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What can I expect during
a session?

During your shiatsu session, you will wear soft, loose-fitting,  clothing such as sweats or yoga clothes.   The practitioner will ask you to lie down on a futon, or cotton mat, that has been prepared for your arrival.  Depending on your specific situation, the practitioner will ask you to lie on your back, on your stomach, or in some cases on your side.   If it is uncomfortable for you to lie flat, pillows and bolsters may be used to support sensitive areas such as the knees or ankles.

Once you are comfortable, the practitioner will use diagnostic methods to determine the current state of the energy in your body.   Usually, the practitioner will begin and end the session with Hara  (abdominal) diagnosis.    All of the twelve meridians pass through the abdomen providing an ideal place to assess the energy of the whole body.   Using both hands, the practitioner will gently touch the hara to get a sense of the meridians that are most Kyo (deficient) and most Jitsu (excessive).  With this information, the practitioner can provide a  treatment that is best suited for your needs.

The practitioner may use palms, fingers, or thumbs to treat the meridians.  She/he will use leverage and her/his body weight rather than muscle strength to control the amount of pressure.  This is safer for both the receiver and the practitioner and allows for a range of pressure from very light to very deep based on the receiver's needs and preferences. The practitioner may check in with you to make sure that the amount of pressure feels right.  During the session, feel free to let the practitioner know if you would prefer more or less pressure.

Treatment will address the whole body, with extra emphasis on resolving your primary issue.

What can I expect after a session?

Please plan to spend an hour and a half for your initial private session.  During this time you will have the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion about your concerns.  Following a review of your health and personal histories and a Hara assessment, you will receive your first session.

After your initial visit, you can expect to come in for weekly one-hour sessions. As you begin to experience improvement and achieve internal balance, visits will become less frequent. The length and frequency of visits vary by individual. To maintain overall health and wellness, some like to come in once a month for a “check-up”, or once each season for a “seasonal tune-up.”

In partnership with a Shiatsu practitioner create a unique session plan that specifically addresses your individual needs and condition. 

What are the benefits of shiatsu?

When energy is balanced, the body and mind can follow its own natural impulse to heal itself. This deep relaxation rejuvenates and induces a state of harmony and peace.

Relief from the common physical and emotional symptoms of stress include fatigue, backache, joint pain and stiffness, muscle tension, insomnia, anxiety, menstrual problems, and menopause.

How is shiatsu different from massage therapy?


  • Typically performed on a futon on the floor, receiver wearing soft clothing

  • Treats the acupoint and meridian system, providing the same benefits as acupuncture

  • Moves the receiver through stretches with the same benefits as yoga poses

  • Applied for relaxation, musculoskeletal therapeutic aims, or to benefit internal conditions or emotional re-balancing in the same way as acupuncture

  • Continuous rhythmic movement is often compared to the movement of Qigong or Tai Chi

  • Releases blocked or stagnant energy pathways through stretches and rotation of the limbs

  • Unique multi tsubo methodology eliminates pain commonly associated with traditional shiatsu or other deep massages

Massage Therapy:

  • Performed on a massage table, receiver disrobed with draping, utilizing oils

  • Treats muscle and connective tissue using gliding and kneading strokes

  • Applied for general relaxation or for musculoskeletal therapeutic aims

What should
I wear?

Please come wearing or bring soft, loose-fitting clothing. Full-length pants such as sweatpants, yoga pants, or even pajama pants are ideal. Jeans and similar pants do not work well for shiatsu because they restrict range of motion and have zippers, buttons and snaps that can be uncomfortable while lying on your stomach. 


For a shirt: t-shirts, short or long sleeves work well. If you tend to get cold easily, wear an extra layer, as the body temperature can drop while lying down.

What you can expect from Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a type of bodywork that was developed in Japan. With its name derived from the Japanese term for 'finger pressure,' it involves applying pressure to specific points on the body, moving from one point to another in a rhythmic sequence.

What is Shiatsu Massage?

In Japanese, shiatsu means 'finger pressure.' For shiatsu massage, the therapist uses varied, rhythmic pressure on certain precise points of the body. These points are called acupressure points, and they are believed to be important for the flow of the body's vital energy, called chi. Proponents say shiatsu massage can help relieve blockages at these acupressure points.

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