The word Shiatsu means finger pressure. Shiatsu therapy is a traditional Japanese manual therapy offering a path to better health and well-being. It is based on the theory of Acupressure and incorporates principles of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Shiatsu therapy involves applying pressure with fingers, palms, elbows and feet along the pressure points, stimulating the body's innate ability to heal itself. It is exceptionally effective in reducing stress, a major cause of depression, and alleviating an array of symptoms.
Shiatsu, which also utilizes acupressure, or pressure points along with other manual therapy techniques, evolved out of 3,500 years of oriental medical wisdom and is founded upon the same principles as acupuncture, although no needles are used. The traditional theory of acupuncture proposes that energy, known as "chi" (or "ki") moves through the body along well defined passageways called meridians. Balance of these energy flows is considered to be essential for health and well-being and a Shiatsu treatment is typically designed with the balancing of these energy flows in mind. In keeping with the fact that Shiatsu is a living and evolving therapy, it also incorporates the modern Western sciences of anatomy, physiology and pathology.