Seattle Massage, Health and Wellness Blog

Shiatsu Massage: Popular Seattle Massage Therapy Technique

by Thrive on 21 February 2012 at 02:05

1 comment

relaxing shiatsu massage therapy seattleShiatsu massage therapy is one of the most popular forms of relaxing massage in the world, and here at Seattle’s Thrive Healing Massage, we’re proud to offer it along with our many other beneficial massages.  A Shiatsu massage is a peaceful, calming experience that relaxes the muscles and encourages improved circulation throughout the body, bringing a number of health benefits.

However, since Shiatsu massage therapy is not as well-known in the West, we wanted to give you an overview of this wonderful technique that is very popular.  Read on for more information about the history of Shiatsu, as well as its benefits and what you can expect.

Shiatsu: Bridging East and West

Modern Shiatsu began with Tokujiro Namikoshi who founded the first school of Shiatsu massage therapy in Japan in 1940.  The ideas of Shiatsu, however, were far older than that.  They have their roots in traditional Chinese medicine, and are based on physiological techniques that have been used throughout Asia for thousands of years.  Namikoshi wanted to take these Chinese principles, and make them work alongside western ideas of science and biology.

Traditional Chinese medicine holds that our bodies have a power source called Qi, or Ki, which flows along conduits within our body called “meridians.”  In traditional Chinese medicine, Ki is the source of vital energy in the body, powering everything from our ability to walk to our bodies’ immune systems.  However, the meridians can get clogged because of disease or toxins within the body.  Massage techniques like Shiatsu open up the meridians, making the body healthier and better able to fight off disease.

Namikoshi knew that western science had never found any evidence of the existence of Ki or meridians, but still believed that shiatsu worked even if the Chinese ancients may have been wrong about their anatomy.  He therefore founded his school of shiatsu massage therapy to look for ways to bring shiatsu’s healing properties to the world, without getting bogged down in the Chinese traditions.   Massage clinics like us still practice his methods to this day.

Seattle massage therapists do shiatsu massage

Whether or not you believe in Ki, the benefits of Shiatsu massage therapy are still clear to everyone who experiences this massage.  It’s one of the most relaxing massages you can ever have.

What to Expect From Your First Shiatsu Massage at Thrive

Unlike other forms of massage, Swedish or Deep Tissue massages, Shiatsu massage therapy is much gentler on your body.  Sessions are conducted with you fully clothed, or in a robe.  Loose-fitting clothing is best.  The session will start with some deep breathing and slow manipulation of the joints.  Slowly moving your arm around in its socket, and using rhythmic, rolling motions.

Shiatsu is Japanese for “finger pressure;”  it is a type of alternative medicine consisting of finger and palm pressure, stretches and other medical massage techniques.  Your therapist massages specific locations on your body, called pressure points, which relieve tension and encourage blood flow.

The gentle flow of Shiatsu makes it a perfect alternative for people who want to relax, but don’t want the intense, deep massage.

After a Shiatsu session, you shouldn’t feel sore, but simply calm and relaxed.

Benefits of Shiatsu Massage Therapy in Seattle

shiatsu massage therapy in seattleIf you’re suffering from any stress-related problems such as nervousness or a difficulty sleeping, Shiatsu massage therapy can work wonders for you.  As we know, difficulty sleeping can be at the heart of many physical problems.  There are few curatives better than a simple good night’s sleep.

Additionally, Shiatsu encourages blood flow throughout the body, and can help with issues involving the circulation.  It’s effective against arthritis – in fact, Tokujiro Namikoshi got his start massaging his mother’s hands to help her arthritis.  It’s also effective in preventing migraines, as well as encouraging better digestion thanks to the increased blood flow.

Shiatsu massage therapy is also popular among pregnant women, because of its gentle nature.  If you’re pregnant, a Shiatsu massage may be just the thing to loosen up your joints and get your body used to the changes it’s going through.

Make your massage in Seattle appointment today!

If you’re interested in a shiatsu massage, we invite you to visit us at Seattle massage therapy clinic, Thrive Healing Massage. Call us at 206-547-5677, or schedule an appointment online. Our trained staff of experts will be happy to discuss your options with you and set up an appointment 7 days a week.  We even offer on-site massages if your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to come to us.

Either way, experience Shiatsu massage therapy with us and enjoy one of the most relaxing massages you Will ever have.

Categories: Massage Articles


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  1. Stephen

    Wow! That looks so intense! I honestly could say that, you must really know what your doing in order to not hurt someone in the process that would not be a good thing.


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