Integrative Eclectic Shiatsu combines traditional Asian bodywork techniques, Traditional Asian Medicine, and Western methods of soft tissue manipulation. Dietary and herbal applications/recommendations are also an integral part of treatment. Focus includes meridian systems, or flows, and acupoints; abdominal massage (hara work/ampuku); Western anatomy and physiology; and joint mobilization.
Toshiko Phipps, the developer of Integrative Eclectic Shiatsu, brought Shiatsu instruction to the U.S. in the 1950s. Shiatsu’s roots are in Traditional Asian Medicine and traditional Asian bodywork techniques. There has been much interplay over the years between Western bodywork and Asian bodywork. Shiatsu may have had an influence on the development of trigger point therapy (Somma, Shiatsu, p. 6), and there has been an exchange of information and influence between chiropractic practice and Shiatsu practice. Shiatsu has been fertile ground for innovation and exploration in energy bodywork. Consequently, there are many different approaches to Shiatsu practice. Some of them are: Integrative Eclectic Shiatsu (Toshiko Phipps); Zen Shiatsu (Shizuto Masunaga); Tsubo Therapy (Katsusuke Serizawa); Quantum Shiatsu (Pauline Sasaki); Five Element Shiatsu.
How it works
Shiatsu works by addressing the energy flows, or meridians, of acupuncture. When blockages occur in the flows, pain and disease can result. By visualizing the meridians, working to open blockages, and utilizing specific points or point combinations, the Shiatsu practitioner helps the body restore balance. Abdominal, or “Hara” work, is frequently included, as the major organ systems can be balanced from this area.
Shiatsu includes movement and stretching, so it is best to arrive for an appointment dressed in clothing you can easily move and stretch in. Comfortable, natural fibers are recommended. A session typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour. You will be asked to fill out an intake form that may include some questions that seem odd to you, such as what flavors you prefer/dislike, what climate you prefer/dislike, and what times of the day you experience certain symptoms. These questions help the practitioner determine what imbalances may be present in the body.
Shiatsu varies in practice and application, but because I include Ortho-Bionomy® principles in my Shiatsu, the session has a gentle flow and rhythm; again, moving toward comfort.
Clients describe feeling relaxed and energized, with a sense of general well being and calm alertness, after a session.
How to select a practitioner
The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia ® maintains standards and educational requirements for practitioners of Shiatsu or other forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy.
For more information, visit www.aobta.org
8748 Big Bend Blvd.
Webster Groves, MO 63119