Illness appears when the body loses its harmony with nature due to an obstructing current of energy between the patient and nature . Thus, the treatment will consist of stimulating the dormant total energy in the patient and restoring its circulation to normality.
Particular points on the body which may ease pain aches or tension when pressed, are called Tsubos. Tsubos when pressed initially may cause pain but eventually will start energy moving to relieve pain. There are 361 Tsubos located along the meridians through which our energy flows.
These invisible meridians connect the many parts of our body - connecting our vital organs and giving relief of pain even when touched far from the origin of the patient's complaints.
A shiatsu treatment may involve the practitioner leaning his body weight into the various parts of the patient to improve his/hers energy flow. The pressure contact is applied with hand, thumbs, finger and forearm, knees, feet-stretching holding and leaning heavily but with sensitivity to feel and increase the vitality of the recipient.
Shiatsu which can tonify or sedate, corrects the flow of "Ki", thus helping to prevent disease and restore vitality. Ki arises from the interaction of Yin and Yang and it is the primary substance of the universe. There are many forms of Ki.
Only two I shall introduce:
Water Ki is the life force inherited from our parents at the moment of conception and it is passed on from mother to child. Water is stored in the kidney. When Water Ki is all but used up one's life is coming to an end.
Fire Ki is the life-force/energy derived from food and drink and air. Fire Ki can be replenished by good food and drink. An abundant Fire Ki will draw on Water Ki reserves to a lesser extend.
Ki and Blood support and complement each other. The blood needs the Ki to keep it moving. The Ki needs the blood to nourish the organs that generate it. Ki is the leader of the blood. Blood is the mother of the Ki. (Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine) (c.1000 BC)
A Tsubo is a signal to the practitioner that Ki energy has stagnated in parts of the body/meridians. The sensation of pain is part of the bodies protective system - a signal - a warning - of bodily damage - disease a malfunctioning. Whenever a light touch produces hyper sensitivity in a Tsubo it is a signal of a problem somewhere.
The Shiatsu practitioner knowing his Tsubos and what pain they signify perceives the possible danger and moves to protect the health of his patient.
Shiatsu is a form of body work which at its highest level combines a finely tuned intuition with a thorough understanding of the body and mind Shiatsu enhances the lives of both the giver and the receiver giving both a feeling of connectedness.