What is Shiatsu?

In the hands of a qualified and experienced practitioner Shiatsu can provide specific treatments for a wide range of complaints and support people who are ill.

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu has its origins in Japan and is recognised by the Japanese ministry of health as a form of therapeutic bodywork.

The theoretic foundation of Shiatsu largely corresponds to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In the Japanese health sector, it takes to some extent the place of physiotherapy in Europe.

In recent decades, a form of therapeutic Shiatsu has developed in Europe, which has proven an effective form of treatment for a wide range of complaints and illnesses. In 2015, the Swiss government officially recognised Shiatsu as a complementary therapy.

In the hands of a qualified and experienced practitioner Shiatsu can provide specific treatments for a wide range of complaints and support people who are ill.The goal is to balance energy patterns, resolve blockages and support self-healing as well as personal growth. Based on this understanding, Shiatsu is an effective therapy for a multitude of physical and emotional complaints and during life crises.

Shiatsu is an ideal form of treatment for stress, exhaustion and tension. In the safe and calm atmosphere during the treatment clients will be able to reconnect with themselves, become centred and gather new strength.

Indeed, in Europe Shiatsu is now being used in education, preventative medicine, the wellness sector and in treating vulnerable people.

(German) Rundfunkbeitrag des Österreichischen Rundfunk – ORF

Ein Beitrag zu Shiatsu in Klinik und Forschung (mp3).

(German) Schmerzen lindern mit Shiatsu (Film)

Physical pain and emotionally difficult situations are typical reasons why someone may seek Shiatsu treatments.

When is Shiatsu indicated?

But you can have Shiatsu treatments anytime, even when you’re feeling well. The deep relaxation and the very pleasant sensations in the body noticeably alleviate the stress and pressure of everyday life and work.

Back pain, tension in the shoulders and the neck, headaches as well as painful joints are all typical complaints where Shiatsu can help. Insomnia and functional disorders related to the gastrointestinal tract and the menstrual cycle also respond extremely well to the touch of Shiatsu.

Shiatsu can further be an effective support during emotionally difficult times and during life crises. For example, for post-traumatic stress disorder Shiatsu can be a meaningful complement to psychotherapy. It is of particular benefit for so-called burnout syndrome.

In cases of chronic pain Shiatsu can be an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan. After surgery, Shiatsu promotes healing and recovery. In cancer patients Shiatsu is used not only to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy but also to help patients to cope with the fear cancer engenders. Relatives of cancer patients in particular can also be supported here.

Is Shiatsu covered by health insurance?

Some statutory health insurances will partially cover the cost of Shiatsu treatments, especially if additional cover for complementary therapies has been arranged. Please enquire about the possibilities for cover with your health insurance company.

What happens during a Shiatsu treatment?

Shiatsu is generally given on a soft mat (futon) on the floor. I also use a treatment table if required.
An appointment generally lasts about one hour, including a consultation before and after the treatment.

During the initial consultation I will discuss with you the reasons why you’re seeking treatment. I will ask questions about your lifestyle and your current circumstances to gain a better understanding how these may relate to your complaint. Together we will develop treatment goals and, if appropriate, a treatment plan.

The actual Shiatsu treatment takes place on a mat or a treatment table. With my palms, thumbs and fingers, I apply gentle, yet clear and deeply effective pressure on selected areas of the body (including on acupuncture meridians). This pressure is a typical feature of Shiatsu and leads to a deep relaxation and a pleasant physical sensation. Sometimes I also gently move certain parts of the body in order to support the movement of qi (body energy). Occasionally Shiatsu can be painful, but it is a kind of pain which clients describe as ‘it hurts a bit but it also feels very good’.

In the post-treatment discussion I offer support so that my clients can continue to integrate the positive changes they have experienced and new options they have become aware of into their daily lives and work.

How many sessions and at what intervals?

The recommended number of sessions and the intervals between them vary and are determined together with the client depending on each individual case. Often it is beneficial to have the first few treatments at weekly or fortnightly intervals; later on, appointments can often be spaced out more.

Occasionally, regular treatments over a longer period of time are indicated in order to support psycho-emotional processes and achieve lasting changes. One-off appointments can also be equally valuable.

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