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What is shiatsu?

What is shiatsu and how is it different than “regular” massage? We get that question a lot. Shiatsu is a Japanese word, “shi” (finger) and “atsu” (pressure). As a health maintenance art, it is a products of 5,000 years of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as well as components of Western anatomy and physiology.

Although widely practiced in Japan, shiatsu was virtually unknown in the West until acupuncture began receiving wide public attention. Acupuncture uses needles on key points of the body. Shiatsu is practiced on many of the same body points. But instead of inserting needles, shiatsu systematically applies pressure to these acupressure points as well as on the energy pathways called meridians. The shiatsu practitioner uses thumbs, fingers and palms for this pressure.

One big difference between shiatsu and Western massage (as well call it) is that our clients remain clothed during the session. We sometimes use corn starch, especially on the hands and neck, but we don’t need to use oils or lotions, we apply the pressure through clothing. This allows us to do more stretching than you’d be able to do during a Western massage. Another difference is that while shiatsu feels great and can be very relaxing, most clients also feel refreshed and energized after a session.

We invite you to come in and try it!

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