A typical Shiatsu treatment session has a few stages and in this page I will give you a general overview of what they are so that you can can be at ease. It is important to note that no two treatments are the same and thus your session may omit some steps and others may be performed slower, longer or indeed several times. This is just an overview to give you a better idea of what to expect.
We will start with a chat about your symptoms. This part is similar to a visit to a Chinese Doctor for say acupuncture. I will ask you about pain, sleep, work stress and any other issues you feel are relevant. I will also expand on relevant topics such as your energy levels, sleep patterns the condition of your finger nails, hair and skin. How your digestion is and what foods you like or dislike eating and your typically meals. I will examine your Pulses and Tongue. These give me important insights to the functioning of your body and enable me to formulate an appropriate treatment specific to you.
Secondly, I will ask you to lie down on the Shiatsu mat. It is warm and comfortable and you will be covered by a blanket. Depending on your situation I may need to examine your Hara, which is shiatsu terminology for the tummy area between your ribs and your hips. This is a diagnostic area where organ states are also reflected in. I will feel its height and warmth and gently press parts to help me determine tension relating to organ function. This also has the added benefit of improving your digestion.
Then we are ready to start Shiatsu. It is important to note that Shiatsu does not require you to undress; you remain clothed at all times. It involves gentle but firm slow rhythmic pressing on meridians. For example, part of the stomach meridian is located on the front of your legs, it actually starts under your eyes and ends in a specific little toe of each foot. If it needs to be treated I will stretch then press it via my palms and thumbs. At times specific acupoints need to be held pressed, heated. You may feel some tenderness but overall the treatment is generally quite gentle. If you are more in-tune with your body you may feel sensations of heat, solidity, movement or feel some areas spontaneously release long held tension as the treatment progresses. There are other techniques used to achieve different changes. These may involve fast or slow speeds of contact, light or deep pressures and various hand or foot techniques. Most people feel so relaxed that they are nearly asleep through the whole treatment. For deeper issues cupping, moxa or Gua Sha may be appropriate
Finally at the conclusion we will discuss any outcomes, self care and follow up treatments.