Shiatsu massage, also called Zen shiatsu, is an Oriental medicine technique used to treat common physical and psychological ailments through finger pressure. This particular type of massage therapy is used to alleviate pain, help relieve symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety, and also reduce blood pressure levels.
HBP, or high blood pressure, is a severe condition that may lead to heart failure, stroke, and coronary heart disease, among other health complications. Many people around the world suffer from high blood pressure, and in the US alone, 1 in 3 adults suffer from the illness. Blood pressure is pressure caused by blood pressing against artery walls; if the pressure is too strong, it can damage not only the artery, but the body as a whole.
There are a number of ways to treat high blood pressure, including taking medication and going on a diet program. Many people also seek alternative treatments to combat HBP. Shiatsu massage is commonly sought out to compliment other treatments for HBP. Shiatsu massage fuses together philosophical, spiritual, and medical facets of the human body to ensure that qi flows freely through the body. Finger pressure from shiatsu massage helps increases blood circulation throughout the body which in tern aids patients suffering from HBP. It also helps reduce stress, anxiety, and other chronic pain.
In 2004, a study conducted by Andrew F. Long, BA, MSc, MPhil from the University of Salford UK and Hannah C. Mackay, BSc, Ph.D., provided insight on the short and long term effects of shiatsu massage. The study was done in Germany and the United Kingdom, and the results were the same in both locations. All of the participants from the UK and Germany described immediate effects along with long term ones from shiatsu. Most of the effects were positive, making Zen shiatsu a very effective type of massage therapy. Only very few experienced one negative side effect. They reported that the side effect was emotional by nature and did not last very long.
The findings of the two-country study shed light on how effective this massage therapy is. The study participants said they had symptoms ranging from anxiety to HBP and other chronic illnesses. Most of the participants felt better after undergoing shiatsu massage.