Shiatsu literally translates as "finger pressure" and is a style of Japanese bodywork that is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Central to the philosophy and practice of TCM is the concept of "chi" as the vital life force that flows in the body through 12 major energy pathways, called meridians.
Shiatsu is traditionally given on a firm mat on the floor with the receiver fully clothed. Leaning pressure and stretches are applied on different areas of the body. A practitioner may use hands, thumbs, elbows (and sometimes even feet!) applying pressure to open the energy lines (meridians) with the intention to free any blockages in the energy flow. Although tender spots may be identified, the experience is generally very pleasurable, stress relieving and encourages deep relaxation and peace.
Any number of reasons, including injury and stress, may cause a blockage or imbalance. Shiatsu is a natural and pleasurable way to return the energy system to balance.