Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory combines complicated medical knowledge with the natural principles of the human body. A trained therapist can use TCM to interpret symptoms and trace the root of the disharmonies, which can then be treated directly, thus relieving the symptoms. The philosophy behind TCM is to treat the person, which is fundamentally different to Western medicine’s approach of treating the symptoms. TCM is preventive as opposed to the Western medical system’s symptoms-directed perspective.
Shiatsu originated from the principles of TCM and massage, and emerged in Japan by the tenth century AD. Shiatsu is a Japanese word which literally translated means ‘finger pressure’, although in practice many more techniques are involved. All techniques work along meridians and acupressure points to smooth the flow of Qi.
Akin to acupressure, Shiatsu addresses symptoms of ill health or disharmony by the application of manual techniques that enhance the flow of energy to strengthen, disperse, or calm the Qi, and restore harmony. These may include techniques to promote deep cellular respiration, releasing body tension in a gentle, safe and supportive manner.