Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork. The word shiatsu means “finger pressure”, and shiatsu is sometimes described as a finger pressure massage.
Like acupuncture, shiatsu is based on the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine, where illness is thought to result from imbalances in the natural flow of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”) through the body.
Shiatsu therapists use finger and palm pressure to energetic pathways, called meridians to improve the flow of qi.
A scientific explanation is that shiatsu calms an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which improves circulation, relieves stiff muscles, and alleviates stress.