfortable and warm on a double futon, this allows space for you to roll around, fling your arms out, turn over without falling off. It is a very relaxing experience. The most regular comment I get at the end of a treatment is "Please can you leave me here". My job is done!




How is Shiatsu performed?


A Shiatsu Practitioner has spent years learning the art of Ki (or Chi) energy movement in their body and then yours. This is done by using 2 hands, one is listening, and one is working. The point is to hear (feel) the changes within your body, whether muscles or organs and to respond to that. This is easier done in silence and you'll benefit from a deeper treatment.




How is a Shiatsu massage done?


Unlike a massage that you will have had, Shiatsu is done whilst you're fully clothed (more like Osteopathy, Bowen, Cranial Sacral). You can't liken the experience to a 'massage', as it is very still and done with gentle finger pressure and holding. However the end result will leave you feeling like you've had a full body massage.




How is Shiatsu done?


Shiat-su is Japanese for 'finger pressure'. Using the exact same Chinese Medicine model as acupuncture, acupressure treatment is far older than using needles. The Chinese mapped the energy lines of the body (think electrical pathways) and how muscles, organs and fluids respond. Also we work with whether things are hot or cold, blocked and full (inflammation), or deficient (likes holding and warmth). This is what makes it so powerful as there is no western medication that can help parts of the body that are weak, cold, injured, deficient. But with holding and listening painful joints and muscles can be brought back to life, and you'll feel the relief immediately.




Does Shiatsu work?


Yes. I found Shiatsu about 16 years ago, it worked straight away, I didn't know how it works (I found that out 6 months later when I signed up for the 3 year practitioner course). All I know is that from day one, after a very long sleep, I felt better. Less achy, less knee problems and my mind was calmer and clearer. Life got easier for me once I had discovered Shiatsu.




Does Shiatsu really work?


Yes it really does. We don't need to know how a car engine works its got 100+ years of us know its just does. A man went to the moon in little more than a tin can! The Chinese mapped out the body 5000 years ago and have been using it ever since. I swear by it and so do my regular clients.




Can Shiatsu cause side effects?


The answer to that is no, what can happen though is that your symptoms maybe exacerbated for a day afterwards. Sometimes muscles can feel achy for around 5 days afterwards, just like you would if you'd over done it in sport. What Shiatsu doesn't do is create anything new, you have to see that anything that happens afterwards as your body detoxifying and this can come out in the form of headaches, feeling thirsty, tired, achy, grouchy. Some people feel nothing at all, and other people feel great, and what I really pride myself on is all those that notice they haven't got their symptoms anymore.




Does Shiatsu hurt?


During the treatment I always check that the pressure feels right to you, there are some classic 'ouch' points, you are warned if they do need to be pressed, but if you're in hip pain and this releases the muscle This is a very gentle therapy. This isn't a swedish or thai massage style treatment. However this very gentle touch can be very deep within the body and so on occasions people can feel achy/ bruised afterwards but this is the body dealing with the changes, and should be seen as a positive. The deep breathing is well worth it :)





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Shiatsu  - Physical Therapy for Your Health in Mind & Body

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Shiatsu Bodyworks Cheltenham

Andrea Marsh Dip Shiatsu & Oriental Medicine FwSS Practitioner

07899 987227  

2 Roxton Drive, Cheltenham, GL51 6SQ

© 2020 by Shiatsu Bodyworks Cheltenham.