Shiatsu or “finger pressure” massage, sometimes called Zen shiatsu, is a Japanese form of physiotherapy. It is often described as the equivalent of acupressure, but this comparison is not entirely accurate, because the technique looks beyond specific pressure points, incorporating other methods such as stretching, breathing and rotating for a more whole-body approach to restoring energy balance. Although many of the claimed benefits have yet to be conclusively proven, advocates assert that it can work to treat many different spiritual, physical and emotional problems. Generally considered to be safe, its roots are thousands of years old, and today, the technique is growing in popularity around the world.
The main concept behind shiatsu massage is that energy, qu or chi, circulates along channels or meridians in the body. When it flows freely, chi brings fresh, positive yang energy while carrying away negative yin energy, keeping an individual physically, emotionally and spiritually well.