What is Shiatsu? This Japanese method of treatment derived from a way of self-massage, originally developed in China, and has already been applied for over three thousand years. Sometimes one also speaks of 'acupressure', acupuncture without needles or a Japanese form of Physiotherapy. Both descriptions are only partly right. Literally, Shiatsu means 'pressure with the fingers', but besides fingers and thumbs, handpalms are used as well. Shiatsu stimulates the self healing ability of the body.
According to the Shiatsu-theory, the body contains Ki (Chi). There is no comparable conception for Ki in the Western philosophies. The term indicates a form of energy that makes us feel good, as long as the energy can run freely and equally via the meridians (Ki channels) through the organs, muscles, bones, skin and tissues of the body.
In the Eastern approach to medicine, body and mind are seen as one, as a whole. Therefore an even stream of Ki also means we feel good mentally, that we are happy with ourselves and our life. Sometimes the stream of Ki can be disturbed - by an accident, a shock or loss, extreme eating habits or a lack of balance- as a result the body could express this disturbance in several different ways: pain, skin rash, despondency, strongly changing moods, mental restlessness, etc. A Shiatsu treatment works on the restoration of the Ki balance and the balance between body and mind, to give the body a chance to to restore itself.