How Does Shiatsu Work/Manage To Soothe My Pain?

Ever wondered why you feel so good after a shiatsu treatment? What is shiatsu doing to your body that takes away that pain and all that stress?  There are a number of things that happen in your body when a trained shiatsu therapist applies pressure on those body points.

Endorphins:  Your body produces chemicals called endorphins which are anti-stress hormones. Your shiatsu treatment stimulates your endocrine system to release these feel-good hormones.

Gate Control Theory:  Simplified, the body transmits pain signals from the periphery nerves to the brain by way of your spinal cord. There is a mechanism (gate) at work in the spinal cord which opens to send pain signals the brain. Shiatsu pressure can help close the gate to reduce the sensation of pain. Your body’s endorphins can also block pain pathways by acting on these gates.

Autonomic Nervous System:  Shiatsu also sets to work on your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which coordinates your body’s involuntary functions. Remember how sleepy you feel during your treatment? The pressure of shiatsu ‘turns on’ the ‘rest and digest’ parasympathetic branch of the ANS while overriding the ‘fight or flight’ function which, when overactive, puts a great deal of stress on the body. In this way shiatsu is promoting your body’s natural healing process and providing ultimate relaxation.

Trigger Points: Discovered by physicians, trigger points are specific points of tension in the body. Releasing these is a very effective way to alleviate musculoskeletal  pain. The location of the trigger points overlap widely with the acupuncture points and shiatsu points of oriental medicine, so your treatment releases these areas of tension.

These are just a few of the physiological effects of stimulating the pressure points of your body through shiatsu therapy.  Hopefully, this information will help you understand why you feel so much better after a shiatsu treatment.  And even if you don’t understand it, when it makes you feel so good do you really care why?

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