What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu (shi-finger atsu-pressure) is a form of Oriental Medicine, a therapeutic bodywork from Japan based on principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine combined with modern anatomy and physiology. It is one of the main modalities within the larger profession of Asian Bodywork Therapy. Shiatsu is non-invasive, performed without oils through light, comfortable clothing, and uses soothing, kneading, pressing, tapping and stretching techniques.
Is there anything else I can do to prepare for my shiatsu session? You will be asked about your main health concern, and wellness and fitness goals.
It is usually a good idea not to have eaten anything 30 minutes before a session.
The restroom is up a flight of stairs second to the right. The key to the restroom is on top of the shoe park inside the entryway into to the studio.
Do you provide insurance coverage?
Yes, in some cases. Normally I refer over to Anoka Massage & Pain.
What Should I Wear? Loose comfortable clothing that will move with you for some of the stretching exercises.
Soft stretchy cottons are usually better than tight nylon knits. Draping techniques will be used if you care to dress down to comfort levels. Changing room available.
How is shiatsu different from other forms of therapeutic massage & bodywork?
Shiatsu is Japan's own interpretation of shared Asian Eastern and Middle Eastern brought to Japan by Buddhist monks traveling from India in 700 something AD, and is a combination of ancient and modern massage & bodywork techniques outstanding for effective pressure work and stretches, comfortably applied through clothing.
Both Eastern and Western styles of massage & bodywork share similar outcome-based therapeutic massage techniques, also described as qualities of touch, including basic soothing (drag/effleurage), pressure and palm pressure (depth of pressure and compression), rocking movement, percussion, tapotement, direction, speed, rhythm, frequency, duration, stretching and correcting exercises, posture and movement re-education exercises, breath coaching, healing touch and application or influence of pressure to specific meridian points according to your main complaint and root cause.
What should I do during the shiatsu session?
Resolve to give in to the down time and allow yourself this time to unwind. It may sound unusual, but a massage & bodywork session can be a brilliant time for a "one thing at a time" mind over matter exercise.
The real goal of a shiatsu session is to bring the stress level down, seek calm, and open up the pharmacy within.
The pharmacy within might be described as fluid passageways; veins, arteries, lymphatic system, cerebrospinal fluid, which many are encased in smooth round muscles that can tighten under stress, especially going to the eyes, and then when relaxed can open up and help the transport of oxygen and nutrients, also filtering, recycling and getting rid of waste products.
How will I feel after the shiatsu session?
After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days, weeks, months and sometimes be a go to memory castle of deep relaxation that can work for years.
Here is the way authors of A Massage Therapist's Guide to Treating Head & Neck Pain 2009 describe some of the things that happen physiologically:
- Plasma cortisol (fight or flight hormone) and catecholamine concentrations alter markedly as anxiety levels drop and depression is also reduced (Field 1992).
- Serotonin levels rise as sleep is enhanced, even in severely ill patients - preterm infants, cancer patients, and people with irritable bowel problems as well as HIV-positive individuals (Aceolet 1993, Ferel-Torey 1993, Xujian 1990).
"- Pressure strokes tend to move fluid content, encouraging venous, lymphatic, and tissue drainage.
- Increase of blood flow results in fresh oxygenated blood, which aids in normalization via increased capillary filtration and venous capillary pressure.
- Edema is reduced and so are the effects of pain inducing substances which may be present.
- Decreases occur in the sensitivity of the gamma efferent control of the muscle spindles, thereby reducing any shortening tendency of the muscles (Puustjarvi 1990)
- A transition occurs in the ground substance of the fascia (the colloidal matrix) from gel to sol, which increases internal hydration and assists in the removal of toxins from the tissue (Oschman 1997).
- Pressure techniques can have a direct effect on the Golgi tendon organs, which detect the load applied to the tendon or muscle."
The above means you'll feel less electric with poisonous stress, more grounded and solid, deeply relaxed and will probably be able to get a better night sleep.
Adopt the mantra "Calm, yet Aware" when driving home.
Shiatsu has been found in some cases to be superior to massage in low back research studies relevant to head and neck pain.
Massage & Bodywork for Women at Shiatsu Cave
Here at Shiatsu Cave the focus is on preventative natural health care for women.
How often should I come in for a shiatsu session to start feeling real and lasting benefits
Ten initial visits are the classic recommendation to gain an idea of the transformation that can take place through deeper relaxation. This can be twice a week to once a week tapering off to once every two weeks, or one session per month.
Five hundred sessions is probably the real code cracker for changing the negative dominant neuron code. That's one hour daily for more than a year. Thailand would be a good place to start. Forward thinking King Rama III (1824-1851) made it his mission to preserve traditional Thai botanical medicine and massage, maybe why today medical tourism in Thailand is experiencing so much popularity.
One of the great aspects of massage & bodywork is even though each session may only seem to provide short term relief, the benefits of m&b accrue over time. With every massage session you are banking memories of relaxation.
A good article on timing massage frequency and backing it up with postural work (includes an interview with Esther Gokhale who wrote 8 Steps to a Pain Free back - Reclaiming Primal Posture):
What is the best age to get started with shiatsu?
Shiatsu, like many forms of massage & bodywork practiced around the world since ancient times starts with baby massage care and follows right through to end of life comfort care. The idea is to start anywhere along life's path learning ways to tame stress.
For children and young adults participating in impact sports like hockey and football, therapeutic massage & bodywork should be a part of conditioning training to help tone & strengthen connective tissue of supporting muscles around the smaller muscles that hold joints together. Think of it maybe like forging and working metal for strength and flexibility. Regular massage & bodywork is probably not something a coach is going to be able to recommend.
Check out the TCM School of Chiang Mai, Thailand: http://www.tmcschool.com/group_study.php
Since 2004 the Kardinia High School from Australia has been able to send 4 groups per year to study Thai Massage as part of their cultural study in Thailand, over a thousand high school students.
TCM's intensive course is 7,500 Bhat, or about $230.
For athletes and sports related conditioning look for a studio set up like a gym to be torqued twisted, walked on and stretched, maybe check with local gyms.
YMCA/YWCA used to have great Swedish masters ages ago, and the price was reasonable for getting pummeled, pounded and shaken off the table practically, including your towel, if you were draped with one to begin with probably went flying at some point. It was amazing and usually around $20. The good old days.
Key thinking helps: Stress: Acidic. Cancer loves acid environment. Calm: Alkaline. Cancer has a difficult time thriving in an alkaline environment.
Shiatsu can be a blessing for catching up on accumulated stress and promoting the feeling of confidence when facing any kind of health challenges.
Movement helps brain health.
Shiatsu and Thai yoga massage are moving massage & bodywork forms.
*Sciatica covers a set of symptoms that may be caused by general compression and/or irritation of one or more of five spinal nerve roots stemming from the lumbar vertebrae.
Nice views of the sciatic nerve (on page 4 of the slideshow):
Extensive information and videos on sciatica:
For end of life massage care, if you or a family member are looking at Hospice programs, and there are many local branches under Hospice, check to find out if the Hospice you may be signing up with has a massage team, or at least a Healing Touch program.
Massage is often the one thing that really helps towards the end of life, and is usually Ok'd for once or twice a month, but has on occasion - when it is the only thing that helps, been Ok'd for weekly in-home sessions. I volunteered for a year or so with the massage team from Hospice of the Twin Cities - wonderful team.
Therapeutic Massage & bodywork can be an island of renewal for those working through grief.
Above all, therapeutic massage is used as preventative conditioning to build up resistance and not let anything get started and if it does, whatever it is doesn't stand a chance. At any age Shiatsu can be a powerful tool in your arsenal for fighting your way back to good health and maintaining better health for self and others.
How long of a session should I do?
Traditional shiatsu and Thai sessions can often times be 2 and even 3 hours. The American version is 60 to 90 minutes. It generally takes a good 45 minutes for muscles to unwind enough to go in for deeper work and stretching unless you can get there in 5 like the yogis.
It takes practice to get to a deeper level of relaxation on cue. Most relaxation, including mindfulness exercises begin with going through steps of relaxation and breathing that may take about 25 minutes. They pretty much all include the mind telling each body part in a head to toe body scan to relax, breathe in relaxation, breathe out tension.
Relaxation exercises work, they are something like the power of suggestion dynamics behind "the light and heavy box", a famous magician trick where the magician first tells someone the box is very light and to try picking up the box, which really is very light and easy to pick up. Then, using relaxation techniques tells the person the box is very heavy, so heavy in fact that it cannot be picked up and instructs the person to then try to pick it up, and for that person the box, which is the same light box is too heavy to move. The idea is to discipline the mind through repetition to be in control of the body and not the other way around.
The main thing is to give a session long enough to opening up the breathing.
What's the difference between a massage with oils and shiatsu?
Both are effective stress reducers. Mixing up Swedish, or Western therapeutic massage with a little Eastern massage & bodywork delivers a perfect balance for many people.
Both include rubbing. Hippocrates view on "rubbing" was that it could "can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid".
Oil massages have often traditionally been medical massages like the Kings massage in India where oil is poured on and swept away. The idea is that the oil goes into the skin and gathers toxins and then exits the skin and is washed away with the sweeping away of the oil.
Explore healing music and sounds (from youtube):From Giddings piano concert held in one of the stone buildings in the Rum river to Anoka schools wonderful music department over the years, anyone spending even a few years in Anoka may have been profoundly influenced by music at some point.
Quick links to explore tones and frequencies that work for you.
(Hopefully OK with those providing video! Here's one big thank you for now):
If you have 105 minutes this is a meditative chakra scan, so you can see the frequencies, also colors and characteristics associated with each chakra, for instance the great out of doors neutralizer 528Hz is the higher solar plexus chakra frequency, the same that plants and blades of grass vibrate at. : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5cQMq1g5sU
Frequencies can be as variable as Royal Rife with his microscopes working on virus and frequency match ups wondering where infinity was with still finding cells within cells at 60,000 times magnified.
Royal Rife identified the cancer virus ages ago, He was a scientific genius who found that different viruses vibrate at different frequencies, or have their own signature oscillatory rate.. Also that a lot of viruses were too small to be seen with dye because the dye particles were too big for the virus to ingest, but that viruses could give off their particular color under certain light spectrums (cancer looks red purplish, tetanus blue green) then he would play with harmonics of a high inaudible frequency to match the oscillatory rate of whatever virus. Over 20 years or so he cataloged a ton of viruses and their corresponding frequency resonance numbers. Also, used intermittent rays of light so as not to super heat the surrounding environment of the virus and fry everything else too, that sustained would work to load resonance on the the virus like loading resonance on a twin tuning fork. Then Rife would do some fine tuning to excite, disturb and finally when right on the perfect harmonic of a frequency, his M.O.R. (mortal oscillatory rate) would break apart the unique nano crystaline structure of the virus without harming good bacteria, surrounding tissue, or cause any harm to the host. Rife called it devitalizing the virus. Rife eventually over the course of many years of research accumulated a catalog of working frequencies per virus, including the cancer virus, and this was as far back as the late 1930s.
One thing Rife tried to make clear later was that these were just the frequencies that he found and worked with.
The problem here was Rife was introducing something that could put others out of business at a critical point in time where the "search" for a cure was proving to be a more beneficial pursuit than "finding" a cure!
First of all Rife was a genius with bacteriology. When he first started out as a bacteriologist, he became frustrated with what he couldn't see, within the limits of microscopy at the time (something like 2,000x). He turned to studying optics for a few years and eventually built his own microscope that magnified up to 9,000x along with motion picture technology and natural lighting spectrums (vs dyes). Rife could then watch the virus move, and by playing around with tuning a matching oscillatory rate of frequency that would tear apart the virus without harming other cells. Even today with electron microscopes that have surpassed 1 million times magnification, it's hard to not lose motion and color beyond 2,500x magnification. Viruses were back then in the 1910s too small to see with an average microscope and color was a problem. When you can watch in motion a virus forming from a bacteria, and find that the virus can mutate, or one single bacteria mutate into several different virus forms depending on the environment the bacteria or virus is in, plus all have their own color, it's a whole different picture of how bacteria and viruses work rather than looking at still photos of individual phases of bacteria where it's easy to think they are all different and from different bacteria.
Then, Rife ran into Lee DeForrest, the father of the vacuum tube who helped him build a frequency generator and lighting. The first frequency generator was wall sized. De Forrest used an early gas type neon lighting. Ancient India Ayurvedic medicine used light cast through gemstones in healing, so there is a lot with lighting, color and tone used together. Anyway, these two brilliant researchers were having all kinds of fun accidentally reinventing the world of medicine with equipment that was way off the scale of anything out there at the time and they were well funded. Not too hard to guess what happened from there.
Rife essentially ran into the same kind of thing that Tesla did when Edison electrocuted an elephant to demonstrate how dangerous Tesla's idea of free energy using cell towers (that we use now!) would be, compared to paid for electricity. You're really on your own when it comes to wellness!
Flute, singing bowls and all kinds of traditional instruments, singing, choirs, orchestra, chanting, drumming and more can all play at harmonics of frequencies than can spark healing.
3hrs of relaxation meditation, instrumental, yoga:
I like this one - very healing (Hindu Shokla):
Music for Brain Power:
Around the globe:
Flute - Bolivia - Peru - Ecuador:
Pregnancy music - Mozart:
Navajo - Flute - Nakai:
Shakuhachi Japanese Flute:
Lapland - Sami - traditional:
Mongolian - Power for the Soul (see also Tuvan throat singing):
Huun Huur Tu - Live:
Musical Scores - music to keep you moving towards the burn zone:
From Million Dollar Arm:
Hidalgo - arriving in the Desert:
Many of the singing groups from the 1960s were backed up by session musicians like the Funk Brothers for the Motown Sound, the Memphis Sessions, The Wrecking Crew for the West coast sound who were also the orchestral sound behind The Ronettes recording of Walking in the Rain, and other epic favorites:
If you are having trouble staying interested in your treadclimber/treadmill, try slowing down to 1.5mh or lower and find music where you can micro manage walking to rediscover how you move. If getting started is harder than that, try rope exercises in a controlled and reclined position. Use a maybe 8-12foot long 5/8inch or one inch rope (Fleet farm, usually most hardware stores). Wind around hands, hook over feet and pull legs one at a time straight up, out and over and into a little bit up a stretch, maybe 20 reps each. This can fire up the brain to get started walking easier. Sister Kenny knew back in the 1940s that motion fires up the neural pathways that will support the intended movement.
Search ramp music too. Each item that you ad to your favorites will keep coming up on the youtube list to the side (next).
Maybe try putting together your favorite visuals and music! (Goodfellas - Then He Kissed Me/Crystals)
My favorite scene from Mask of Zorro (btw Corky Randall, head trainer for Mask of Zorro had polio as a kid. His father insisted he exercise rather than wear metal contraptions on his legs, had him galloping colts before school each morning at age 10 - more at hollywoodreporter.com): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRGre50eHbQ
Or, maybe try some of the great uplifting movie music sounds of Warner Brothers Symphony Orchestra, especially some of the cartoon music (love the Long Haired Hare in the Swiffer commercial!). Here's a youtube 3 minute video of Excerpts of Sho West - Sounds of the movies:
David Newman conducting students along with professional musicians at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank CA as part of a Tribute to Film Scoring:
Howard Shore on Lord of the Rings music score:
If you are using a tablet to play music, youtube that has all my real favorite collections uses too much space I'm usually playing Karunesh, Indy stations, Zen and Tao Garden, European spa, Yoga Radio, Deuter Radio, Native American Flute, Nature Radio, etc. on Pandora in my studio, and then pic up the sound on a separate speaker, very nice, calming yet inspiring with an occasional commercial. If you have a favorite on Pandora or iHeart, just let me know.
Spiritual and Choir:
Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos in Spain Gregorian chanting (Missa de Angelis (Kyrie, Gloria and Credo) Mode V III in Latin and English):
Tibetan Monks Chanting:
Azans - Islamic Prayer songs:
Manx Fisherman's Prayer:
Indian Meditation Music - flute:
Gayatri Mantra (mother of mantras):
In the news December 2016:
Alma Deutcher's Opera Von Cinderella: The prince, instead of searching the kingdom with her shoe, has a song that only Cinderella knows how to complete.
What is Shiatsu self care?
DoIn, or self-massage can be safely practiced at home everyday. There's an excellent book titled DoAnn's Doin - Healing Ourselves and can be purchased through www.chi-time.com
Most of the simple self care techniques begin with stretching and soft cupping percussion along the arms and legs, glutes as a wake up routine. Slapping and other sharper percussion sounds are also quite effective, just be careful not to get too carried away!
Many of the stretching exercises may be done at home with a little rigging, leverage and imagination. Number one is focus on core work. The core or great hinge area is the base power plant. Learn to work with a rope (active isolated stretching), or better yet an aerial sling: http://aerialfabric.com/difference-hammocks/
Information on seasonal healing: http://www.peacefulmind.com/winter.htm
Be creative. Try google searching Shiatsu DoIn exercises, and take a look at youtube video demonstrations at home, or attend classes that may interest you. Consider developing your own self care prescription in progress (wip - work in progress) from the vast array of natural therapeutics ancient and modern that suite you best.
Dance is a fantastic form of self care to tone and condition the many supporting muscles around joints, also to improve immune system function. For some reason I can't save this under the yoga section on the self care page, but I'll try it here:
The following are modern versions of traditional dance, for a glimpse of real traditional wonders: Netflix, Monkey Thieves, season 3, episode 8, start watching at about 11:44 minutes into the episode. The dancers in the celebration procession are influencing the hydrodynamics of the lymphatic system, almost a whip like wringing out exercise for the lymphatic system. No matter lymphatic duct, cistern, vessel, they are encased in smooth muscle and while the lymphatic system does have a little peristaltic action, it does not have a central pumping station like the heart, the lymphatic system is affected in large part by movement, and probably more so by great exaggerated movement like dance and stretching the arms way out. Lymphatic fluid travels in one direction: eventually to the heart. With dance, lift by turning, swinging and swaying, jumping, and whatnot, the lymphatic system is excited to work with more enthusiasm, then the extra weight bearing compression on bones is good.
Walking can be changed up with a little Scandinavian traditional walking music: This is just a glimmer of the magic of Scandinavian walking songs. It's a 6:06 minute segment of Garrison Keillor's Now It's Christmas Again - The Son's of Knute Christmas Dance and Dinner where for a few minutes (about the first 3 minutes, then picks up again at 4 something) a violin trio of traditional Scandinavian/Swedish walking songs:
The main idea with self care is to find ways to affect the lymphatic/immune system. Where there are only about 5 pints of blood in the system there are quarts of lymphatic fluid. Lymphatic fluid has a whole weird life of its own. Maybe think of it like the blood's sewer plumbing repair and maintenance system. Q: What happens when plumbing gets clogged up? A: Back up (inflammation), congeal, calcification, rot, breakdown, stagnation, gas, and explosions.
The beauty of Asian/Oriental forms of massage with the pressure walking on the surface of the skin, stretching is in the changing of the pressure of fluid movement at capillary level forcing the whole rest of the lymphatic (aka immune system) system to get engaged in the action like a big sponge.
Swarm Interactive - Medical Animation & Web Design is a good site that specializes in web design for medical professionals geared to help patients understand medical procedures, also providing wonderful stock images :
Massage & bodywork is so expensive, how can I afford it?
Don't feel all alone, a lot of people wonder how they would ever fit regular massage into their budget. It helps to get out and try massage & bodywork a few times to experience the value potential of managing stress. http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/1661/More-Than-A-Luxury
The intense relaxation and rejuvenating effects of shiatsu are absolutely more than a luxury, a shame that massage & bodywork in general isn't used more to take a load off the health care system. For instance, China adapted Western medicine by the 1960s, but found it such a burden that the Chinese government finally turned over a lot of their health care back to the traditional doctors called the barefoot doctors, who continued to use age old preventative therapies like acupuncture, massage and plant medicines.
Thailand is destination famous for using massage regularly for general wellness, never mind India, the wellspring of natural health and healing from the Middle East.
The great range of pricing for therapeutic massage & bodywork has to do with esthetics, experience and amenities designed to relax, also consider overhead and location. Generally m&b can range anywhere from $35-$110. for one-hour treatment. The average standard price for an hour of massage & bodywork in the Twin Cities area is usually about $45-$90.
On the higher end full price often includes an extra level of professionalism in handling client appointments, health history, insurance, follow up reports, team/staff resources, research, over-all goal oriented progress tracking and providing the best standards of quality, esthetic experience and amenities possible. If you want to experience one of the real places here in the Twin Cities, book a session at Spalon Montage. By all means, some places you'll want to bring money and enjoy lots of wonderful fussing all designed to assist you in letting go of complicated internal stress.
Prices that range higher than $90hr may include expensive luxury treatments (fresh herbal preparations, scrubs & wraps, traditional rituals, etc.), corporate on-site arrangements, or exotic resort locations. Nice cave pool overlooking Mt Fuji: http://enoshimaislandspa.com/enoshima-island-spa/shiatsu-massage-at-yumemi/
Massage & Bodywork modalities and amenities that lean more towards beauty and spa industry usually include tipping at 20% or more, or possibly automatic gratuity charge, and most of the time there is sales tax in Minnesota at 7.125%, unless registered as a clinic.
M & B modalities that lean more towards private studio, hospital or medical clinic settings, including natural health care will generally never include tipping. There is no tipping with health care, including natural health care.
My own studio is a natural health care studio for women providing therapeutic massage & bodywork, no tipping please.
If ever in doubt, especially when looking into a regular routine of massage therapy, maybe check ahead of time to be sure whether or not tipping is expected.
A person new to massage might find going out to the student clinics a good way to learn their way around the world of therapeutic massage & bodywork without breaking the bank. Most of the massage schools have a student clinic and by the time students are doing clinic they are very proficient in technique and ethics. CenterPoint School of Massage & Shiatsu in St Louis Park hold student clinic year around, except for two weeks in between semesters where clients can try both Swedish or professional therapeutic massage, shiatsu massage and spa treatments.
Try both therapeutic massage & shiatsu before getting locked in on any one modality because they are often used together. Student clinics usually charge in around $40 range with no tipping or tax added. Sign up online for their student clinic newsletter and watch for coupons.
Better yet, for those who want to get started learning some of the really important ways to keep a family happy and healthy, or just get back on track! take the 18 month East-West massage & bodywork course at CenterPoint School of Massage therapy & Shiatsu in St Louis Park (www.centerpointmn.com). Add side classes like spa and Thai massage and simply enjoy for the learn-how-to-live education. Take advantage of alumni prices in the student clinic and be kept informed of continuing education. To receive a printed CE brochure email: Reception@CenterPointMN.com
I'd be really careful going to a massage therapy school with any idea of making great money. It's a humble profession and it's just something a person needs to believe in. Therapeutic massage & bodywork is good to know and can become in itself a lifelong practice that one will always find personal happiness, important family skills and lots of good friends.
Also keep in mind the terminology used in describing therapeutic massage & bodywork may have something to do with price. Some therapists prefer to stick with the term massage & bodywork, others may prefer, or be required to use different terminology. For instance, in the 1940s Sister Kenny had to call her form of manual massage therapy for polio rehabilitation "muscle reeducation" to gain audience with the medical profession of the day. My mother had been sent to Sister Kenny's for polio rehab in the early 1940s and was initially prescribed aqua therapy, but aqua was booked, so instead got the "table".
Sister Kenny's muscle reeducation massage techniques included soothing strokes along with physical movement in the direction of intended movement for the affected muscles. The brain starts registering awareness of the muscles and movements involved and begin to grow neural connections to support the movements.
Therapeutic massage is also sometimes described in western medical terminology as massotherapy or mechanotherapy.
If I had to get right to the bottom of my enduring interest in Massage Therapy, it would probably be knowing the emotional and physical pain cancer and polio survivors experience, whether first hand or second hand in a family, and what a blessing massage and bodywork can be as a natural system of care that promotes comfort and healing. I feel like Sister Kenny had the right idea: A soft, yet repetitive approach and the brain will follow trying to rebuild - at it's own speed.
Slow and easy wins the race.
Remember to Relax