Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a massage technique originating in Japan (the word comes from “shi”, meaning finger, and “atsu” meaning pressure).

imageMore than 2,000 years ago an old “waka” (Japanese poem) talks about the first doctor in Japan, named Sukunahikona-kami, healing people with his bare hands. In 1912, when the founder of modern shiatsu therapy, Tokujiro Namikoshi-sensei, was seven years old, he completely cured his mother’s rheumatism with special massage technique, using pressure from only his thumbs, palms and fingers.

The word shiatsu itself is thought to have been used first by Tenpeki Tamai about the year 1900, and so Namikoshi decided to give the name shiatsu “ryoho” (treatment) to the therapeutic method he had invented. This was just the beginning, and he went on to establish the complete anatomical and physiological theory of shiatsu and began a school to train therapists.

In 1964 Namikoshi’s shiatsu was recognised by the Japanese Ministry of Health. Now all qualified shiatsu therapists in Japan have to go through a government-regulated programme. The method is described as “diagnosis and therapy combined”. It relies on an understanding of how the body functions according to western principles of anatomy and physiology.

The shiatsu pressure points (called “tsubo” in Japanese), and their location, are applicable only to this form of treatment. They are not related to the ancient Chinese systems of meridians used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Experienced shiatsupractors are sensitive enough to detect, on contact, irregularities in the skin, muscles or body temperature in order to pinpoint problems.

At the same time, shiatsupractors apply treatment. The amount of pressure and its tempo are gauged to apply the appropriate pressure for each patient which can be either strong or soft, quick or slow.

In more recent years, additional techniques based on TCM have been devised by practitioners from the Japan Shiatsu College to stimulate the “qi” (vital energy), the meridians (energy pathways) and the “tsubos” (vital points or holes)

There is also a strong presence of Zen Shiatsu practitioners in the US and the UK. Zen Shiatsu was founded by Shizuto Masunaga-sensei, who emphasised the importance of remaining in a Zen-like, present state when practicing shiatsu; first by nourishing weak “kyo” areas, then by dispersing excess “jitsu” areas; using two-handed technique to better feel the flow of qi while working from the body’s energy centre or “hara”, and using perpendicular pressure to access the qi.

Masunaga expanded the meridian system, discovering extensions of the classical Chinese meridians, and developed an effective new system of hara diagnosis.

Al Asalla Spa
Dubai Ladies Club
Beach Road, next to Beach Park
Jumeirah 1, Dubai
Tel: 04 3499922
Email: alasalla.spa@dubailadiesclub.com

Amara Spa
Park Hyatt Dubai
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
creekside, opposite Deira City Centre
Deira, Dubai
Tel: 04 6021234
Email: dubai.park@hyattintl.com

Assawan Spa
Burj Al Arab
Beach Road
Dubai
Tel: 04 3017338
Email: BAAassawan@jumeirah.com

Cleopatra Spa
(Elemis products)
Tower Links Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah
Tel: 07 2278550
Email: cleopatraspa@gmail.com

Cleopatra’s Spa
Pyramids, Wafi City (follow signs)
Near Al Wasl Hospital and Healthcare City
Dubai
Tel: 04 3247700 (female)
Tel: 04 3244556 (male)
Email: cleopatras.spa@wafi.com

The Healing Zone
Spinney’s Shopping Mall
Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim
Dubai
Tel: 04 3940604
Email: thzone@emirates.net.ae

The Holistic Institute
Certificate of Attendance
Room 3105, JBC-2, Jumeira Lake Towers, Cluster ‘V’
Dubai, UAE
Tel: 04 4503525
Email: info@theholisticinstitute.org
Website: http://www.theholisticinstitute.org

House of Chi
6th floor, Al Musallah Tower
Khalid bin Waleed Street (Bank Street)
Bur Dubai
Tel: 04 3974446
Email: oumayma@hofchi.com

Le Meridien Abu Dhabi
opposite Abu Dhabi Mall
Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 6446666
Dir: 02 6974254 Health Club
Email: meridien@emirates.net.ae

Pastels
Villa 956, next to mosque
opposite Spinneys and Modern Vet Clinic
Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 1
Dubai
Tel: 04 3947393
Email: pastels@eim.ae

Sensasia Urban Spa
The Village
Beach Road, Jumeirah 1
Dubai
Tel: 04 3498850
Email: info@sensasiaspas.com

Senses Beauty Salon
(acupressure/shiatsu massage)
Hatta Fort Hotel
Hatta
Tel: 04 8523211
Email: hfh@jaihotels.com

Senso
Radisson SAS Hotel
Dubai Media City
Al Sufouh, Dubai
Tel: 04 3669111 Ext 3490
Email: sensoDXB@RadissonSAS.com

Sudha Madhuri Devi
(personal consultancy Sharjah Ladies Club - Art Center)
Sharjah
Tel: 050 5194882
Email: smdevi33@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.nadhealing.com

Six Senses Spa
See entry for Talise Spa

The Spa
Jebel Ali Beach Resort & Spa
towards Abu Dhabi on Sheikh Zayed Road
1st right after Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone
Jebel Ali, Dubai
Tel: 04 8836000 Ext 8810
Email: thespa@jaihotels.com

Spa at Paradise
Al Murooj complex
Al Ain exit at interchange no 1, Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai
Tel: 04 3214334

Talise Spa
Previously Six Senses Spa
Al Qasr Hotel entrance, Madinat Jumeirah Complex
Al Sufouh Road, Umm Suqeim
Dubai
9am-10pm
Tel: 04 3666817/8
Email: mj-talise@jumeirah.com

VLCC
Tailor-made weight-loss programmes, specialized treatments and regular beauty services
On Trade Centre Road, Spinney’s near BurJuman, Dubai (men and women)
Tel: 04 3599552/77

Villa no 10, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 2, Dubai (women only)
Tel: 04 3429986/3441128

Tel: 800 VLCC (800 8522) toll free

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