In 1925, Tokujiro Namikoshi opened the Shiatsu Institute of Therapy on Hokkaido. In 1957, under the new name of Japan Shiatsu School, the Minister of Health and Welfare officially licensed Namakoshi Shiatsu. It is the first and only school in Japan conducting specialist education in this field.
Namikoshi Shiatsu applies manual and digital pressure to the skin with the aim of preventing and curing illness by stimulating the body’s natural powers of recuperation, eliminating fatigue-producing elements, and promoting general good health.
Namikoshi Shiatsu affects the superficial and deep tissues, the fascial, myofascial, neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, eliminative, and craniosacral systems.
Pressure on the cells helps to move toxins that have become stagnant with disease, lack of use, or trauma. This produces a rejuvenation effect at the cellular level, enhancing cell function, increasing cellular metabolism, and lengthening the life of each individual cell while extending the time tissues can exist in a state of health.
Digital compression on soft tissues helps to initiate the return to homeostasis of the immune system. The inflammatory response to compression allows the body to clean up residual cellular debris and for tissues to return to normal functioning.
Connective tissue when manipulated by compression loosens the molecular bonds of basic components of the cell turning it from a gel state to a more fluid state. This makes it possible for Shiatsu to free up and rebalance myofascial structures that cover the entire body like a blanket.
Digital compression works to lengthen and relax muscles and tendons.
Shiatsu compressions help to realign muscle tone, eliminate restrictions in joint movements that produce results of a longer duration than other treatments. At times permanent relief comes after only one treatment depending on the severity of the problem.
The Repetitive press and release techniques of Shiatsu massage generate small electrical charges in the tissues that raise the energy levels within the tissues. When the body is in a more fluid state, manual intervention allows the body to be freed of adhesions and contractures that are the cause of so much pain and restriction.
Properly applied compression corrects intercellular fluid congestion and rebalances fascial electrodynamics by releasing the appropriate electrostatic charges necessary to neutralize the imbalance.
Although deep tissues are not directly palpable, they can be freed of restriction and returned to normal range of motion by indirect manipulation. By freeing the larger muscles of their need to compensate for an otherwise weakened area, this brings relief of pain through the restoration of structural balance.
Research & general acceptance
Like many forms of massage, Shiatsu is widely believed to have a relaxing effect on the body. There is also a significant amount of research suggesting that acupressure techniques can relieve nausea and vomiting associated with a variety of causes, including pregnancy and anaesthetics and other drugs. In one study, published in the Journal Of Nurse-midwifery in 1989, acupressure was shown to significantly reduce the effects of nausea in 12 of 16 women suffering from morning sickness. Five days of this therapy also appeared to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Another investigation, published in the British Journal Of Anaesthesia in 1999, studied the effects of acupressure on nausea resulting from the use of anaesthetics. Pressure applied to an acupoint on the inside of the wrist appeared to alleviate nausea in patients who received anaesthetics during the course of laparoscopic surgery.
(The Complete Book of Shiatsu Therapy, Toru Namikoshi, Japan Publications, Inc.)
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