Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage, the word means"Finger Pressure". SHI meaning finger and ATSU meaning pressure. Shiatsu is based on the same principles as acupuncture, in which pressure is applied to certain points on the body without using needles.
Like acupuncture, shiatsu is based on the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine, where illness is thought to result from imbalances in the natural flow of energy, Ki (気) through the body.
The intuitive Shiatsu practitioner uses thumbs, finger tips, palms, the edge of hands, knees, elbows and forearms to energetic pathways, called meridians to improve the flow of Ki energy.
A scientific explanation is that Shiatsu calms an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which improves circulation, relieves stiff muscles, and alleviates stress.