Shiatsu. It is probably the oldest form of world therapy
Shiatsu/Acupressure is often thought of as deriving from Acupuncture.
But it is likely that it predates even this therapy.
Since touch is the most instinctive form of healing, we may suppose that the points and meridians were rubbed and pressed long before they were stimulated with the stone needles found in Neolithic sites in China, dating back to 8000 B.C.
Perhaps the acupuncture meridians and points were originally discovered through touch?
Some acupuncture teachers would have it that the meridians were originally perceived as lines of sensation traveling along the body after stimulation of the point.
In China, among the people, massage in the form of rubbing and pressing the meridians and points, retained tremendous popularity.
Wherever the theory of "Qi" (the Life energy) went, there went this type of massage: Tibet, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and even Southern India.
It was modified and adapted there according to the culture but to the present day one can clearly see the similarities between Tuina, Amno, Thai massage and Aurvedic body therapies.
In Japan, this science of working with Qi through the pressure points, body manipulations and stretches was named Shiatsu.
In 1925 serious paramedical practitioners formed the Shiatsu Therapy Association.
Tokujiro Namikoshi, who founded the Clinic of Pressure Therapy in the same 1925, endeavored to place Shiatsu techniques within a Western framework with extensive use of anatomy for points location.
Next chapter in the development of Shiatsu began with work of Shizuto Masunaga. A professor of psychology at Tokyo University. He was deeply interested in traditional Oriental Medicine and studied Shiatsu at Namikoshi school and later teaching there for 10 years.
Masunaga began to blend psychology, orthodox Shiatsu and modern Western understanding of Physiology.
His style, which he named "Zen Shiatsu", is a comprehensive theory on its own, encompassing both Western and Eastern models of disease and healing.
Shiatsu is still practiced in the clinics of traditional medicine in Japan and in village homes, and some major industries offer free Shiatsu to workers because of its role in preventing illness.
After being brought to the Western countries, Shiatsu gained great respect and popularity for the success in treating many different conditions. These days the major development and syntheses of Shiatsu is taking place in the Western world.
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