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.
Shiatsu works directly to calm the autonomic nervous system, which has the effect of calming nervous distress and increasing resistance to stress. By promoting blood and lymph circulation, Shiatsu helps to maintain healthy muscle tone and internal organ functions, and strengthen the immune system.
Shiatsu is a form of bodywork performed with thumbs, fingers, palms, elbows, feet and knees. Pressure is applied to all areas of the body along specific pathways called Meridian-line which is used in Traditional Oriental Medicine for acupuncture. It is understood that this technique stimulates the natural healing power of the body.
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 achieve the spot (Tsubo) on the meridians.