Japanese massage, also known as shiatsu, is a form of massage that uses pressure and finger strokes on the body. It is said to be beneficial for the mind and body, and has been used as a form of alternative medicine that has been used for centuries in Asia for healing purposes.
At first glance, Japanese massage may not seem all that different from other types of massage. However, there are some key differences that make this type of massage uniquely beneficial to your health.
For one, Japanese massage is based on the principle of anma, which means “pressure and rubbing.” This means that the therapist will use both their hands and fingers to apply pressure to the muscles, rather than just using their hands.
This pressure can be quite deep, but it is always done in a very controlled and skilful manner. This ensures that you get all the benefits of the massage without any of the pain or discomfort that can sometimes be associated with deep tissue massage.
Another key difference is that Japanese massage focuses on energy lines, or meridians, in the body. This helps to improve the flow of energy and promote healing.
The Science Behind Japanese Massage
There is some scientific evidence to support the efficacy of Japanese massage. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2012 found that shiatsu massage was effective in reducing pain and improving joint function in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Another study, published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies in 2013, found that shiatsu massage was helpful in reducing pain and improving quality of life for people with chronic low back pain.
Japanese massage is generally considered to be safe. However, as with any type of massage, there are some potential risks. These include:
- Muscle soreness
- Excessive bleeding
Before receiving a Japanese style massage, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to make sure it is appropriate for you.
Benefits of Japanese Massage
Japanese massage has been practiced for centuries and is said to offer a number of health benefits. Today, Japanese massage is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world as people are beginning to discover its many potential benefits.
Some of the most well-known benefits of Japanese massage include:
Improves Blood Circulation
One of the main benefits of Japanese massage is improved circulation. The therapist uses a variety of techniques to stimulate the skin and muscles, which helps to increase blood flow and oxygenation to the tissues.
This improved circulation helps to reduce pain and inflammation, and can also speed up the healing process.
Removes Toxins and Excess Fluids
Lymphatic drainage is another benefit of Japanese massage. The therapist uses gentle strokes to encourage the movement of lymph fluid around the body, which helps to remove toxins and excess fluids. This can help to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of infection.
Reduces Stress Levels
Japanese massage is also said to be beneficial for reducing stress levels. The therapist uses a variety of techniques to relax the body and mind, which can help to reduce anxiety and tension. This can lead to improved sleep, increased energy levels, and a general feeling of well-being.
Japanese massage can also be beneficial for increasing flexibility and range of motion. The therapist uses a variety of stretching and kneading techniques to loosen tight muscles and joints, which can help to improve mobility and reduce stiffness.
Relieves Headache and Muscle Pains
Headaches, muscle aches and pains are another common problem that can be alleviated by Japanese massage. The therapist uses a variety of pressure point and trigger point techniques to release tension and pain. This can help to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Boosts Immune System
Japanese massage is also said to be beneficial for boosting the immune system. The therapist uses a variety of techniques to stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps to remove toxins and excess fluids from the body. This can help to improve the function of the immune system and reduce the risk of infection.
If you are looking for a way to improve your overall health and well-being, Japanese massage is a great option. The benefits of this type of massage are numerous, and it is a safe and effective form of therapy. If you have any specific health concerns, be sure to discuss them with your therapist before beginning any type of massage.