Saturday, 21 April 2012

S is for shiatsu

Shiatsu is a physical therapy that supports and strengthens the body's natural ability to heal and balance itself. It works on the whole person - not just a physical body, but also a psychological, emotional and spiritual being. It is some times referred to as 'acupuncture without the needles' and regular treatments can help alleviate stress and illness, and maintain health and well-being. 

I've heard some people refer to therapies such as shiatsu or reiki as alternative, but I've been taught that it complements rather than replaces conventional medicine and treatments. I love the idea of complementary therapy practitioners working alongside GPs to help bring about better health and quality of life.

Due to regulations introduced by the ASA, I can no longer refer to specific conditions which shiatsu may help, but can discuss how it may improve well-being. Initially I felt a bit stumped at what I could write about, but now realise that in itself is a pretty big subject. According to, the definition is 'a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterised by health, happiness and prosperity'. I think that sounds great and I do a variety of things like meditate, exercise and have shiatsu to help me improve my own state of well-being and happiness.

Shiatsu has some features in common with European-style massage and other forms of bodywork, in that the use of physical pressure and stretches serves to reduce muscular tension and loosen stiff joints. However, unlike massage, the person remains clothed during the treatment and the principal aim of shiatsu is not to work on localised muscles and joints, but on the overall system of the client. In this way, it can be considered holistic as a practitioner is looking to bring about balance for the person as a whole.

So, what do you do to help improve your own well-being?
Now that I have more space in my filofax, I'd like to create a section for my happiness project and make sure I remember to do something, no matter how small, each day towards this.


  1. Enjoyable post - I have never tried shiatsu but I have given reiki a try. It was a little too hands-off for me, but perhaps you have to give it more time. Good luck with the rest of the Challenge - we are in the home stretch!

    1. Thanks for your comment :)
      I also do reiki, but shiatsu is much more hands-on in comparison. I'll be popping over to your site to see how you got on with your challenge too.