How Shiatsu Works
The Effect Of Shiatsu On The Autonomic Nervous System
Considering it as a whole, shiatsu therapy renders an all-embracing hypothetical base and a variety of realistic methods and is able to prove a just about infinite assortment of techniques. Nevertheless, an appropriately applied shiatsu session comprising just of fundamental method would also have an extremely helpful impact on the recipient even devoid of working particularly on the channels/ meridians and also with no use of the means of analysis as well as the Oriental theory regarding medicine. Precisely speaking, application of shiatsu therapy offers extreme relaxation as well as rejuvenation. In addition, it also reinforces the immune system. This is primarily owing to the fact that shiatsu incites the para-sympathetic response (relating to the precise segment of the autonomic nervous system comprising nerves plus ganglia reaction) of the autonomic nervous system. Plainly speaking, this denotes a profound relaxation response.
When we identify ourselves to be at risk or threatened, we naturally become extremely watchful with the intention that we are quickly able to evaluate the seriousness as well as the factor of the circumstance, by this means providing ourselves with the best possible opportunity to thwart or evade the object, situation or creature that intimidates us. Counting on the extent of the threat, we may perhaps be requiring defending ourselves either by combating it or by escaping from the threat. When we are threatened, our body naturally supplies additional adrenalin into the bloodstream and more blood flows into the muscles making sure that we perform our best in such situations. At the same time, our breathing quickens to ascertain that we receive enough supply of oxygen in our muscles and brain, while our senses of seeing, hearing and smelling turn out to be further sharp. In fact, we prepare ourselves for action. Conversely, when we feel that we are secure and protected and not under any type of strain, we generally have an inclination to liberate and unwind. In such situations our breathing retards or turns to normal, while our ears and eyes become less acutely concentrated.
As we all are aware, when we touch anyone in the right manner, at the right time and with the correct approach, our touch would provide them with ease as well as support. There is little doubt that all of us, including you, have experienced no less than a caring hand on the shoulder from the right person at the appropriate time when we might have been disturbed. This caring hand on the shoulder has definitely provided us with support and relief in times of distress, albeit temporarily. On the other hand, a push from any individual who might have perceived you like an object in his/ her path must have irritated you to no extent and your muscles are sure to have stiffened.
In its absolute variety, shiatsu appears to be akin to an elegant synchronization of acupressure and stretching relating to a comparable pressure point (acupoint) and meridian system something similar to acupuncture. However, in shiatsu, there is no requirement for oils, needles or ointments and the recipient is completely clothed. The methods of applying pressure may vary from slow and delicate to rapid engaging the practitioner's thumb, palm or even elbow. Nevertheless, shiatsu cannot be described as a massage. In the case of shiatsu, the attitude is dissimilar and even the touch is special.
Every time when you press your forehead to ease a headache or squeeze the bridge of the nose to alleviate straining eyes or rub your arms rapidly against one another when you are feeling chilly, you are in fact practicing an unconscious variety of self-shiatsu. By performing the above mentioned actions you are actually invigorating the pertinent meridians or energy lines as well as the pressure points by means of engaging a few of the most basic as well as primeval types of curative and preventive healthcare.
There are many people who have a liking for mild pressure application, while there are others who are able to accept a profound pressure. In fact, when you are practicing self-shiatsu, you will yourself soon discover which type is suitable for you. In fact, shiatsu is a serene and focused technique and you will find out more about its essence, the more you practice this form of Oriental therapy.
You may try this simple, but effective shiatsu form. Breathe in and then breathe out slowly. At the same time, lift your hands with your palms facing one another. Little by little, bring them closer and together without touching and then take them apart.
Move about in a measured motion and keep your eyes closed in case doing so assists you to focus. After some time you are likely to have a sensation like a magnetic draw between your palms. Keep on doing the exercise. In effect, the more you practice this exercise, the more this magnetic force will increase. Now, locate a tensed or stiff muscle on your leg and put your hands on it and experience the warmth. Subsequently, put your thumb on the place and bear down little by little. However, it is important not to poke or thrust the point and also do not be hasty. Remember, when you apply slower pressure, it is better, for you are able to go deeper. While you hold the pressure point, count up to five and then release the point leisurely. Do the exercise a few times again. This time you should move about an inch or so the length of the stiff muscles and practice again. Subsequently, move another inch further and practice once more. As you continue practicing, you are likely to experience growing warmness, stinging as well as relief from pain or stress.
In terms of shiatsu, this phenomenon is described as invigorating or liberating blocked ‘hi' (in Chinese, it is also known as ‘qi' or ‘chi'), which literally denotes life force or energy in English.
It may be noted that our natural perception regarding the body as a communiqué or electromagnetic arrangement is expressed by means of phrases, such as ‘My battery has become derelict' or ‘This gets me going or this disgusts/ irritates me' or ‘I am feeling exhausted' or ‘I am enduring an overkill'. As we all are aware and according to the Oriental medical philosophy, the entire matter is energy in motion and our bodies throb at dissimilar rates of Ki. Speaking in a simple manner, Ki is arranged along the length of upright conduits or meridians in a network which has resemblance to a subway or bus system in our cities. Meridians are, in fact, connected with structure, functioning, sensations as even the mind.
In fact, all of us are aware how it is when the routes in the city are blocked or the railways break down. In such cases, it is natural that everyone curses traffic congestions or delays at the railway stations and airports. However, if we are fortunate enough, there are other systems that take in the burden, people are asked to take alternate routes, but it is possible that there would be further blockades, particularly during peak hours. It is interesting to note that something similar takes place within the human body. The circuits and meridians/ channels within our bodies may turn out to be backed up or congested in a number of areas, while the other areas may be empty. In such cases, applying thumb pressure or making use of acupuncture needles facilitate in unblocking the congestion or to stimulate the inert energy or life force.
In order to understand the meridians or channels, we ought to try to go back thousands of years in our mind to a period that precedes our prescribed Western understanding of anatomy as well as functioning of the bodily parts; when the body was seen as a microcosm (a minuscule world) of their universe, the elements and seasons as well as researched vis-à-vis the vacillations of energies. In those days, people paid attention to their bodies and unfolded one or two limbs to either awaken or to get relief from pain in a local area. In fact, they had discovered that it was possible to alleviate a headache by applying pressure to specific points on the feet or the pain endured by women during their menstrual cycles could be eased by pressing points just under the knee as well as higher than the ankle.