“Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and palm of one's hand to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses.”
— Japanese medical department of the Ministry of Welfare (current Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) in December 1957.
Shiatsu is a traditional Japanese healing art, which literally translated means finger pressure. The Shiatsu practitioner uses his/her fingers, palms, elbows, knees and feet to press along specific lines on the body. Shiatsu is primarily a preventive therapy, which helps to maintain a person's health, vitality and stamina. It also strengthens the vital organs and prevents energy from getting blocked in the body. Shiatsu can help in a wide range of disorders and chronic conditions including depression, migraine headache, backache, injuries and other stress-related conditions. Treating the body as a whole helps to restore the physical functions of the nervous system, circulatory system, bone structure, muscles and internal secretions and stimulates its natural ability to heal illness.
Shiatsu concentrates the therapy on the meridian lines, which have been described as "channels of living magnetic energy in the body," which pass through the body and connect the vital organs. Although named after the vital organs, the functions of the meridians are much wider and encompass the whole being, at the emotional, mental and physical level. An imbalance in a person's vital energy may manifest itself as a back problem, a headache, a mental depression, or in many other ways. By working along the meridians the practitioner summons energy to the places most in need and disperses the energy from the areas where it is congested, thus restoring balance to the whole body.
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