Thursday, 12 June 2008

Japanese Art of Shiatsu - Understanding Meridians

If you are having trouble with the concept of meridians, you can discover the appropriate places to apply pressure by exploring your partner's body with your hands. Meridians are usually longitudinal lines, so glide your thumb along the limbs, abdomen and back, and feel for indentations, or points, that seem to "want" to be pressed. Most points give a radiating sensation when pressed, rather like a dull, but pleasurable, ache. As you practice, work systematically moving from one acupoint to the next. Apply the pressure on the point as your partner breathes out. Release the pressure as your partner breathes in, and move on.

Practicing shiatsu pressure techniques

Different parts of the body require different degrees of pressure, which can be achieved using the following techniques:

Ball of thumb: use the ball of your thumb and rest your fingers on the skin to help give a steady, even pressure. Do not use the tip of your thumb, because your nail, however short, will gouge the skin

Elbow or forearm: make sure that your arm and hand are relaxed so that you apply a gentle pressure, not a hard prod. This is useful on large, muscular areas

Two thumbs: for extra depth on the shoulders, buttocks, back, and soles of the feet, put one thumb on top of the other

Thumb and fingers: treat smaller areas, such as the arms, by squeezing them between the thumb and fingers

Two fingers: put your index finger on top of your middle finger for greater depth. This is useful if your thumbs are sore or tired

Heel of hand: to give a more general stimulation to the acupoint, use the heel of your hand

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