Shiatsu is a manipulative therapy developed in Japan and incorporating techniques of anma (Japanese traditional massage), acupressure, stretching, and Western massage.
Shiatsu involves applying pressure to special points or areas on the body in order to maintain physical and mental well-being, treat disease, or alleviate discomfort. This therapy is considered holistic because it attempts to treat the whole person instead of a specific medical complaint. All types of acupressure generally focus on the same pressure points and so-called energy pathways, but may differ in terms of massage technique. Shiatsu, which can be translated as finger pressure, has been described as needle-free acupuncture.
Shiatsu has a strong reputation for reducing stress and relieving nausea and vomiting. Shiatsu is also believed to improve circulation and boost the immune system. Some people use it to treat diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, and other disorders of the gastrointestinal tract; menstrual and menopausal problems; chronic pain; migraine; arthritis; toothache; anxiety; and depression.
Shiatsu can be used to relieve muscular pain or tension, especially neck and back pain. It also appears to have sedative effects and may alleviate insomnia. In a broader sense, shiatsu is believed to enhance physical vitality and emotional well-being.
Conditions treated through Shiatsu
- reduce stress
- relieve nausea and vomiting
- improve circulation
- boost the immune system
- disorders of the gastrointestinal tract
- menstrual and menopausal problems
- chronic pain
- relieve muscular pain or tension ( especially neck and back pain)
- may alleviate insomnia
Sotai or Sotai-hō (操体法 Sōtai-hō) is a Japanese form of muscular or movement therapy invented by Keizo Hashimoto (1897–1993), a Japanese medical doctor from Sendai.
The term So-tai (操体) is actually the opposite of the Japanese word for exercise: Tai-so (体操). Dr. Hashimoto conceived Sotai as an antidote to the forceful and regimented exercises of Japan that anyone could practice easily to restore balance and health.
Sotai is different from regular exercise because it distinguishes between balanced movements that are natural and beneficial and those that are unnatural and cause strains and physical distortions. The aim of Sotai is to help the body restore and maintain its natural balance.
Dr. Hashimoto developed a model of treatment based on restoring structural balance that is claimed to work with the breath and movements toward comfort (or away from pain). He developed Sotai Therapy from traditional East Asian medicine (acupuncture, moxibustion, bone setting (Sekkotsu), Seitai Jutsu) in concert with his knowledge of modern medicine.
Sotai Therapy is intended to be a method of neuromuscular reeducation and unwinding muscular holding patterns. According practitioners, Sotai Therapy balances the nervous and muscular systems. Its central principle is backtracking movement or “reverse-motion” treatment. The idea is that structural distortions can be returned to a more normal condition by moving the body in the comfortable direction. Using the effects of an isometric contraction followed by a sudden relaxation (post-isometric relaxation) can normalize the strained condition.
Conditions treated through Sotai:
- balances the nervous and muscular system
- structural distortions