Shiatsu Meridians

Today, more and more people are looking toward alternative medicine and remedies for better health. One such is traditional healing art form is shiatsu.

With its roots in ancient Chinese medicine, shiatsu works on the underlying principle that vital energy flows through the body in a succession of channels called meridians.


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For many different reasons (obstructions), this energy or ki (chi) may stop flowing freely through these meridians, resulting in sickness and ill health. Shiatsu massage is considered beneficial in addressing these problems as it helps clear the energy flow. It uses touch to affect the flow of the meridians.

Ki or energy flows through the body along defined pathways; these pathways along which the ki flows are termed meridians. They form an internal circuit that regulates flow of ki all through the body.  Shiatsu massage works with energy flow in these meridians and aids in correcting the flow.

The 12 Meridians

Each meridian is named based on a physical organ in the body; however, this does not mean that it relates to that specific organ. In general, it is named based on the factors related to that organ. For example, if a person is diagnosed with condition in the heart meridian, it is not related to the physical aspects of the heart, instead it refers to the emotional well-being of the person. In this sense, shiatsu deals both with the physical and psychological aspects of a person’s well being.

The 12 identified meridians are the lung, heart, stomach, spleen, large intestine, small intestine, bladder, kidney, heart governor, triple heater, gall bladder, and liver. The technique primarily involves diagnosis before the any massage is given.

The practitioner will then work to even out the imbalances by applying the needed pressure on the respective meridians.

The Massage

Shiatsu method of treatment is holistic rather than meeting specific needs. The techniques of administering pressure include rocking, stretching, and rotation of joints. The treatment is very effectual if the patient relaxed and comfortable to the maximum. Additionally, the benefits are enhanced if the client closes his/her eyes and relaxes the muscles. Make sure that you tell your therapist of any discomfort that you may feel.

Side Effects

The first few sessions may cause side effects as toxins are released during the treatment. Some of the side effects include headache, diarrhea or stomach upsets, stiffness, lethargy or frequent desire to urinate. Ample rest and drinking plenty of water will restore good health. In case reassurance is needed, contact the practitioner.

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