Are Shiatsu Massagers Good For You?

Are Shiatsu Massagers Good For You?

The Benefits of Shiatsu Massage Therapy

Whether or not you suffer from chronic pain, shiatsu massage can make you feel refreshed and revitalized. Shiatsu massage therapy offers various massage benefits for both physical and mental well-being. They’re highly recommended and certainly good for you. Keep reading to learn a few of the many ways that you can give yourself a shiatsu massage at home and get answers to some of the most often asked questions about shiatsu massage.

What Exactly is Shiatsu?

The literal meaning of “shiatsu” is “finger pressure.” Don’t let that deceive you. It’s not only about pressing one’s fingers together! Your therapist may incorporate their knuckles, elbows, feet, and knees into the treatment. It involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and skin. It is the ideal treatment to relax your muscles, increase your blood circulation, and boost the flow of energy throughout your body.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concept of energy transmission, also referred to as “Ki” or “Qi” (both of which are pronounced “chee”), is the central tenet of shiatsu. The interruption of one’s energy flow is thought to be the root cause of illnesses and disorders in TCM. Shiatsu is all about removing any obstructions or disturbances to the flow of Ki, revitalizing the body, and returning energy where it’s lacking. The technique entails putting pressure on or extending any points that lay along the energy lines, which are known as “meridian channels.”

Shiatsu is a holistic treatment that promotes a person’s overall health by acting on their inherent energy system. This is accomplished by applying pressure to certain points on the body. Shiatsu can assist with:

  • Poor posture

  • Difficulties with the muscles and joints, such as arthritis and joint discomfort

  • Digestive & intestinal disorders

  • Concussions

  • Asthma

  • Allergy attacks and persistent colds

  • Disorders of the skin

  • Aches and pains, both acute and chronic, caused by sciatica

  • Weariness

  • Muscle tension

  • Sinus inflammation

  • Insomnia

  • Premenstrual syndrome

  • Low sex drive

Shiatsu is a form of therapeutic massage aimed at reducing stress and promoting overall well-being.

Keep in mind that there has only been a modest amount of studies done in the scientific community to support the efficacy of shiatsu for the majority of these ailments.

A study published in 2019 discovered that combining shiatsu with conventional treatment for low back pain improves symptoms and quality of life immediately following the treatment session. Manual self-shiatsu is a form of shiatsu that is applied by a practitioner. It is effective in helping young people with chronic pain get better sleep. Studies indicate that the method was helpful for young athletes who had had concussions as a result of their sport.

What Sets Shiatsu Practitioners Apart from Other Types of Massage?

In contrast to some other types of massage in which you may be required to remove your clothing, this type of massage is performed with your clothes on. Shiatsu uses unique massage techniques compared to other types of massage, such as Swedish Massage, and is performed with your clothes on. As opposed to lying on a table, the shiatsu practitioners may have you lie down on a mat on the floor instead. Because of this, they will have an easier time applying pressure to your body.

  • Instead of concentrating on your muscles, practitioners focus on your fibrous tissue & ligaments.

  • In contrast to other types of massage, there is no use of oils in traditional shiatsu massage.

  • In contrast to feeling calm and drowsy when you leave, you will emerge from the experience feeling revitalized and energized.

Acupuncture is the method of treatment that most closely resembles shiatsu. Both acupuncture and shiatsu are based on traditional Chinese medicine and use meridians and pressure points. In contrast to acupuncture, however, shiatsu treatment does not include the use of needles.

Is it Okay to Get a Shiatsu Massage While Pregnant?

The American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant mothers schedule a massage as soon as possible. It can promote their overall physical and emotional health. There is evidence that it can improve the results of labor as well as the health of newborns.

Before getting any treatments while pregnant, we always advise discussing your options with health care professionals.

Getting a Shiatsu Massage in the Comfort of Your Home 

If you are unable to contact a professional shiatsu massage therapist, you have access to a wide variety of shiatsu massage instruments that you can experiment with at home. These instruments allow you to experience different types of massage sessions, including those for relaxation, general well-being, and addressing specific health conditions or issues. Take a look at the following list, which outlines the various methods by which you can have a shiatsu massage in the comfort of your home.

Massage Chairs

A shiatsu massage chair is the next best thing to getting a hands-on shiatsu massage. You can replicate the approach by sitting back and relaxing thanks to the chair's integrated nodes. There is a selection of chairs available to choose from, each of which has its own special combination of characteristics and capabilities.

Massage Pillow or Cushion

If you suffer from pain in your lower neck and back, you might find that a massage cushion or pillow is helpful. They imitate shiatsu treatments and are an inexpensive way to experience the benefits of the therapy in the comfort of your own home.

Massage Belt

You can massage your lower spine by wrapping a belt massager around your waist or draping it over your shoulders. Similar to a massage chair, they have nodes that vibrate to work out knots and relieve stress in the muscles.

Shiatsu is an ancient therapy that incorporates aspects of classical Chinese medicine. It involves the application of physical pressure to various areas of the body. It employs a variety of techniques to treat ailments, alleviate stress, and promote health and wellbeing. It is safe to use in most situations, but there are certain people for whom it is not an appropriate option. Before obtaining shiatsu or some other kind of massage, people who already have health concerns should consult with their primary care physicians.

The Health Benefits of Shiatsu Massage for Pain Relief

Shiatsu massage offers numerous health benefits, enhancing both physical and mental well-being. The therapeutic effects of shiatsu can be profound, making it a valuable addition to anyone’s health regimen. Here are some key health benefits:

  • Improved Blood Circulation: Shiatsu massage stimulates blood flow, which helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and organs, promoting overall health and aiding in recovery from injuries.

  • Pain Relief: The pressure applied during shiatsu massage can alleviate pain by targeting specific points on the body, reducing muscle tension and discomfort.

  • Stress Reduction: Shiatsu massage promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and helps balance the body’s energy, which can lead to a decrease in anxiety and an overall sense of well-being.

  • Enhanced Flexibility: By working on the muscles and joints, shiatsu massage can improve flexibility and range of motion, which is beneficial for athletes and those with mobility issues.

  • Boosted Immune System: Regular shiatsu massage can enhance the immune system by promoting lymphatic drainage and improving the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Shiatsu massage is often considered part of integrative medicine, promoting both mental and physical health.

Shiatsu vs. Other Types of Massage

Shiatsu massage is unique compared to other types of massage therapies. Here’s how it stands out:

  • Swedish Massage: Unlike the gentle, flowing strokes of Swedish massage, shiatsu involves more intense pressure and manipulation of the body’s energy pathways.

  • Deep Tissue Massage: While both shiatsu and deep tissue massage target deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, shiatsu focuses more on the body’s energy flow, whereas deep tissue massage concentrates on breaking down muscle adhesions.

  • Sports Massage: Sports massage is specifically designed for athletes, focusing on preventing injuries and enhancing performance. Shiatsu can also benefit athletes but is more holistic, addressing overall energy balance.

  • Trigger Point Massage: Trigger point massage targets specific areas of muscle tightness and pain. Shiatsu also addresses these areas but includes a broader approach by working on energy meridians.

Unlike general massage therapy, medical massage is specifically designed to address health conditions and injuries under the guidance of health care professionals.

Incorporating Shiatsu into Your Wellness Routine

To maximize the benefits of shiatsu massage, consider incorporating it into your regular wellness routine. Here are some tips:

  • Regular Sessions: Schedule regular shiatsu sessions to maintain the balance of your body’s energy and overall health. Finding qualified massage therapists is crucial to ensure the best results from Shiatsu sessions.

  • Combine with Other Therapies: Complement shiatsu massage with other therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, or tai chi to enhance its effects.

  • Self-Shiatsu Techniques: Learn self-shiatsu techniques to apply pressure to specific points on your own, providing relief between professional sessions.


Shiatsu massage therapy offers a holistic approach to health and wellness, providing numerous benefits for the body and mind. Whether you are dealing with chronic pain, stress, or simply looking to improve your overall well-being, shiatsu massage can be an effective and enjoyable therapy. By understanding its unique techniques and incorporating it into your wellness routine, you can experience the revitalizing effects of this ancient practice. Whether you choose to visit a professional therapist or explore self-shiatsu methods at home, the health benefits of shiatsu are well worth the effort.


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