Shiatsu in Covent Garden, London, WC2H
Shiatsu is a form of physical therapy that was developed from a synthesis of traditional Chinese medicine, massage and western techniques of physical manipulation. The roots of shiatsu may be traced back to the Indian Bodhidarma who introduced a system of medicine and martial arts to China around 530 BC. This system incorporated a rejuvenating pressure point therapy and was subsequently taken to Japan.
At its highest level shiatsu combines an understanding of the body with a well trained intuition. The practitioner incorporates modern western knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology with oriental techniques of diagnosis and treatment. Stimulation of specific points and channels (known as meridians) allows the body's own 'Qi' or life force to flow more easily, and therefore helps to heal many forms of injury, discomfort and illness.
The physical effects of treatment may include relaxation of the nervous system, improved circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid, release of toxins and muscular tension, stimulation of the hormonal system, structural realignment and increased vitality. It is often considered that treatment aids a connection with the body's own innate wisdom and natural healing ability.