Shiatsu : the Japanese form of Acupressure encomposing the foundations of Acupuncture without the use of needles. A creative "mechanic" might use his hands, fingers, elbows, feet and/or toes in place of the Acupuncture needles, but the science is based on the same principles- meridean balancing, the elimination of Tsubos or "hot points" and the promotion of the "even-flow" of Ki or Chi.
In its purist form the Whole of entire body is treated and the application of pressure to various "hot points" diffuses them. While using the principles of Yin/Yang or Yin into Yang, efficient energy flow is resumed or re-inststed to aid the body's "inner harmony" and the open flow of Ki force (energy flows deep within the anatomy).
Three levels of the body are addressed within the science of SHiatsu. THe surface or skin; the soft tissue or ligaments, muscles and tendons; and the internal layer of organs. Shiatsu is said to work from the inside out, is very individualized in treatment (aggressive,gentle when and where!) and considers the person's life experience, emotional state, time of day, the season, one's diet, posture and preferences of color, taste, temperature, environment and food cravings. In this science we do not think in terms of or catagorize "disease", but rather use the specific imbalances we find within one's body as our guidelines for treatment.
The merideans were first recognized and written down over 5,000 years ago by Chinese scribes. Both the flows of Ki or Chi and the specific Acupuncture points have now been verified electromagnetically. Korean research has indicated the possibility of of an actual physical channel for the flows of Ki or Chi (Life Force)! As the migration of the modality of meridean science graced Japan, the principles were adopted, sifted and refined adding passive floor stretches to the work and evolving Acupressure into Shiatsu! The merideans number 72+ and flow from the earth to the heavens (Yin) and form the HEavens to the earth (Yang). Yin fows INTO Yang and Yang into Yin.
The practitioner of Shiatsu has many tools to choose from. You might say he or she has many tools "at his or her fingertips." One can and will at various times use fingers, thumbs, elbows, knees and or feet all at a 90 degree angle.. Deep, slow breathing is synchronized between the therapist and the patient or client. Further application involves Intuition leading the way for the therapist as well as imagination, concentration and focus and use of ones FOundation of KNowledge of the ART/Science.
Principles of Shiatsu are as follows:
don't press; use 2 hands; be there (continuity); be natural and relaxed in delivery, be intuitive and Yin-into Yang, Yang-into Yin