Zen Shiatsu is a meridian-centered Japanese Bodywork Therapy.
- It is a meditation.
- A manual touch medicine.
- A cultivation and self-care practice.
- A moment of renewal.
How does it work?
Zen Shiatsu is a unique form of bodywork therapy that provides clients with a complete healing experience, deep relaxation, and effective treatment of clinical issues.
Zen Shiatsu integrates the ancient knowledge of Chinese Medicine, similar to acupuncture but without needles, with the deep musculoskeletal healing of massage and the energetic harmonization central to Qi cultivation. Through the use of applied finger pressure along the meridians (pathways of energy in the body), specific acu-point treatment, gentle stretching, guided breathwork and dynamic movement, clients experience release and rebalancing.
Shiatsu engages the parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s Rest and Restore mode which helps restore the system to health, allowing you to experience a shift from stress to relaxation and restoration of your vitality. During our first session, we will discuss your medical history, assess what your goals are and can determine the best treatment options to deliver you lasting results. Zen Shiatsu clients experience the natural processes of healing amplified, even in long-standing conditions, finding relief, revitalization, and balance.
The way Shiatsu is most effective is when clients come with specific goals in mind for treatment. If you don’t already know what your treatment goals would be, I can help you with that. A treatment plan generally consists of 3-6 weekly sessions, based on what’s needed for each individual and the progress that results from each session. This is the best approach when it comes to treating physical pain, chronic conditions, disease-states, and healing from emotional or traumatic experiences. I often treat clients wide range of clients including those who are in relatively perfect health and benefit from receiving Shiatsu to flow more optimally in life, for athletic performance enhancement, to develop self-cultivation and self-care practices, for injury recovery, and any number of significant health conditions. My practice is clinical, so I tend to work with clients to set tangible goals for consecutive treatments. We track treatment from week to week and see how you progress, making adjustments along the way to accommodate the changes over time. In the end, we hope to see we’ve reached your goals for treatment and are happier and healthier than before you started with Shiatsu.
Benefits of Zen Shiatsu
Shiatsu is beneficial in relieving a variety of common ailments and is excellent in treating general stress and supporting a sense of wellbeing.
- Alleviate and may be able to completely eliminate muscular tension, aches and pains, including backache, neck and shoulder stiffness, joint pain, and limited mobility
- Improve range of motion and enhance performance
- Promote heightened quality of sleep for insomnia or sleep difficulties
- Relieve stress by facilitating the deep relaxation, calm the mind, create space for emotional balance, help release trauma, anxiety, and depression
- Assist in releasing conditioned pain pattern responses
- Relieve headaches
- Harmonize digestive imbalances
- Ease menstrual and menopausal complaints, balancing the reproductive system
- Support the health of women during pregnancy
- Lower blood pressure
- Promote the healing process in muscular sprains and strains
- Increase circulation in the body
- Open sinus congestion, relieve cold and flu symptoms
What to Expect During a Treatment
Shiatsu is traditionally performed on a comfortable Japanese futon mat on the floor with the receiver wearing soft, loose-fitting clothing. Often, receivers will be on an elevated table. Pillows and bolsters will be used when needed for added comfort.
Once the receiver is feeling settled, the treatment will begin with a hara diagnosis, which is a gentle abdominal palpation. The hara is physically our center of balance and gravity but more importantly is considered to be central to our vitality. Hara palpation plays in essential role in being able to “read the body”. By reading the hara, I will be able to assess the current state of one’s constitution, physical wellbeing and determine which of the meridians, or energy pathways of the body, are calling for treatment. This will help me form a clearer picture of what needs to be brought into balance throughout the session. Hara palpation also offers the receiver beneficial touch therapy directly on the organs in the abdomen, supporting their healthy functioning.
Throughout the session, the meridians of the body will be contacted with the palms and fingertips, and occasionally the elbows and knees. The pressure can be as light as gentle touch or deep into the tissues, depending on what is needed in the moment. With the receiver completely relaxed, stretches and passive movement will assist in further opening areas of tension and tightness, thereby relieving chronic pain caused by stagnation and blockage of fluids within the body. Through touch, the receiver is guided into expanding and relaxing into spaciousness.
Office at Heartwood Center for Integrative Health and Healing