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This finger pressure technique is sometimes confused with the acupuncture, but has nothing to do with needle pokes. Shiatsu massage a.k.a acupressure feels more like applying pressure and tapping along the Meridians to unblock energy blockages and reintroduce the optimal flow of chi.
History of Shiatsu massage
Shiatsu originated in Japan. The term itself was first used in a book published in 1915, Tenpaku Temai's Shiatsu Ryōhō.
In 1940 Tokujiro Namikoshi founded the Japan Shiatsu College. He systematized a form of Shiatsu therapy based more on Western anatomy than traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. In Japan, Namikoshi's system enjoys special legal status; the story is told that at the age of seven, he developed a technique of pressing using his thumbs and palms as he tried to nurse his mother who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.
The 'founder' himself treated many high profile persons such as politicians, as well as celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali. This way, Shiatsu massage became known not only in Japan but also abroad.
Namikoshi's system is referred as derivative shiatsu.
Tadashi Izawa established Meridian Shiatsu, incorporating Meridian Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine into his Shiatsu therapy.
Zen shiatsu is the one that is most popular in North America and Europe: Zen shiatsu may be strenuous, adding yoga-like stretches to help open the Meridians. Professionals who practice this technique apply heavy pressure, using their full body weight when they press the points. Therefore this technique isn't an at-home technique.
Tao Shiatsu is a form of shiatsu, which involves concentrating the mind and making supplications to the Buddha. It was introduced by Ryukyu Endo, a Buddhist priest.
In barefoot shiatsu feet are used to rub and press the points. Practitioners say this method delivers even more pressure.