‘Shiatsu literally means “finger pressure” massage, sometimes called Zen shiatsu, is a Japanese form of physiotherapy. It is often described as the equivalent of acupressure, ‘nurturing touch’ deeply relaxing the muscles and improving the flow of ‘Qi’ energy in the body.Also it incorporates other methods such as stretching, breathing and rotating for a more whole-body approach to restoring energy balance. Although many of the claimed benefits have yet to be conclusively proven, advocates assert that it can work to treat many different spiritual, physical and emotional problems. Generally considered to be safe, its roots are thousands of years old, based on Chinese 5 elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water ) & meridian points. Today, the technique is growing in popularity around the world.
Conditions such as sleeplessness, indigestion, swollen joints, headaches or depression are viewed not as sources of discomfort, but rather as symptoms of hyperactive, under productive, blocked or misdirected chi. Practitioners of shiatsu or shiatsu practitioner assert that, by manipulating pressure points along specific meridians and relaxing the body, they can get energy back in balance and, therefore, treat numerous ailments.’ (source http://www.wisegeek.org )