How To Do A Shiatsu Massage
How To Do A Shiatsu Massage
This video covers the basics of Shiatsu, a form of massage used for centuries to promote stress relief and relaxation. Just watching this video will make you feel more relaxed!
Shiatsu is a Japanese massage which is performed fully clothed on a futon, on the floor. It involves a series of presses and manipulations of the body and stretches, and it works energetically with the system of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. The basic Shiatsu position is a kneeling position, where you put your body weight onto the person who is receiving the treatment.
As you can imagine, it's very important to make sure that as you do this, we take of the spine of the person who you're working with. So, there are two points on the spine where we can actually apply quite a lot of pressure without damaging the person. The first point is here on the coccyx and the second point is at the place where, on most people, is the highest point between the shoulder blades.
One of the basic principles of shiatsu is applying perpendicular pressure, which means that the hands, my arms should be at 90 degrees to the body of the person who I'm working with. So, as I lean forward, I'm not actually applying very much pressure at the moment; most of my pressure, most of my weight is still on my knees. What I'm doing is I'm establishing a general layer of pressure that the person feels comfortable with and I'm going to try to sustain that throughout the treatment.
So, I'm applying equal pressure here now with my right hand and my left hand. I'm going to put my left hand here and equalize the pressure. Another thing you can do which feels very nice is a stretch across the back, so I'm placing this hand here on the edge of the pelvis.
I know I can apply quite a lot of pressure here without actually hurting the person, because the pelvis is very strong. This hand here, I'm just going to place around the shoulder blade and then, I'm just going to lean over into the middle using my body weight to push the two hands apart slightly, and that's pushing down on either side of the spine. Slowly, gently and quite firmly but not hard, so I'm waiting until I feel her chest rise and as it falls, I'm going to push down on either side of the spine.
Be very careful that you're not touching the spine and that your palms are definitely either side. Each time, look down, just checking where the vertebra is. I'm working.
See now, that one's a bit hard there, so I'm not going to apply so much pressure to that now. You can take the person's leg and apply a nice stretch. Remember to put a really good, strong mother hand here on the base of the spine and that helps to open out the pelvis at the front - feels really nice.
A fail safe point on the foot that you can use for general relaxation, releasing anxiety, promoting sleep, restlessness, calming the mind and that's why in the sense with the foot, this is the side position and we're basically going to apply the same techniques that we've used on the back. But inside position, you can access different parts of the body and it's also a really good way of working with pregnant women who can't lie on their fronts. So, you can actually access the back and apply gentle, not too strong, pressure here and you can work down the legs.
We have talked about some of the basic techniques you could use to give a relaxing massage using some of the principles of Shiatsu which are maintaining a strong mother hand, perpendicular pressure, and remembering to listen for the body's resistance and never push past that point. So, those are some of the key features of giving a relaxing massage using some of the basic principles of Shiatsu. .