What is Shiatsu?

Click here to see a time lapse 5-Element Shiatsu treatment. This video has a client receiving shiatsu on a mat from a shiatsu practitioner on the top of a mountain.

massage-Two people, one laying down on their back and the other sitting beside with their hand on the other person's back body

Shiatsu, a form of Japanese bodywork based on traditional Chinese medicine, is given on a soft mat, fully clothed.

Shiatsu techniques include:

  • Massages with fingers, thumbs, feet, elbows, and palms
  • Assisted stretching
  • Joint manipulation and mobilization

Shiatsu benefits include:

  • Supports and nourishes life-force
  • Enhances sensitivity and self awareness
  • Releases tension

The aim of shiatsu is to promote the processes of self-healing and personal growth through balancing the circulation of the body’s energy through the meridians system.

Learning Activity: Exploring Shiatsu

Activity Objective:

Define (or explain) shiatsu and identify how it might help your self care

Activity Instructions:

Now you know a little bit about shiatsu. So, you may be wondering: “What does the 5-elements have to do with a shiatsu treatment?”

Answer: a 5-element shiatsu practitioner uses the 5-elements and their associated meridians during every shiatsu session in order to balance excess and deficient energy in your body.