November 17, 2009

Welcome to Hot Shiatsu!

Contributed by Sarah

You may be asking yourself, “What is this HOT SHIATSU that you speak of!?” Hot Shiatsu is where I will bringing you information that will intrigue, inform, and inspire you to try Shiatsu Massage. To learn from it and about it. Share with others what you find.  As you probably know from reading my bio, I am currently a student, so as I learn, I hope you do too, and in teaming up with Melissa, I hope to open up a dialog of sorts about not just Shiatsu, but alternative medicine as a whole.

There is a lot to learn, and as I have come to find, learning is best done in numbers.

Let’s get on the same page first.
What is Shiatsu?

Shiastu, as defined by, is a manipulative therapy developed in Japan that incorporates techniques of anma (Japanese traditional massage), acupressure, stretching, and Western massage. Shiatsu involves applying pressure to special points or areas on the body in order to maintain physical and mental well being, treat disease, or alleviate discomfort. This therapy is considered holistic because it attempts to treat the whole person instead of a specific medical complaint. All types of acupressure generally focus on the same pressure points and energy pathways, but may differ in terms of massage technique.

Five Element Energetic Shiatsu as defined by The Swedish Institute Shiatsu Workbook, is the treatment of the human body/mind/spirit, which includes the electromagnetic or energetic field which surrounds, infuses, and brings that body to life, by using pressure and/or manipulation. This style of Shiatsu is based upon classical Chinese medical principles for assessing and treating the human body through energetic meridians and points along the meridians. It uses traditional eastern techniques and treatment strategies to primarily affect and balance the energetic system for the purpose of treating the human body, emotions, mind, energy field, and spirit for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health.

The Five Elements refer to Fire, Water, Wood, Metal, and Earth. The Five Element theory is that we each possess a unique combination of these energies - which essentially cause us to behave, think, and feel a certain way. One of the goals of Shiatsu is to keep these elements in balance so one does not overpower the other.

The Five Elements also symbolize the phase of your life:
Wood: Childhood
Fire: Young Adult
Earth: Middle Age
Metal: Old Age
Water: Birth, Very Old Age, and Death

Now that we have the foundation…

Let’s break Hot Shiatsu down:

1.Hot Shiatsu News: This section will highlight research findings involving Shiatsu (also referred to as acupressure) and how it can benefit you.

2. Meridian of the Month: Each month I will be focusing on one meridian in the body using The Swedish Institute Shiatsu Handbook as a guide. One of the things I found so fascinating about Shiatsu, specifically Five Element Energetic Shiatsu (which is the type of Shiatsu I am currently learning in school), was how everything (body, mind, soul) is connected. With each meridian, I will be looking at what each corresponding element can say about a person’s personality, how the associated organs can explain symptoms, and how everything can be connected.

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