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What Is Shiatsu?

Spa & Resort Techniques

Shiatsu is therapeutic bodywork from Japan based on principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine combined with modern anatomy and physiology. It is one of the main modalities within the larger profession of Asian Bodywork Therapy. Shiatsu is non-invasive, performed without oils through light, comfortable clothing, and uses soothing, kneading, pressing, tapping and stretching techniques.

Shiatsu stimulates and harmonizes the flow of “Qi” (vital energy) throughout the body and has both preventative and remedial effects.

It is beneficial for a wide range of internal, musculoskeletal and emotional conditions. It may be stimulating or calming depending on what is therapeutically indicated. Shiatsu therapy reduces stress and contributes to overall well-being.

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There are many different forms of shiatsu therapy, all of which have roots in one of three systems

Namikoshi Shiatsu, Shiatsu Anma, and Zen Shiatsu. CenterPoint students of shiatsu therapy learn two complete systems, Namikoshi Shiatsu and Shiatsu Anma. Learning these styles offers the practitioner a versatile and expansive vocabulary in shiatsu therapy.

Shiatsu at CenterPoint

CenterPoint is the only school in the United States that teaches two full-body styles of shiatsu. Included in the training are many additional techniques and skills adopted by founder Cari Johnson Pelava during her studies in Japan.

Students of CenterPoint’s Shiatsu therapy and Comprehensive Integrated programs acquire a uniquely large toolbox of skills and techniques to better serve their future clients.

Namikoshi Shiatsu

Applied with the thumbs, fingers and palms, Namikoshi Shiatsu is the official shiatsu of Japan and is entirely based in modern anatomy and physiology. Through the application of pressure to specific points along the body, Namikoshi Shiatsu directly affects the nervous system, which in turn affects the internal physiological systems of the body. Founder Tokujiro Namikoshi discovered a mechanism through which touch applied to the surface of the body reflexes to the internal organs, thereby releasing blockages and evoking the body’s own healing power. According to Namikoshi,

“The heart of shiatsu is like pure maternal affection. The pressure of the fingers causes the springs of life to flow”. Tokujiro Namikoshi

Shiatsu Anma

Shiatsu Anma has uniquely combined two of the most popular forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy in Japan: Anma (a 1300 year old healing massage meaning “to soothe with the hands”) and Shiatsu (“finger pressure”). The techniques of Shiatsu Anma as developed by Dr. DoAnn Kaneko influence the flow of Qi in the body and include kneading, stretching, soothing, tapping, and pressing as well as Ampuku (abdominal massage). The shiatsu therapist uses principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine to evaluate the client and assess the balance of Qi. Each shiatsu session is specifically designed according to client indications.

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