Zen Shiatsu is a hands-on bodywork treatment that implements Eastern holistic philosophies using a trio of stretch, breath and pressure. Pressure is applied along the body’s meridian channels to improve flow and circulation along the energy, blood and lymphatic systems.  

During a session, Five Element Theory of Traditional (East Asian) Chinese Medicine is utilized as an assessment tool demonstrating how all aspects of human life – i.e., movement, diet, emotions – are interconnected. Five Element philosophy organizes all natural phenomena into five groups — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.  An imbalance in one or more of these elements can give rise to physical, mental and/or emotional challenges.  Five Element Theory  shows how the structures and systems of the body are connected to each other and how they relate to the environment and the natural world.

Shiatsu literally means “finger pressure” and was derived from the ancient principles of Acupuncture. It was then applied to the traditional form of Japanese massage called Anma developed in the 1300s.  The history of a more modern form of Shiatsu was developed by Tokujiro Namikoshi in the 1920s.  Created by Shizuto Masunaga in the 1950s, Zen Shiatsu sports a more dynamic model, adding his understanding of physiology, psychology, and self-care to the foundations of East Asian medicine.  

A Zen Shiatsu treatment is given on a floor mat or low table.  Unlike many forms of bodywork, Zen Shiatsu rarely uses any oils or lotions.  The form is performed fully clothed and it is recommended that clients wear something loose-fitting and comfortable. 

Zen Shiatsu is about giving support to the entire system while encouraging natural change in emotional balance and mind/body connection. By loosening blockages and promoting flow of energy, Zen Shiatsu can alleviate symptoms and help restore health and wellbeing. 

There are a number of potential short and long-term benefits of Zen Shiatsu including reduction of pain, headaches, and back discomfort.  It can assist with healthy elimination, strengthen the immune system and may improve the quality of sleep.  It can also maintain vitality by increasing flexibility, furthering healthy transitions throughout pregnancy, and easing emotionally charged stress by lifting the mood and calming the mind.

In a Zen Shiatsu session at SuNu, one can first expect a full TCM-based Five Element intake process followed by hands-on bodywork for general energy balancing along with invitations for lifestyle change. Each intake is individually designed to best suit the needs of the client.  An intake involves discussion and discovery, as well as hands-on bodywork.  Follow-up sessions reflect a deeper and more customized treatment of imbalances and often result in more pronounced physical, emotional, and mental health benefits.

Learn more about working with Mary, schedule and appointment online or contact the Minnetonka office for more information about Zen Shiatsu at SuNu.