Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork with its origins in traditional Chinese medicine. It is a holistic approach that promotes mental,emotional and physical well-being by supporting the self-healing power of the body.
Shiatsu is based on the concept that energy (known as ki) flows through channels throughout the body. These channels are known as the meridian system. When energy is balanced and flows freely through the meridians, the body's self-healing force functions optimally. Disturbances in the energy flow can disrupt mental, emotional and/or physical well-being.
The 12 primary meridians form a complex system of links between the body's organs. Each one is named for the organ from which it originates (Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, etc.). Each meridian is associated with particular physical, mental and emotional qualities. Applying stimulating or calming pressure to points along a meridian influences the functioning of that organ and all that's associated with it.
When I apply Shiatsu, I use various techniques to bring the body's energy into balance such as:
- joint rotation
- pressure applied to the meridians and the points along them with the thumbs, fingers, hand palms, elbows or feet
- "unwinding" (extremely light pressure applied to various areas of the body or meridians to release tension or holding patterns)
- light corrective exercises for postural and structural issues
- moxibustion (the application of heat on meridian points using a special burning cigar made of the herb mugwort
The Large Intestine is associated with elimination via both body and mind. If weak Large Intestine energy is diagnosed to be the cause of your depression, stimulation of its meridian can bring new energy into letting go and moving on with your life.