Shiatsu is a massage-like healing technique using pressure with palms, fingers and other parts of the body to balance the flow of the energy within meridians (energy channels) of the patient. It is an ancient Japanese technique of bodywork that started in the east, but also practised in the west today. It is synthesized from the principles of ancient oriental massage, do-in and judo, enriched by the techniques of acupuncture and osteopathy and chiropractic in the west. Shiatsu is designed to rebalance the flow of Ki, the vital force within the patient’s body so that it can work properly to restore health.
The concept of the human body in Shiatsu is based on Taoism and the technique focuses on harmonizing the flow of ki (vital energy) in the body by pressing on pressure points (tsubos) of Ki energy channels, called meridians. Therefore it is different from Western techniques that do not recognize this force and where the muscles, ligaments and joints are massaged in order to balance the circulation of blood and lymph.The tsubos are special points on the meridians that empower the Ki energy flow, connecting them with other meridians and influence the balance of elements within the body. Massaging them would make a person feel better, relax the mind and release fever for example.
In the Taoist philosophy, the whole existence is a combination of Yin and Yang, the two opposite, extreme and complementary key elements. The meridians for the Yin element are the ones on the front and inside the body, while Yang ones are on the back and outside, such as the Yin ones are more connected to the earth and the Yang ones with the sky.
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