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Shiatsu Foot Massage: What is it?

Shiatsu is one of the prominent massaging methods in Japan, so prominent, hundreds of massages machines have been created to emulate the technique.

Although it has its basis in Traditional Chinese Medicine and believes in the same principle that Qi is the energy that flows through the body and when it is blocked one has to endure pain and suffering from various ailments. Consisting of kneading, pressing, tapping, stretching and soothing, the massage relies entirely on finger pressure; but sometimes thumbs, palms, and even elbows and knees are used.

Shiatsu is an alternative therapy that provides holistic benefits – not only on the physical plane but also at the emotional and mental level. The treatment stimulates the hormones, relaxes the muscles and frees the body of toxins thereby helping the body to heal itself.

shiatsu foot massaging machine

Shiatsu massage techniques

To enhance your bodily functions, shiatsu foot masseuse relies on the following methods predominantly using the thumbs and fingertips. The therapists will go in between the toes and squeeze, pull and massage them.

Stroking: This is the first technique that a masseuse will use to assess the body condition and identify the sensitive spots. It increases blood circulation and brings about gentle relaxation.

Ankle rotation:  The massage also involves rotating the ankles both clockwise and anticlockwise to relax the joint and the surrounding tissues.

Kneading: The masseuse will close the hands and use knuckles to gently knead the pressure points in the foot from the heel to the toes, this action induces heat and improves circulation.

Benefits of shiatsu massage

Modern science has started to accept the manifold benefits concurred by massage on the human body. Regular foot massage has been proven to improve the quality of life.

  1. Aids circulation: The motions of kneading, pressing, stretching, etc. stimulates the lymphatic system and aids in the free flow of blood and lymph.
  2. Reduces injuries: Massage improves the flexibility of the muscles and improves the blood circulation; as a result, the muscles are stronger and less prone to injuries. Massage also relieves soreness when the acupressure points are pressed thus releasing tension.
  3. Keeps the mind calm and composed: Regular foot massage has been found to reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety and fend depression.
  4. Helps in blood pressure control: Obviously when stress is controlled blood pressure also comes under control. Also by applying pressure on the reflexology points in the foot, toxins are dislodged and released further reducing the blood pressure.
  5. Reduces foot pain: Sore feet can be very painful, but foot massage improves the blood flowing through the nerve ending in the feet and diminishes the associated pain and this therapy is especially beneficial for those suffering from heel aches and flat feet.
  6. Improves digestion: The massage helps in digestion and helps in speedy disposal of metabolic wastes.
  7. Helps relieve cancer treatment symptoms: Cancer patients often suffer from poor appetite, pain, lack of sleep and depression. Regular foot massages are immensely beneficial in such patients.