Shiatsu

Treating shoulder and upper back pain
Treating shoulder and upper back pain

Shiatsu is a powerful head-to-toe massage from Japan using thumbs, fingers, palms, elbows, feet and knees to manipulate, stretch and apply pressure to the body.

Shiatsu gives people an "increased sense of hope" says Sarah Cook, head of occupational therapy at South Maudsley NHS
Shiatsu “improves healing and increases sense of hope” according to Sarah Cook, who manages a Shiatsu project in the NHS

Touch can be light and gentle so it is ideal for pregnant women or people with injuries or chronic pain. I work regularly with conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis, Lupus and Crohn’s Disease.

Full body weight can also be used in treatment which makes it popular for marathon runners, rugby players and those needing strong pressure to relieve aching muscles in the legs, buttocks and back.

Elbows are a powerful tool for releasing tight gluteal muscles
Elbows are a powerful tool for releasing tight  muscles in the gluteals and shoulders.

Shiatsu is similar to acupuncture because it works with the acupressure points, meridian channels, the principles of yin and yang and the five elements from Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Working the bladder channel in the back helps regulate all the organs of the body while giving the spine a work out..
Powerful work on the bladder channel in the back helps regulate all the organs of the body while giving the spine a work out

 

As with Chinese medicine, Shiatsu looks at the whole person noting all the physical, emotional and psychological symptoms.

Talking, listening and questioning play an important part too, particularly at the beginning of a session.

Research shows Shiatsu and acupressure can soothe physical pain, relieve stress and improve sleep.

Working acupressure points for pain relief in the feet
Working acupressure points for pain relief in the feet

Clients regularly report that it boosts their mood and wellbeing. For this reason Shiatsu is increasingly used in mainstream health services. London and South Maudsley NHS Trust says a Shiatsu project set up in 2010, is one of its most “valued” interventions. Sarah Cook, head of occupational therapy at the Trust, said: “Service users, carers and staff alike have spoken highly of the  impact this has made on their sense of well being.  Particular reference has been made to renewed energy, improved motivation, reduction of side effects as well as reduced tension, improved healing and increased hope.”

Brighton Shiatsu Heidi
Points in the face relieve headaches and eye strain

Treatments last one hour and are performed through clothes on a futon – or a chair, bed or wheelchair if required. As a trained yoga teacher, Heidi can also advise on practices that that will improve health.

Heidi works at the Brighton Shiatsu Centre  and in treatment rooms in Poet’s Corner, Hove.

Low cost sessions are available at Community Base in central Brighton and the Sussex MS Treatment Centre