I begin most of my treatments with a Shiatsu massage. I am trained in the KoKoDo Kappo Shiatsu Juku style. This Japanese form of bodywork utilizes finger pressure therapy, working along the 12 main Channels of the body.
One of the original statements in TCM reads: “Where there is pain, there is no flow. Where there is flow, there is no pain.”
The therapy itself effectively encourages movement in the direction of the proper flow of Qi throughout the body, bringing balance to the entire system.
The Japanese martial art of Jiu Jitsu is Shiatsu’s counterpart. The goal of Japanese Jiu Jitsu is to apply pressure to the opponent’s body to create backward flow of Qi in the Channel. This produces pain, and often submission, without damaging the tissues. Jiu Jitsu practitioners often receive Shiatsu therapy following rigorous training sessions to restore the proper flow of Qi.
Shiatsu palpation along the channels also allows the practitioner to get a better sense of areas of the body where there is imbalance in the flow of Qi. Areas of hardness or tense areas are referred to as Jitsu, or Excess. Areas of relative softness or emptiness are termed Kyo, or Deficiency. Moving Qi from areas of Jitsu to areas of Kyo is the essence of rebalancing the Channel system, thereby restoring flow to reduce symptoms and bolster health.
Areas of substantial Jitsu or Kyo are then often chosen as acupuncture treatment sites, added to the points selected for treatment during the intake. In this way, the Shiatsu is considered as diagnostic. I use it both as the first step in treatment, and as the last step in the process of my patient intake.