What are the benefits of a Shiatsu massage? There are many possible benefits of this Japanese massage therapy that includes:

 1. Stress Reduction

Massage therapy is generally known for its ability to help with stress. If you had a particularly difficult week, a massage could be at the top of your wish list for when the weekend comes, if not sooner. Shiatsu massage can be a great option if your goal is to relieve stress. According to a systematic review published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “Shiatsu aims to balance, restore and maintain the body’s energy balance and prevent the accumulation of stress.”

A case study published in 2014 has even shown that Zen Shiatsu can provide a practical alternative therapy option to alleviate short and long term stress levels in children with autism spectrum disorder.  A randomized, single-blind clinical trial published in 2018 also demonstrates how to address specific acupressure points (such as what is done in Shiatsu massage) can help decrease anxiety and the need for analgesics for women in work Of childbirth.

2. Pain Management

Relief of natural pain? Shiatsu massage is known to help with all kinds of pain. The research has even shown that it can help with the pain experienced by burn victims. A clinical study of 120 burned patients published in 2014 found that Shiatsu on the hands and legs of burned patients reduced pain. In addition, the researchers conclude that Shiatsu can be recommended along with analgesics to reduce the dose.

Multiple studies have shown that acupressure, the main component of a shiatsu massage, is an effective alternative medicine that can reduce back pain.  One of these studies published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing evaluated how Shiatsu massage could help 66 patients who experience low back pain. Over time, the study subjects experienced a significant reduction in pain and anxiety. The researchers also note that “strange variables such as sex, age, sex of the therapist, the duration of the history with low back pain and medications taken for low back pain did not alter the significant results.” 

3. Anxiety Relief

If you have ever had anxiety problems, you probably already know how much you can really help find healthy ways to reduce stress. Massage therapy is a great therapeutic option to relieve stress and anxiety. Research has even shown that Shiatsu can help with the high levels of predictable anxiety that severe burn victims often experience.

A study published in the World Journal of Plastic Surgery analyzes the effects of shiatsu massage in 60 patients burned with underlying pain. Patients’ anxiety levels were measured before and after the massage using the Burn Specific Pain Anxiety Scale (BSPAS). The researchers concluded: “Based on our findings, 20 minutes of Shiatsu massage in hand along with analgesic medications can be beneficial in controlling the anxiety of patients with burns.”

4. Improved Energy Flow

Practitioners of Shiatsu will tell you that the way this massage modality works is that it aims to improve the health of your entire body by positively affecting the body’s internal energy system. Using the TCM principles of acupressure and meridian lines, Shiatsu massage therapists apply pressure and massage the body in a very intentional way.

By stimulating these meridian lines and the acupressure points located along these lines, Shiatsu tries to accomplish its ultimate goal which is to remove blockages and encourage a healthy flow of the body’s vital energy, also known as qi or chi.

Precautions Regarding Shiatsu Massage

Make sure you are receiving your Shiatsu massage, or any other massage, from a trained massage professional. The training standards and certifications for massage therapists are different from state to state, but many states require that massage therapists have at least 500 hours of training from an accredited training program.

If a Shiatsu massage is painful, always talk and let your therapist know. Massages often develop better when there is good communication between a therapist and the client, so that the massage can be adjusted to their particular feelings and goals.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Comprehensive Health, “massage therapy seems to have few risks when performed by a trained professional.” However, massage therapists should take some precautions in people with certain health conditions or in certain medications, including:

  • Pregnant women: In some cases, pregnant women should not get massages so speak to your healthcare provider if you’re currently pregnant before getting a Shiatsu massage or any type of massage.
  • Cancer: Unless your health care provider approves it, massages that involve intense or deep pressure are not usually recommended for areas of the body where the patient has a tumor or cancer.
  • Bleeding disorders or low blood platelet counts: Typically, it’s recommended that people with these conditions to not receive any forceful or deep tissue massages.
  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners): Speak to your doctor before getting a massage if you are on blood thinning medication.

If you have any medical condition or are currently taking any medication, you can speak with your health care provider to make sure that Shiatsu massage is a good choice for you.

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