Shiatsu is a Japanese word meaning “power through touch”, referring to the healing power of a human touch in general, and that of a skilled practitioner in particular.
Shiatsu originated in Japan, but it is based on the ancient system of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the same one used in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism, for example.
Central to this system is the concept of “Ki” (“Ch’i” or “Qi” in Chinese or “universal energy”, present anywhere in nature – both animate and inanimate.
Ki also has a more specific meaning of “that which animates matter”. For an organism to be alive and function well, Ki must flow well and be in balance.
Within a human body, there is a network of energy lines (meridians) and points (acupuncture points) that are believed to carry KI, much like the different currents within the sea. Sometimes the human body is poetically referred to as “an ocean of streams”.
Shiatsu aims to access these lines and points in a way that re-energises, re-balances and fine-tunes the whole of one’s body, mind and being.
Shiatsu uses many different techniques. They can be slow, subtle and deeply relaxing or strong, energising and restoring the flow that may have been blocked.
The principal aim of Shiatsu is to assist the body’s natural healing process by encouraging the client’s energy to move into a more balanced state – expressed physically as a greater ease of movement and mentally as a calmer and more contented mind.
As well as being beneficial for specific injuries and general symptoms of poor health, regular use can reduce the build-up of daily stress.
The spirit of Shiatsu is that of communication through touch.
“A moment of deep peace can express itself with just an out-breath. The whole facial expression relaxes as if for a moment there is no “me”, the “me” that is troubled, restless and confused. It’s just a moment, but it means for that moment that you have really contacted that deep source within and that will do its own work.
As a Shiatsu practitioner I have to create the right conditions for that to happen.”
Sonia Moriceau Sensei