Conditions Shiatsu Can Help

Shiatsu Can Help You Feel Better

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Shiatsu can help a wide range of conditions, illnesses and injuries. From musculoskeletal, emotional and autoimmune. Issues in one area of our health can affect others; stress can affect your digestion, sleep, circulation and tight painful muscles. Some chronic or reoccurring conditions Shiatsu has shown to help include, headaches, PMS, menopause, digestive challenges, fatigue, insomnia, fatigue, fibromyalgia, MS, stress, anxiety, along with musculoskeletal and joint pain due to injury and surgeries, stroke, arthritis and joint replacement.

Shiatsu can help reduce the signs and symptoms of autoimmune illnesses, including those caused by medication or surgery. Autoimmune illnesses include; cancer, MS, HIV/AIDS, ALS, IBS, PTSD, Lupus. You are not your illness, condition or symptoms. Shiatsu focuses on the person. Helping to reduce physical and emotional stresses while increasing energy and sense of wellbeing. Shiatsu works on the whole body to reduce pain and inflammation and increase circulation and deeper relaxation.


Joints and tissue around joints experience varying amounts of inflammation throughout the day. This causes pain and stiffness. Some only experience this in one or two joints while others experience this throughout their body. Especially if they are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, psoriasis, fibromyalgia or gout. Adjusting the hand pressure during a Shiatsu session and the amount of movement of the client’s body helps to increase circulation, and movement while decreasing inflammation and pain.


The signs and symptoms of cancer vary as do the side effects from the medications and surgeries. Clear communication with the client helps create a personalized Shiatsu session appropriate for the person and the symptoms they are experiencing. Varying the amount of hand pressure and the amount of movement of the client are common adjustments. Shiatsu focus is on supporting the whole person physically and mentally through the whole journey.


Digestion symptoms can range widely, including too fast, to too slow, cramping, bloating, and nausea. Causes can be from stress, food sensitivities, medications and medical conditions such as MS, cancer, HIV/AIDS, celiac, Lyme disease. Shiatsu massage worked directly on the abdomen is an effective way to help ease digestive symptoms.  A trained Shiatsu practitioner can vary the pressure from very light with the finger tips to gently with the palms of the hands. The approach is about balance. Calming down what is painful, cramping or too fast, while speeding up what is too slow or stuck. Shiatsu increases blood flow and circulation while calming the system.

Headaches and Migraines

It is overly simplistic to say that reducing tension in the body, anxiety, depression and emotional stress is key to reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines. There are other possible contributing factors; allergies, posture, dehydration, and side effects to medications, including those taken for migraines. Reducing physical and emotional stress with Shiatsu can help release pain and tightness in the head, neck, shoulders, and lower back. Breath work can help connect the whole body, increasing circulation, and blood flow while releasing stress.

Lower Back Pain

Long periods of sitting or standing can weaken and tighten the muscles of the back, abdomen, gluts, hips and legs. The lower back connects the upper back to the legs. A Shiatsu session can focus on opening up the hip girdle and the muscles of the upper leg into the knee.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

As a neurological condition, MS causes fatigue, difficulty walking, holding onto things with hands, muscle weakness, painful muscle spasms, headaches, vision problems, digestion and urination problems, sleep issues and emotional stress. Shiatsu releases pain and fatigue while increasing mobility and physical and mental balance. Using a variety of techniques including varying pressure on limbs and joints, passive stretches and abdominal massage helps to relieve pain, stiffness of muscles and joints. While Shiatsu is traditionally practiced on a futon, you can be treated on a massage table, on a bed, or in a chair, including a wheelchair or walker.

Neck and Shoulder Pain

The neck and shoulders work together with our core muscles in holding us up. The neck and shoulders are one of the main places we also hold stress. Sitting for long periods of time at a desk, in an automobile or plane affects our posture and back. The forward head position most people have from working and playing on computers and cellphones strains the muscles as they hold up the head. Additional issues can be caused from car accidents, whiplash, rotator cuff pull or strain, scoliosis, and weekend play injuries. Shiatsu works on treating the whole neck and shoulder area along with the upper back, lower back, chest and hips to increase the movement of the joints and connective tissue while also relaxing the muscles and increasing the circulation and blood flow. This approach opens up the whole torso and upper body.

Stress and Anxiety

Each individual’s experience with stress and anxiety is personal. Common areas of discomfort include neck, shoulders, lower back, digestive system and sleep challenges. Shiatsu focuses on the whole person, not the symptoms. This allows for greater relaxation mentally and physically. Connecting you to you. Allowing you to take a deeper inhalation and exhalation of breath. Releasing tension in mind and body. Creating a feeling similarly to meditation. While Shiatsu doesn’t take away the causes of the stress, it can help reduce the physical and emotional effects.

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