in japanese literally means "finger pressure"
and Shiatsu is sometimes called that, or even more often,
character "shi" means "finger",
but also "touch"; the character "atsu"
means "pressure" but also "power".
A better translation, more in keeping with the true
nature of Shiatsu therapy might therefore be "the
power of touch".
in its present form and with that name is a relatively
new therapy. It originated in Japan in the early 20th
Shiatsu is based on an ancient system of Chinese Medicine,
the same one used in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism,
system uses a concept of "Ki" ("Ch'i"
or "Qi" in chinese). Ki can losely be translated
as "energy". In its broadest sense, Ki is
a universal energy, present anywhere in nature - in
animate and inanimate objects.
also has a more specific meaning of "that which
animates matter". For an organism to be alive and
to function well, Ki must flow well and be in balance.
a human body, there is a network of energy lines (meridians)
and points (acu points) that are believed to carry KI,
much like the different currents within the sea.
aims to access these lines and points in a way that
re-energises and re-balances the whole of body and mind.