The Ancient Art of Shiatsu

July 6, 2015

Origins and History

Shiatsu is a traditional form of therapeutic massage developed in Japan that originated in the 14th century. It involves pressing, kneading, tapping and stretching techniques. Directly translated, shiatsu means “finger pressure.” This style of massage experienced a resurgence in Japan in the early 1900s, when many in the country found a renewed interest in traditional healing techniques, including acupuncture and massage.

The Benefits of Shiatsu

In addition to relieving muscle fatigue and reducing stress, shiatsu has been noted for its ability to stimulate digestion and invigorate the nervous system. It has been used to aid in alleviating symptoms associated with chronic health issues such as headaches, digestive disorders, fatigue, insomnia and fibromyalgia as well as neck, back and joint pain.

How It Works

A key tenet of shiatsu massage is the focus on Qi (“chee”), which is the underlying energy contained and flowing through the body. If an individual experiences a blockage in the flow of their Qi, then health problems may result. Shiatsu opens up the energy pathways (or meridians) in the body and health benefits often result.

What’s the Proof That It Works?

The research on the efficacy of shiatsu massage is little studied in the U.S., but in Japan, extensive research has been conducted that suggests a strong link between overall well-being and this type of massage, especially when practiced regularly.

Replicating Shiatsu Techniques in a Massage Chair

The ability to replicate true shiatsu massage in a home massage chair is a challenge that only Inada of Japan has been able to achieve. Decades of research and engineering have resulted in a chair that automatically detects the user’s shiatsu points and then customizes the massage experience for each individual. One professional massage therapist recently noted that her skepticism about home massage chairs was completely changed when she tried out Inada’s line-up of Japanese crafted products. “I finally discovered a massage chair that faithfully replicated shiatsu massage techniques,” she said.


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