Introduction to Acupressure Shiatsu:
Acupressure Shiatsu, a form of Asian Bodywork, uses gentle hand and finger pressure along the body's energy channels. It uses the same theories, assessment tools, and point locations as Acupuncture, but facilitates the natural healing capabilities of the body without the use of needles, providing a noninvasive option for treating illness and injury as well as enhancing emotional and physical health.
The objective is to restore and balance the body's energetic system - mind, body and spirit.
Treatment Modalities & Adjunct Therapies:
In addition to touch, treatment modalities include dietary suggestions, cupping, gwa sha, magnets, moxabustion, auriculortherapy, herbal plasters, oils and liniments. Below are brief descriptions of each of various adjunct therapies I use in my practice.
Dietary Suggestions: Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the food we eat to be primary in health and wellbeing. There are different modalities such as the Five Element model that factors in our health and the seasons. I personally follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet since 2002 and have found it to be helpful for people struggling with digestive disorders such as IBS, IBD as well as forms of Autism where absorption and mal-absorption of nutrients directly impact mental, emotional and physical health.
Cupping & Gwa Sha: An ancient Chinese system of deep tissue massage that uses cupping (suction) or gwa sha (the use of a small tool to rub or stroke the skin with liniment) to promote blood, lymph and energy circulation. These techniques are often used in patients with immune issues by releasing toxins, as well as for relieving pain by alleviating muscle tension.
Auriculotherapy (Pressballs): The ear is said to represent the whole anatomical body, and Auriculotherapy is a system of ear reflex points that are stimulated to alleviate health conditions in corresponding parts of the body. To enhance the effects of your treatment small stainless-steel balls, seeds or magnets may be adhered to specific points in your ears.
Moxabustion: The burning of the herb Artemesa vulgaris (mugwart) is used in various ways to apply heat to specific acupoints. Moxabustion is especially useful for chronic conditions, for building energy in situations of prolonged fatigue, and to dispel cold or damp conditions. It is also widely used to turn breached babies.
Magnet Therapy: Magnets are applied to specific acupoints to treat illness and relieve musculoskeletal pain, stiffness, soreness or swelling.
Herbal plasters, oils and liniments: Plasters, oils and liniments are applied to the affected area to treat the effects of trauma and relieve musculoskeletal pain, stiffness, soreness or swelling.