Shiatsu is a type of massage therapy that was primarily developed in Japan. With its name derived from the Japanese term for “finger pressure,” it involves applying pressure to specific points on the body. While shiatsu has roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it’s now commonly practiced throughout the world.
When performing shiatsu, massage therapists use their fingers, thumbs, and/or palms in a continuous rhythmic sequence. The finger pads are used to apply pressure throughout the treatment, and each point is typically held for two to eight seconds.
In some cases, the pressure points stimulated during shiatsu may feel tender. Those receiving shiatsu often describe this tenderness as “good pain,” but it’s important to alert your therapist if you feel discomfort or pain during your massage.
Your therapist can then adjust the pressure to make the massage more comfortable for you. Shiatsu is often used to relieve stress and protect against stress-related health issues.