The focus of Shiatsu massage is to treat an entire meridian which is just like a highway of the qi-energy on the surface of the body. This is based on the theory that the imbalances to be addressed are based in the meridians, which require a free flow of qi-energy throughout. Thus Shiatsu can become an important aspect of preventive health care as well as treatment for existing symptoms.
Perpendicular penetration without side-to-side motion, unlike many massage techniques where movement across the surface is emphasized, Shiatsu uses penetration at each point, perpendicular to the body surface, to active the spot (“tsubo”) on the meridians.
It is known that the body has acu-pressure points called “tsubo” that can receive the pressing by the practitioner, the muscle gives way to the penetrating force to let it enter, rather than being pushed away by pressure. The result is an entirely different experience than mere finger-pressing. The practitioner is required to have the correct body position in relation to the recipient and be mindful of the technique being used.
Consistent with the basic concepts of Traditional Oriental Medicine, Shiatsu is grounded in the theory that health problems are attributed to imbalances in Yin (Negative) and Yang (Positive), disharmonies between the internal organs, and blockage to the circulation of Qi-energy (life force energy) through the meridians.
Shiatsu can be performed while the recipient lies on a massage table allowing the practitioner access from all sides and the ability to apply pressure using body weight. No massage oils or lotions are used or needed because the practitioner does not slide along the body surface, but gives a series of presses along the meridian lines.