Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork. The word shiatsu means “finger pressure.” Like acupuncture, shiatsu is based on the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine, where illness is thought to result from imbalances in the natural flow of energy, or Qi through the body.
Shiatsu uses finger and palm pressure to energetic pathways, called meridians to improve the flow of Qi. A scientific explanation is that shiatsu calms an overactive sympathetic nervous system; and therefore, improves circulation, relieves stiff muscles, and alleviates stress. The pressure feels more localized and certain pressure points may feel tender, which are described as “good pain”.