Shiatsu has been shown to relieve a variety of ailments such as back pain, headache, PMS, neck and shoulder pain, fatigue, stress, arthritis, constipation, poor digestion, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and can even aid in injury recovery.
The pressure used in Shiatsu massage is more localized than other types of massages because the fingers are used more than the palms.
Localized pressure on certain points — sometimes called trigger points — may be tender, though many describe it as a “good pain.”
Although many people enjoy the pain because they can tell that the massage is effective, you should alert your therapist if you are uncomfortable and he or she can adjust the pressure accordingly.
The traditional explanation of how Shiatsu works states that it helps improve the flow of “qi”, or energy.
The scientific explanation suggests that the localized pressure calms overactive sympathetic nervous systems. This also improves circulation, which relieves stiff muscles and alleviates stress.
Shiatsu differs from other forms of massage therapy in that no massage oil is used. This means you will remain fully clothed, though you may want to wear comfortable, non-abrasive clothing to your session.