Eastern medicine practices are often misunderstood and scrutinized by modern science. Influencing individuals to stay away from traditional practices that could support health. In this blog, we hope to change that by sharing information on shiatsu meridians. When shiatsu meridians, eastern principles, are applied to a massage, it can improve your health, treat illness, and create healing.
What are Shiatsu Meridians?
Shiatsu meridians are streams or pathways of energy throughout the body. Each meridian corresponds with a particular organ and encompasses the larger functions of that organ and complimentary organ. If the energy flowing through a shiatsu meridian is imbalanced or blocked then that particular area will usually feel pain and the system it fuels will be jeopardized. This could result in an illness making meridians play a crucial role in the health of the entire body. So to relieve symptoms and complements macrobiotic practice shiatsu massage is helpful.
What are Shiatsu Meridians?
Shiatsu translates to “finger pressure.” Therefore, shiatsu massage is the use of thumb, palm and fingers to apply pressure to all parts of the body along specific pathways or meridians. Applying pressure to the shiatsu meridians and points relieves common ailments and conditions by helping the organs receive and release energy. This creates balance in the body and promotes healing. (Shiatsu meridians and points are used in acupuncture as well).
Another unique approach is barefoot shiatsu. In this practice, the practitioner uses their feet to apply pressure on the meridian and points as the client is laying down. Barefoot shiatsu became popularized by Shizuko Yamamoto.
At SHI macrobiotics, we also teach a self massage technique called Do-In. Do-in is an ancient spiritual practice for health and longevity. It consists of rubbing, pounding and stretching the meridians and points. Check out this video on Do-In massage.
How Many Meridians Are There?
There are 12 meridians used in shiatsu massage. Here is a chart of the meridians of the body:
*Pericardium meridian is the heart governor. It regulates circulation and sexual energy. This function gathers from the environment and circulates into the body. (Only humans have this)
*Triple Warmer or Heater meridian regulates digestion, assimilation, and adds circulation- releases energy back into the environment. Keep in mind meridians are not separate but join up. For example heart governor/pericardium meridian and triple warmer meet under the breast bone.
How Do You Do A Shiatsu Massage?
Every practitioner has a different technique, as well as, a shiatsu massage changes depending on intention. Certain starting points are used in order to energize the person while some are to release tension. A couple approaches to shiatsu massage is starting with hands and feet and then moving to the center or beginning at the shoulders and moving down and outwards. Overall, having the knowledge of shiatsu meridians assists practitioners to find the areas that need stimulation and to create a balance.
What are the Benefits of Shiatsu Massage?
There are several health benefits to shiatsu massage including
- Helping with fatigue
- Promoting deep circulation, strength, and flexibility
- Rebalancing the body
- Treating pain
- Treating illnesses
- Relieving stress
- Helping with digestive issues