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  • Writer's pictureSam Weingast

How is Shiatsu different than Deep Tissue Massage?

I have been working as a massage therapist in Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, and all around the Bay Are for two years now. As a Shiatsu massage therapist, people often ask me if I offer Deep Tissue. People want deep work. They want to feel better. The misconception is that Deep Tissue simply refers to heavy pressure or, a massage that helps your body heal versus one that simply makes you feel good. As a Shiatsu therapist, I can do heavy pressure, and I can focus in on a target area, but I do not offer Deep Tissue.

Shiatsu and Deep Tissue massage are both types of bodywork that can be used to provide relief from pain, stress, and other physical ailments. While both types of massage have the same overall goal, they differ in terms of technique, intensity, and what kind of results they can achieve.

The difference between shiatsu and deep tissue massage lies in the way they view the body and the techniques used during each treatment. Deep tissue massage focuses on manipulating deeper layers of muscle tissue through slow strokes and firm pressure while shiatsu focuses on stimulating pressure points in order to restore balance within the body's energy pathways or "meridians". Shiatsu works with the subtle energetics of the body, called “Qi” or “Chi”. This is a concept that doesn’t exist in Western Medicine, but is the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Shiatsu therapist will use their eyes and their hands to locate areas on the body where the chi is blocked or stagnate, and then use massage techniques to bring the body back to balance. In addition, shiatsu does not involve oil or lotion being applied which makes it less messy.

Shiatsu massage is an effective way to help relieve physical pain while also providing much needed relaxation from everyday stressors. While Deep Tissue is terrific for honing in on a problem area and working with the effected tissue, Shiatsu will make your whole body feel great as you navigate your road to recovery. If you are looking for an alternative type of treatment that can benefit your physical health without leaving you feeling greasy or oily afterwards then consider trying out a session with a certified shiatsu therapist today! Your mind and body will thank you for it!

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