Shiatsu FAQ
What is the difference between Shiatsu and regular massage?

Shiatsu is based on the same theory as acupuncture, working to correct imbalances and restore the smooth flow of energy through the body. Massage is concerned with the flow of blood and lymph fluid.


Shiatsu employs static, direct pressure to the body using fingers, palms, elbows and sometimes knees.  A Shiatsu massage may also include tapping and stretching.  This differs from regular massage which involves mainly
pulling, pushing, kneading, stroking, and rubbing. 
There is no need to disrobe for a Shiatsu treatment as it is performed through the clothes and does not require the use of oils.


How should I prepare for a Shiatsu treatment?

You should wear comfortable clothing (track/yoga pants and T-shirt) and remove all unnecessary items such as jewellery.  Have a blanket nearby as most people do start to feel cold during treatment.  You may want to create a relaxing atmosphere, by dimming the lights and playing soothing music.  Make sure you do not eat right before your treatment. 


Describe a typical Shiatsu appointment.

Your therapist will arrive with a massage table and all other necessary equipment.  (Although Shiatsu is traditionally performed on a mat on the floor, we have found most clients are more comfortable on a massage table.  Mat treatments are available upon request.)  At your first appointment, you and your therapist will fill out Health History and Consent to Treatment forms.  Your treatment will start with palpation of the abdomen (Hara) for initial diagnosis.  Shiatsu is an Holistic therapy and as such your session will include massage of the whole body with special focus on the local area of complaint.  At the end of your treatment, the therapist will check the Hara for change and then document the session.  A typical Shiatsu appointment lasts from 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.


What does a Shiatsu massage feel like?

Shiatsu is described as a “pleasurable pain”.  The deep pressure applied is comfortable because of the direct angle and technique used.  Some points are more tender than others, if you feel uncomfortable at any time during your treatment, be sure to tell your therapist so that they can make adjustments


How will I feel after Shiatsu massage?

During your treatment, the Parasympathetic Nervous system will be activated, putting you into a deeply relaxed state.  This is the “rest and repair” state your body needs in order to repair itself.  In order to maintain this state, try not to plan any rigorous activity right after your Shiatsu massage.  Everyone responds differently to treatment, many people feel sleepy or tired afterwards and others feel energized. It is common to be a little sore the next day or two.  Contact your therapist if you have any concerns.   


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