Shiatsu is a form of massage involving gentle pressure,
stretching and manipulation along meridians or pathways of energy within the body. Literally translated from the
Japanese as 'finger pressure', Shiatsu, together with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs, has been a fundamental part
of Oriental Medicine for over 4000 years, evolving and developing into the form that is practised today.
One of the main differences between Western medicine and Oriental medicine is the basic concept that there is a
life force called Ki energy (Ch'i in Chinese ) which flows through all things, animate and inanimate, in a harmonious,
balanced way. This Ki energy flows in our bodies along meridians or pathways rather like rivers flow on the Earth.
As long as the Ki flow is unhampered, whether by internal or external factors, we can maintain the physical, emotional
and spiritual balance which we know as "health". However, when the flow through the meridians is upset,
for instance a person's Ki can get blocked just as a river can, or become stagnant or even overflow, then disharmony
and imbalance arise. This we know as ""illness".
In Shiatsu the diagnostic tools of Oriental medicine are used to assess the condition of the client's Ki energy
and to find the root cause of the illness. The practitioner takes into consideration every aspect of the client;
for example, the posture, manner of expression, predominant emotion, the best and worst times of day and so on,
as well as any physical or mental symptom. Thus an understanding of the client's individual energy imbalances can
The practitioner works on the client on a cotton mattress (futon) on
the floor. The client needs to wear loose clothing, such as cotton sweatshirt and trousers, which allows the body
to be moved and stretched. A session lasts about an hour. It is best to avoid having a heavy meal just before or
after a session, and to rest and take it easy afterwards in order to get the most benefit from the Shiatsu.
Shiatsu can be helpful in a whole range of conditions:
neck pain, stiff shoulders, back pain and sciatica
menstrual irregularities/other female problems
digestive and circulatory disorders
anxiety and depression
The relaxing effect of a session makes it particularly beneficial for all stress-related complaints.
How often you will need Shiatsu depends very much on the nature of the condition. You may need to come weekly at
first, and then less often as the condition improves and you become more self-sufficient. To help this process
simple exercises may be given for you to do, if you wish, on a regular basis between sessions.
Above all Shiatsu is caring and supportive. It helps you to observe and understand what is going on within, thus
encouraging you towards greater independence on the path to health.
I'm actively involved with practitioner and teacher assessments
for The Shiatsu Society.
I teach on the Shiatsu module for the BA in Complementary
& Holistic Therapies
at the University of Derby.
I teach independently on a 3 year Shiatsu Practitioner Training
Initial session(1.5 hours): £45
Subsequent sessions(1 hour): £45
A fee is charged for missed appointments or late cancellations.
Clinics in Northampton and the Towcester area.
Healers in Northamptonshire