what is shiatsu
about myself
the shiatsu session
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The Shiatsu Session

Pointers to maximise the benefits from your session
  • Wear/bring loose, comfortable clothing e.g. tracksuit bottoms.
  • Avoid eating a meal for at least 1 hour before the session.
  • Do not consume any alcohol for at least 2 hours before the session or for an hour or two afterwards.
  • Avoid vigorous exertion for a while afterwards; have a rest!
These are only guidelines and not always possible to adhere to in the real world. I frequently give shiatsu to people coming in their business suits, though you must be willing to remove tie and jacket!

You remain fully clothed throughout the session and no oil is used.

The session itself

The appointment lasts 1 hour.

On your first visit I will take a case history, the extensiveness varying according to the reason and purpose of your visit; if you have come mainly for de-stressing/relaxation I will have to make a less detailed appraisal than if there are any symptoms and conditions you would like treatment for.

I follow the history taking with a structural assessment, checking for example pelvic and vertebral alignment as well as various articulations. Again, the extent of this structural check varies depending on the client's reason for coming. If there is a problem such as sciatica or lower back pain I will spend more time on structure than if the main purpose is to relieve anxiety or stress. On the other hand one of the contributing factors of the latter two might be sleep problems exacerbated by a slightly misaligned cerebral vertebra resulting in a nightly battle of never being able to get completely comfortable....

Then follows the Hara Diagnosis which is one of the main ways of assessing the client's energy system referred to in 'What is Shiatsu'

Having completed these steps I now have a clearer idea of the client's structural and energetic condition and can commence treatment accordingly.

Assessment, both of the structural and energetic elements continues throughout the treatment and is assisted by client feedback at the time.

The way a Shiatsu treatment is experienced depends both on the receiver's condition and on the intended purpose. One will often hear Shiatsu mentioned in the same breath as "very gentle", "relaxing" etc. and that is certainly a result that is often achieved. If you are looking for a way to combat stress and to experience a feeling of deepest relaxation then Shiatsu will certainly deliver that.

But if the Shiatsu session is centred around a structural issue then the session might include Sotai exercises as well as some structural realignments which might mean giving less emphasis to the 'relaxation' element.

My aim here is to show that the Shiatsu experience is manifold and with mutual feedback, client driven.

At the end of the treatment session and often after a short rest, there is time for me to share my findings with the client and frequently make recommendations such as specific exercises that would be of help. Due to time constraints, the latter can usually only be done on subsequent visits.

We might also discuss the suitability of follow-up treatments or the advisability of having a course of treatments.
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