By Swedish InstituteDecember 19, 2017 How Shiatsu Massage Therapy Provides Relief and Well-Being Based on Chinese medicine, Shiatsu has been shown to relieve a host of medical ailments in providing a renewed sense of healthy living. That might be why over 39 million Americans are taking to the Eastern approach when it comes to massage therapy; over half of them are getting a “thumbs-up” recommendation from their healthcare providers. What is Shiatsu Massage? The name “Shiatsu” stems from the Japanese term for “finger pressure.” Massage therapists apply pressure using their thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet to pressure points (or meridians) on the body with a focus on rotating and stretching those pressure points, along with the patient’s limbs and joints. Contrary to Western medicine – which commonly practices treating disease and illness with medication – Eastern medicine practices the belief of balancing the body and mind with its surroundings. How does Shiatsu work? It’s believed the act of applying pressure to specific points on the body not only promotes energy flow by regulating the automatic nervous system but stimulates the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems. The philosophy behind Shiatsu massage is that our bodies are comprised of energy, also known as “chi,” and the flow of that energy becomes blocked, thus contributing to a wide range of illnesses. This relaxing therapy can improve imbalances within the body while helping to heal common conditions and ailments. Shiatsu massage therapy is a great approach to revitalizing the body’s internal energy system while improving overall health. What does Shiatsu do? Patients are seeing a variety of benefits from Shiatsu therapy. Here are just a few ways Shiatsu massage may help heal the body and mind: Relief of joint pain, sprains, arthritis, sciatica, acute and chronic neck and back pain Increasing range of motion Regaining energy level related to combat fatigue and overall weakness Improving circulation Relief of sinusitis, bronchitis and other respiratory problems Reducing stress and tension Regaining better posture Help with insomnia Aiding in the treatment of several ailments, including digestive disorders, bowel trouble, morning sickness and menstrual pain Swedish Institute is one of the few institutions that offers a Massage Therapy program in Five Element Shiatsu. Learn more about our Massage Therapy program and how you can become part of this select group.