Shiatsu Massage And How It Helps Reduce Stress

shiatsu massage for reducing stress

Stress is experienced by everyone at one point or another, and it’s becoming increasingly prevalent in the modern world.

The extent to which stress affects our mental and physical health is considerable and quite serious in some cases. High stress levels can directly cause or contribute to insomnia, depression, anxiety, sore muscles, headaches and many symptoms that can indicate a more serious condition is developing.

There are obviously many ways to combat stress and people use many different methods to cope with it. As you may well know, the merits of massage therapy have been proven to be effective in many cases. There is ample evidence to suggest that treating the stresses that burden the body can be a means to relieve the stresses of the mind.

Shiatsu is one such therapy that provides clear physical and mental benefits and it is available at Balance Complementary Medicine in Cheltenham. Being particularly relaxing and a non-intrusive form of massage, it can go a long way in helping to balance out and calm the body’s energies.

What Is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is an ancient form of treatment and finds its roots in Japan.  In modern times it utilises the theories of Chinese Medicine for diagnosis and is the most widely used form of manual treatment in Japan today.  It has been recognised as a form of therapy for 70+ years there.

In Japanese, the word ‘Shiatsu’ translates literally to ‘finger pressure’ and this technique can be accurately described as one of the more gentle massage therapies. Rather than applying great pressure or continually rubbing painful areas, Shiatsu involves various subtle techniques to access and calm the body’s balance of energy (‘Qi’ in Japanese). This includes tapping, stretching, working joints and kneading various parts of the body where the Qi is active, known as ‘vital points’.
If necessary, Chinese Medicine techniques such as cupping therapy and moxa may be used to help relieve tension or bring more energy and vitality to the body.

What Are The Benefits?

Being largely unknown and not being practiced widely in the Western world, there is little in terms of English documented studies or papers on the extent to which Shiatsu can reduce stress, however there are many personal accounts saying as much. It is often described as one of the more effective methods of massage therapy to treat a hyperactive mind and/or body. It has been noted for the benefits it provides to those experiencing anxiety and stress as it has the effect of soothing in the long and short term.

Other benefits may include the following:
– Reduces muscle pain and stiffness
– Helps with headaches
– Can increase energy levels
– Improves joint pain
– Improves circulation

How Is It Different To Other Forms Of Massage?

The founding principle on which the practice of Shiatsu is based is that of Qi and its impact on the state of one’s general wellbeing. Essentially an individual is healthy and at peace when the flow of Qi is running through the body without being obstructed. When Qi levels are low or there is a disturbance in the flow of energy, symptoms can arise, such as stress and anxiety.

As described, correcting this requires that the practitioner apply small pressure to the vital points. This in itself differentiates it from other forms of therapy as the patient can be clothed for the session and may not be aware that very much is happening. While the treatment is gentle and light, the effects it can have are considerable.

If you’d like to find out more about Shiatsu Massage in Melbourne and what the treatment can provide, please speak to us at Balance Complementary Medicine. Our qualified Shiatsu Practitioner, Marian Jarvis, is happy to talk to you. She has studied under many experienced Shiatsu teachers and uses a variety of techniques to ensure her patients receive the most beneficial treatment for their health and wellbeing.