What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu and Body-Based Therapies

Shiatsu is much more than a massage, it is a bodywork therapy derived from Japan that applies acupressure, stretching and muscle release techniques to treat the body.

Founded on the principles of Chinese Medicine theory and combined with known Western physiology, the practitioner uses a number of modalities to promote health and strengthen the body’s healing abilities. 

It is dynamic and adaptive therapy, catering to the needs of the individual and the diagnosis their tongue and pulse.

A Shiatsu session may include the use of:

    • Acu-points, trigger points and application of pressure to pathways called meridians.
    • Stretching, simple structural alignments and muscle release techniques.
    • Complimenting therapies including Cupping, Moxibustion (heat therapy) and Gua Sha (scraping).

When might you seek out a shiatsu practitioner?

    • Anxiety
    • Chronic Stress
    • Embodied trauma
    • Musculoskeletal pain
    • Chronic pain
    • Digestive upset
    • Headaches and migraines
    • Insomnia
    • Menstrual difficulties
    • Fibromyalgia

Cupping therapy involves the use of glass cups and a heat source to create a vacuum effect on the skin. The suction draws the skin and muscle tissue comfortably into the cup with the aim to encourage localised blood flow.

The cups may be placed in a single area of the body (stationary cupping) or we may apply massage oil and glide the cup along the skin (mobile cupping).

Cupping may be used in treatment for:
Muscular pain, gastrointestinal upset, joint pain or swelling, chest tightness and cough. 

Note: The cupping therapy may causes marks on the skin where blood circulation has been encouraged; these marks may last for a couple of days.

Learn more about Cupping

Moxibustion or moxa is a medicinal heat therapy using the herb Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). The mugwort plant is processed into a wool-like material and is moulded into cones, rice grains and cigars (pictured). The herbal medicine is burned close to the skin to warm, relax and invigorate areas of the body. 

Moxa may be used in treatment for: Coldness in hands, feet or lower back, joint or back pain, gynaecological and digestive conditions.

Learn more about Moxibustion

Gua Sha
Gua Sha therapy, also called scraping, is where a ceramic spoon is applied to oiled skin and scraped along the surface to invigorate the movement of blood in the area. When applying facial gua sha for cosmetic use, a jade or rose quartz tool is used.

Gua Sha may be used in treatment for: Muscular pain, ligament or tendon tension, abdominal pain, chronic cough, early onset of cold and flu.

Note: The scraping therapy may causes marks on the skin where blood circulation has been encouraged; these marks may last for a couple of days

Learn more about Gua Sha