At the beginning of the session, the practitioner evaluates the client to determine the patterns of imbalance that may be present. It is important to assess the "state of the Ki" in order for the practitioner to give the client the most effective therapeutic session. Then the practitioner designs a plan that will give the client the most therapeutic benefit according to their individual needs. A session usually begins with a discussion about your health and wellbeing, and how you're feeling at the moment. This would include any specific problems you have, and your intentions for what you would like to change. We may also talk about your work, family, eating and exercise patterns. You'll have the opportunity to ask me any questions you may have. On your first visit this takes longer than on subsequent visits, so we schedule a longer session.
Shiatsu uses a variety of manual techniques, including pressure, kneading, soothing, tapping, and stretching to access the vital Ki of the body. In the case where the client's energy is low or deficient, the practitioner uses specific techniques to enhance and vitalise the Ki. When the client is over-stressed, wound-up, or anxious, the practitioner employs techniques to disperse the "excess" energy. In this way, the Ki is regulated. Shiatsu works to alleviate conditions, restore balance, and promote health.
Traditionally Shiatsu is practised on a futon at floor level but Shiatsu can also be received on a treatment table or chair. During treatment pressure is applied to the meridians (energy pathways) and the practitioner will usually use a combination of stretches, massage, pressure points and gentle holding. Treatments are tailored to the individual and will be different for each client and each session.
A regular maintenance program of Shiatsu is an excellent way to maintain wellness and improve vitality. This schedule will vary for each person. One Shiatsu session per month may work well to maintain balance for some. But for others, a high-stress job, family demands, an overactive lifestyle, lack of exercise, or other factors may require Shiatsu sessions on a more regular basis.