“Acupressure / Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and palm of one’s hand to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses.”
The characteristic of acupressure / shiatsu is to practice using only the fingers, palms and especially the thumbs, but the essence of shiatsu is “Diagnosis and Therapy combined.”
“Diagnosis and Therapy combined” is the ability of the practitioner to use his sensory organs (palms, fingers, and thumbs) to detect irregularities, such as stiffness of the surface of the body, and to promptly correct or heal these problems. To acquire this skill takes considerable experience. The defining difference between shiatsu therapy and modern and Kampo medicine (also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), such as acupuncture and moxibustion) is this “Diagnosis and Therapy combined”; the fact that shiatsu does not always require previous diagnosis before commencing treatment.
In modern medicine, the course of treatment can only be decided after a diagnosis has been made. In TCM, it is also necessary to diagnose before treating. In acupressure / shiatsu therapy, practitioners promote the prevention and recovery of illnesses by stimulating the immune system and natural healing power that people already possess.. Treating the body as a whole helps to restore the physical functions of the nervous system, circulatory system, bone structure, muscles, and internal secretion and stimulates its alleged natural ability to heal illness. That being said, skilled practitioners can contribute considerably to regional health and medical treatment.