Shiatsu works on the principle in Oriental medicine that vital energy (Ki or Chi) flows throughout the body in channels called meridians. For a variety of reasons these may become blocked, producing physical, mental or emotional ailments. Shiatsu aims to stimulate the flow of Ki through acupoints to create positive changes in energy patterns and achieve healthy balance.
The practitioner works within a meditative state, focusing on the responses of the recipient so as to properly direct the therapy. To develop this condition of heightened awareness and clear intention techniques such as meditation, yoga and Qi Gong are practiced regularly.
Shiatsu in Pregnancy and Infertility
Many women find the hands on approach of shiatsu extremely supportive during pregnancy, when appropriate stretches and rotations are helpful for pain and stiffness.
Shiatsu is helpful for women at any stage of pregnancy. In the first trimester it can aid with low energy, morning sickness and connecting with the baby. In the later stages, as the baby gets bigger, shiatsu can help ease aches and pains, breathing problems, digestive problems etc. During the post-natal period shiatsu can support the mother’s energy, physical wellbeing and help her to integrate into this new stage of her life.
Zoe has a thorough knowledge of labour promoting points. She can advise women on exercises to do throughout pregnancy to strengthen the abdominal area, pelvic floor muscles and release tension in the shoulders and compression in the abdominal cavity.
Shiatsu treatments can focus on meridians and points which are traditionally used for treating infertility and addressing related, underlying issues.
Zoe has trained in this area with leading experts in the field, including Tamsin Grainger a pioneer in baby shiatsu and Suzanna Yates, author of ‘Shiatsu for Midwives’.
Shiatsu and other therapies
Because of its connection to traditional Chinese medicine, Shiatsu serves as an excellent adjunct to acupuncture therapy as well as Chinese or Japanese herb prescribing, fitting well with the theoretical framework. Further, it serves as a complementary therapy for Western methods of manipulation, including chiropractic or standard massage (e.g. Swedish style), providing a different stimulus to the body.
Shiatsu utilizes a combination of pressure and assisted-stretching techniques, some of which are common to other therapies, such as Massage, Physiotherapy, Acupressure, Osteopathy, Lymphatic Drainage, Do-in and others.
What to expect from a session
A variety of techniques may be used in order to contact the meridians, ease joints and muscles and improve breathing. For instance gentle holding, pressure applied with palms, thumbs, elbows or knees, stretches and joint rotations. Treatments vary according to your needs and may be as gentle or as deep as is required. The practitioner will base this on an initial detailed consultation and checking in throughout the session.
Shiatsu is practiced on a futon on the floor or a massage table. It can also be done seated if unable to lie down. The client remains fully clothed throughout.
Before and after...
Please wear loose, warm, comfortable clothing; preferably cotton e.g. sweatshirt, tracksuit trousers and cotton socks. Do not eat heavily two hours prior to treatment and avoid alcohol. After treatment drink plenty of water to smooth the flow of changes through the system and rest if possible.
Cost and Time
The cost of a session may vary depending on which clinic you visit, however generally the cost is £30. Concessions are available for students and those on a low income. Sessions last approx 1 hour.