Acupressure, Shiatsu and Reflexology - Origin and Facts About These Therapies
Acupressure, shiatsu, or reflexology these therapies has been adopted from hundreds of years to relief pain, or healing from illness. There is not a major difference between these therapies as these 3 therapies are associated with massage of hands, feet or body. This article helps you learn about these therapies, their origin and some facts about them.
Acupressure has been practiced as a healing art for at least 5,000 years. It is the third most popular method for treating pain and illness in the world. This complete health system has been documented for use in treating over 4000 symptoms and conditions.
What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is a massage therapy originating in Japan. Like acupressure it is a "natural" way to help people relax and cope with issues such as stress, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression. There are two main Shiatsu schools: one based on western anatomical and physiological theory, and the other based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Facts about shiatsu:
Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and palm of one's hand to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses.
Shiatsu massage uses acupressure techniques which is applied with hands, thumbs, elbows and knees. The acupressure technique has its roots from the acupuncture therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Another kind of shiatsu is Zen Shiatsu.
Zen Shiatsu has its roots in Buddhism meditation practices. It is a new concept of shiatsu massage. Zen shiatsu uses shiatsu acupressure points (tsubo) and shiatsu meridians. What is special about zen shiatsu is that before starting a shiatsu massage the therapist will do a diagnose to find out which of the meridians have blocked points in the meridians.
Today in Japan, Shiatsu/Anma is made available to the workforce free of charge by all major industries because of the enormous decrease in time lost from the job by workers who receive regular preventative Shiatsu Therapy.
What is Reflexology?
It is over 5,000 years old and has origins in China and Egypt, where pressure therapies were recognised to have therapeutic benefits and more importantly, help prevent disease. The oldest evidence of Reflexology is a wall painting in the tomb of an Egyptian physician 'Ankmahor' at Saqqara, dated around 2500-2300 BC.
Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands utilizing specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil, cream or lotion based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands with a premise that such work effects a physical change in the body.
Reflexologists divide the body into ten equal vertical zones, five on the right and five on the left.
The Reflexology Association of Canada defines reflexology as:
"A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body."
Reflexology is one of the most used alternative therapies in Denmark. A national survey from 2005 showed that 21.4% of the Danish population had used reflexology at some point in life and 6.1% had used reflexology within the previous year.
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