About this Modality
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork. The word shiatsu means "finger pressure". Like acupuncture, shiatsu is based on the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine, where illness is thought to result from imbalances in the natural flow of energy, or qi (pronounced "chee") through the body.
The goal of shiatsu is to balance energy, remove stagnation and energize deficiencies. The meridians (energy pathways) are treated using acupressure, compressions and stretching. Although deeply relaxing, a treatment usually leaves the receiver feeling refreshed.
A scientific explanation is that shiatsu calms an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which improves circulation, relieves stiff muscles, and alleviates stress.
Source: altmedicine.about.com and Jen Napoli
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