???????Frequently Asked Questions???????

What is Shiatsu?

shi-atsu-japanese-characters1The characters “Shi” and “Atsu”in Japanese language, together, literally translated, mean finger pressure.

The simplicity of the name, however belies the true nature of Shiatsu as an intelligent, sophisticated, approach to healing dis-ease of the body and mind.

Shiatsu has been called Japanese Osteopathy’, or ‘acupuncture without the needles’. Shiatsu is just as effective, but not as invasive.

Carola Beresford Cooke [the author of A Shiatsu Practitioner?s Manual] has described shiatsu thus:

Shiatsu’s great strength is that it is a uniquely flexible therapy, capable of being applied with the depth of Rolfing or the subtlety of Cranial Osteopathy: It embraces the mobilisation moves of Thai massage or Chiropractic, the resistance and release techniques of Kinesiology, and the magnetic principles of Polarity therapy’.

So the depth and range of shiatsu techniques make it interesting.

It is a great joy to have this be my work!

Combining knowledge of Western anatomy and physiology with the holistic approach of ancient Chinese medicine, Shiatsu employs gentle pressure, passive stretches and joint mobilization, to release the effects of built-up stress in the body and mind.

By restoring internal harmony, Shiatsu re-creates the foundation of health.

Answers to frequently asked questions.

Q: What should I wear?

A: Receiving Shiatsu is a comfortable, nurturing experience,  one I am sure you will wish to return to.

There is no need to remove clothing for treatment, though it is advisable to wear, or bring to change into, comfortable clothing such as you might wear for light exercise.  Natural fabrics offer the greatest level of comfort and there should not be obvious encumbrances like large buttons or belts which might impede the treatment.

For your comfort please empty your pockets, remove your belt, watch or jewelry.

Q: How should I prepare for my Shiatsu Treatment?

A: No specific preparation is needed. Just make sure you can describe your symptoms (e.g. where does it hurt, when & how did it start, what makes it worse).  If you have been given a diagnosis by your doctor, it will be useful information.
Before your first treatment only, you will be asked to sign a consent to treatment.  You should also fill a health questionnaire with your medical history (past diseases, injuries / trauma, surgeries) and current conditions, including the medications you are taking.
Before each treatment, you will be asked what your main issue(s) or chief complaints(s) are.

Q: Is Shiatsu based on a religious or esoteric belief system?

A: Shiatsu is based on an understanding of the whole person.  Problems (dis-ease), arising, are understood as blockages in the natural flow of energy in the body, which is referred to as Qi,  (pronounced Chee) in Chinese, or Ki in Japanese.

The aim of treatment is to encourage the return of the natural flow of Qi, thereby bolstering the receiver’s resources for self healing.  Eastern doctors have based their medical principles on centuries of clinical observations and carefully articulated a coherent system.  Shiatsu therapists come from all cultural and religious backgrounds.  Their motive is to provide professional and compassionate care, and help people on their path towards better health.

Q: How will I feel after treatment?

A:  It is astonishing to me how often receivers use similar language to describe the sensation of being deeply relaxed, yet energized at the same time, as though some blockage has been removed (as indeed it has been). There may be a felt sense of oneness. which may last for some time. (a client once reported to me that she could still feel the effects of a treatment after eight months!). If however you have been burning the candle at both ends, Shiatsu may give very clear indication that rest is needed.

Sometimes where there has been a condition of imbalance for some time, there may be a short period in which symptoms may actually increase, or there may be headache, or flu-like symptoms.  This should pass within 24 hours, leading to a longer period of relief.   Please see: shiatsu-treatment-guidelines/ for self care information. Do not be alarmed.  If you have real concerns, call your therapist for reassurance. This kind of reaction will not be experienced by everyone and is usually a concern after the first treatment only.

Q: How many treatments will I need?

A: This is a reasonable question, since you will want to have some idea regarding how long before you will feel improvement, and, you will doubtless have concerns regarding investment of time….and money.  The best general answer I can offer to someone beginning Shiatsu treatment, is that in  most cases, improvement can be expected after the first or second treatment, and a series of 4-6 treatments will help to anchor the improvement.

details such as: age, acute/chronic nature of complaint, general level of fitness, motivation and other factors, all play a part.

Shiatsu is not solely focused on symptomatic relief (rather this is a by-product).  The effectiveness of Shiatsu lies in addressing the whole being of the receiver, bolstering self-healing (the inner intelligence which desires to be in balance, but is often inhibited by developed habits and patterns).

Shiatsu works by literally re-minding the body, restoring awareness of the oneness of our being. This may sound esoteric, however, consider  our busy lives in adulthood,  we can easily become  somewhat disconnected, and many times we use coffee, cigarettes, alcohol,  food, or other substances to give a semblance of control.  Shiatsu quite literally can re-connect us with the blueprint: the intelligence within, and give us a felt sense of that. which can alter our experience of life. Please explore this site for more on this.

Q: What happens in a treatment?

A: Shiatsu may be given at floor level on a comfortable mat or futon, or on a low treatment table.  A specially designed massage chair may also be used and is excellent for treating, the back, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. (A massage chair shiatsu treatment is a very accessible introduction to Shiatsu. and in a short time frame (15-30 minutes) can offer an experience of the art in a variety of settings; for example in a corporate environment. shiatsu-treatment-guidelines-etcetera

A full body Shiatsu treatment combines firm, comfortable pressure along the energetic pathways (as used in acupuncture, called meridians)  and  gentle stretches and joint rotations, designed to unwind and release tensions, unconsciously held in the body.

In one treatment you may be sitting, laying on your side, face down and laying on your back. at the completion of a treatment you will be covered with a blanket and asked to take some time before arising and returning to the vertical world. this is an important resolution phase of the treatment. More information……see: shiatsu-treatment-guidelines-etcetera

Q: Can I receive treatments during pregnancy?

A: Absolutely! Amazing pregnancy: Article on Shiatsu during pregnancy Shiatsu can provide wonderful support during  and after your pregnancy. and is also a wonderful “no fuss” treatment for your baby ………and growing child…….and  your partner too!

Ask about infant Shiatsu Classes and Playshops.

Q: Regarding self-care post treatment

A: Shiatsu treatment stimulates the flow of the lymphatic system. which requires movement (and hydration)  in order to function.  If there has been a blockage, particularly if chronic, this may result in a ‘flood’ of waste products which require to be eliminated – somewhat like a dam breaking.  It is important to support the process of elimination by increasing your intake of water, especially in the 24 hours immediately post treatment.  An epsom salts bath is also recommended in the evening, after treatment.  More details, see here:shiatsu-treatment-guidelines-etcetera

Please aim to arrive 10 minutes early, especially for a first appointment, as you will be required to complete  Health History and Consent to Treatment forms.

For treatment, please wear, or bring to change into: loose, comfortable clothing.

Downloadable Health History / Consent to Treatment forms:

Health history & consent form

Cancellation Policy
your time is valuable, as is my own.  If  you are unable to keep your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible.

Thank you!


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