Massage is the practice of applying structured or unstructured pressure, tension, motion, or vibration — manually or with mechanical aids. Zen massage incorporates a variety of techniques inspired by eastern philosophies to create a seamless, effortless, relaxation experience. The Zen principle is based on relaxation, relief of tension and acupressure.
Shaiatsu is the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese method of acupressure. It is derived from the Japanese words "shi" and "atsu," meaning "finger pressure. It is a finger pressure massage technique. The therapist applies pressure with his thumbs, finger, and palms to specific areas of the client’s body that need to be healed.
Shiatsu massage, sometimes called Zen shiatsu, unifies spiritual, philosophical, and medical aspects of the body. According to shiatsu energy, qi or chi circulates along channels called meridians. When it is freely flowing, chi brings fresh, strong energy and carries away toxins. Blocked or diverted chi must be cleared and restored otherwise the body falls prey to disease. Pressure points lie along fourteen meridians running the length of the body. The therapist gently but firmly applies pressure using, knuckles, thumbs, palms, toes, feet, knees, and elbows. Shiatsu involves deep breathing, rotating and stretching your joints, as well as manipulating pressure points.
Shaitsu is believed to alleviate disorders such as depression, anxiety, nausea, stiffness, headaches, arthritis, cramps, or pulled muscles. It can be practiced on people of all ages.
Water Massage – Watsu
Water is a symbol of relaxation and peace and tranquility. Massage is also relaxing, but when it joins forces with water the effect can be profound. Hence the birth of Watsu, a combination of the words water and shiatsu it was invented by a Zen Shiatsu therapist named Harold Dull in the early 1980’s.
It combines the major principles of shiatsu: relaxation, relief of tension and acupressure, though it is not a traditional shiatsu method. Many of the movements used in Watsu are similar to those seen in other water exercises or water ballet.
Watsu massage is performed in chest-high body-temperature or warm water. The therapist guides the client through a series of dance like movements while using Zen shiatsu techniques in order to release obstructions in the body’s meridians. The therapist is able to rotate, flex and move muscles in ways that are not possible on a massage table, which results in a fuller, more relaxing massage. The water allows for freedom of the spinal vertebrae, wide rotation of the joints and maximum elongation of the muscles. Breathing patterns are also included heighten the sense of self awareness.
Watsu can be done by anyone, Children, teenagers, middle age and the elderly. The calming, fluid surface of water alleviates pressures and relaxes and soothes the mind, body and soul. The entire point of Water Shiatsu – Watsu – is to free the mind from everyday stress.
Be it the Shaitsu massage or the Watsu massages, both are great methods of achieving health and relaxation. They help you attain tranquility and peace in today’s fast paced world and take introduce you to the harmonious world of Zen.