Shiatsu is a type of Japanese energy massage, similar in philosophy to the Chinese practices of acupuncture or acupressure in its attention to energy or chi zones. The name is derived from the Japanese words for fingers – Shi – and pressure – Atsu. Shiatsu treats the patient’s whole body and may be helpful in treating depression and chronic fatigue for several reasons: the relaxation it provides, its lessened likelihood of aggravating injuries and its holistic conjoining of energy points in the body.
What the Treatment is Like
Unlike in a Swedish massage, where the client lies on a massage table, during a Shiatsu treatment the patient lies on the floor on a thin mat. In such a way, the masseuse can apply pressure using her hands and fingers to the various chi points on the body, varying the pressure according to the tension in the patient’s muscles. The pressure is applied in accordance with the person’s breathing patterns as well. The treatment covers the entire body. The experienced masseuse will know when to stop the treatment so as not to overwhelm the chi points and potentially worsen the condition.
Shiatsu for Relaxation in Treating Depression and Chronic Fatigue
Depressed individuals and those with Chronic Fatigue may sleep a lot but this doesn’t mean they are either rested or relaxed. Shiatsu seeks to alleviate deep tension, both somatic and mental, that may prevent the patient from truly deriving rejuvenation from rest.
Rather than waiting weeks or months for relief from one’s symptoms, as one must with anti-depressants or other forms of treatment, a Shiatsu massage will provide one with an instantaneous form of relaxation and relief.
Shiatsu for Its Gentle Touch
While other types of massage are designed to warm up the muscles and increase circulation, Shiatsu does not aim for this physical reaction. Thus, though one can feel more pain and discomfort for a time following a Swedish massage, with Shiatsu there is no initial aggravation of the muscles.
For those with depression or chronic fatigue, the initial pain created by other kinds of massage may serve to worsen melancholy, affect sleeping patterns or render the patient resistant to the treatment. Shiatsu does not create this mode of somatic reaction and thus is recommended for such a client.
Shiatsu for Its Holistic Approach
Shiatsu aims to heal the body’s energy points by clearing blocked energy and restoring and rejuvenating cells in the manner of acupuncture. Many people who are resistant to acupuncture due to their fear of needles or to an extreme sensitivity in the nervous system, will benefit from Shiatsu.
When one is suffering from chronic fatigue or depression, one can be quite disconnected from one’s body, apart from as a source of agony. Shiatsu works to return positive energy to the mind and body, enabling the patient to reclaim a powerful connection to their physical nature. Through Shiatsu, among other holistic treatments such as vitamin therapy and exercise, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome can be healed.