Holistic Health Center


Therapeutic Massage

What is Shiatsu Massage?

The art of healing is as old as humankind. People have instinctively touched parts of bodies to alleviate symptoms of pain. Shiatsu follows this natural movement of self-healing and takes it one step further.

The term Shiatsu comes from two Japanese words; "shi" meaning finger, and "atsu." which means pressure. Shiatsu involves medium to strong pressure applied to the clothed body by use of the Shiatsu practitioner's palms, fingers, thumbs and sometimes elbows. Shiatsu combines the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine with practices similar to those of acupuncture, but is performed without needles.

Like acupuncturists, Shiatsu practitioners believe that our vital life force ("chi" or "qi") flows in connected channels ("meridians") throughout the body. An organ's chi is contacted at certain points along the meridian. Shiatsu attempts to systematically stimulate the body by pressing on its points along the meridians. This finger pressure stimulates the local nerves and tissues, influencing the flow of chi throughout the meridian. This permits your natural healing power to surface and act.

Shiatsu combines both meridian stretches with pressure to the meridians and individual points on the body. On a physical level, this has an effect on the circulatory and lymphatic systems, assisting the body to release toxins. Poor or blocked chi circulation causes symptoms such as pain, emotional stress, fatigue, depression and can lead to diseases. Proper chi circulation along the meridians creates harmonious movement and balance throughout the body.

What is Shiatsu Massage Like?
Shiatsu massage is given while the receiver is lying on a massage table and lasts about 50 minutes in length.

Shiatsu is given, unlike many other common types of massage, while the receiver is fully clothed. Please wear or bring clean socks and loose, comfortable clothing such as:
  • T-shirts or sweatshirts
  • Sweatpants or leggings
  • Shorts or workout wear
Shiatsu is a therapeutic massage which includes the arms and hands, legs and feet, sometimes the stomach "hara" (so please eat lightly), neck (please keep jewelry to a minimum), face (little to no make-up is preferred) and scalp.

The Day After Your Shiatsu Massage
The day after your Shiatsu massage, you may feel sore (as though you've just worked out). This is normal and should subside by the second day after your massage, at which point you should be feeling great!

What is TuiNa Massage?

TuiNa means "press rub". This method of massage makes use of many different strokes that are applied to acupoints, channels and muscle groups. TuiNa methods include the use of hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body and acupressure techniques to directly affect the flow of Qi (pronounced "chee") or energy. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tui Na seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi allowing the body the naturally heal itself.

TuiNa has been used in China for thousands of years and was developed over the course of several centuries. When done with correct intent, the strokes and techniques stimulate an exchange of Qi energy between the practitioner and the patient.

A Typical TuiNa Massage Session
In a typical session, the client, wearing loose clothing and no shoes, lies on a table, lies on a floor mat or sits in a chair. The practitioner examines the specific problems of the client and begins to apply a treatment protocol. The major focus of application is upon specific pain sites, acupressure points, energy meridians, and muscles and joints. Sessions usually last about 50 minutes and clients tend to feel relaxed, but energized by the treatment.