Shiatsu literally means finger (Shi) pressure (Atsu) and although Shiatsu is primarily pressure, usually applied with the thumbs along the meridian lines, extensive soft tissue manipulation and both active and passive exercise and stretching may be part of the treatments.
Extensive use of cutaneovisceral reflexes in the abdomen and on the back are also characteristics of Shiatsu. The emphasis of Shiatsu is the treatment of the whole meridian; however, effective points are also used. The therapist assesses the condition of the patient's body as treatment progresses. Therapy and diagnosis are one.
Japanese Shiatsu Long Definition
Shiatsu literally means finger (shi) pressure (Atsu) and is defined by the Japanese
Ministry of Health and Welfare as follows: “ Shiatsu therapy is a form of manipulation
administered by the thumbs, fingers, and palms, without the use of any instrument,
mechanical or otherwise, to apply pressure to the human skin, correct internal
malfunctioning, promote and maintain health, and treat specific diseases.”
Shiatsu has its roots in traditional Chinese Medicine, which goes back about 4000
years. The early traditional Chinese physicians used three forms of treatment; i.e.,
Herbal medicine, massage, and acupuncture or moxibustion. Chinese Massage and
acupuncture derive from the same theoretical basis which includes effective or sensitive
points that are related to internal organs as well as Meridians of Channels connection
these points with each other and with their respective organs. It is within these
meridians or channels that Qi or Ki, the energy of Eastern philosophy, martial arts and
Namikoshi Shiatsu Therapy Long Definition PDF