Meaning: SHI= finger, ATSU= pressure.
Shiatsu is a form of manual pressure therapy done (mostly) by fingers and developed in Japan. Shiatsu was created only at the beginning of the 20’Th century (name was first published in 1915). In 1955 Shiatsu was recognized as a form of massage therapy aside Anma & western massage and in 1964 was recognized by the Japanese government as an independent form of therapy with unique standards of training & licensing.
The main difference between Shiatsu and other forms of massage is the focusing on pressure techniques as well as combining oriental traditional theory with modern western science. The goal of Shiatsu is to promote and regulate the natural healing powers existing in the patient’s body through a variety of controlled manual pressure for the sake of disease prevention and symptomatic relieve.
In part Shiatsu also focuses on regulating the physiological functioning of internal organs by affecting the nervous system and releasing the spinal region from local tension creating factors.
Being a relatively young form of therapy and rapidly developed has created many styles & schools of Shiatsu, differing from one another mainly by theoretical understanding & vision. Some of the styles are very popular and some are less.
The style in which I was trained in was developed by my teacher, Dr. D.T.Kaneko, and is based on Professor’s K. Serizawa’s Acupressure(“TSUBO”) therapy. Professor Serizawa, born in 1915, was one of the most noted personalities in oriental medicine and devoted his life to the research of “TSUBO”(points of stimulation found in traditional oriental medicine).