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What Is Zen Shiatsu?

Gentler than the Acupressure (“classic”) Shiatsu and consisting of systematic pressure and gentle stretches, Zen Shiatsu improves your general well-being and is beneficial for a variety of conditions, including:

- Back, neck and shoulder pain and stiffness
- Headache/ migraines
- Constipation/ digestive problems
- Menstrual problems
- Insomnia
- Anxiety and depression

To watch a short video about Zen Shiatsu click here:

During a Shiatsu session, pressure is administered along specific channels or meridians to stimulate the flow of subtle energy called Ki (pronounced “key” or “chee”). Acupressure points along these meridians become tender when the energy is blocked or weak, and the therapy gently relieves the tension in the points and channels. When this takes place, the receiver can frequently feel the shifts and changes occurring in his/her body even while the session is underway. Most people can eventually learn to sense their own Ki energy, and skilled practitioners can detect the areas where it is blocked or weak.

There are three main styles or theoretical schools, each identified with an individual who provided the original distinctive focus: Namikoshi (Nippon style), Masunaga (Zen Shiatsu), and Serizawa (Acupressure Shiatsu).

A graduate of the two-year Senior Shiatsu program at the Reidman College of Complementary Medicine, Angie has been practicing since 2001 according to Shizuto Masunaga's Zen Shiatsu model. Practitioners of Zen Shiatsu strive to maintain a meditative, intuitive state, allowing them to connect deeply with their clients and to detect changes in the body during the session.

In her office in West Plano, Angie practices Zen Shiatsu in the traditional way, using firm foam floor mats instead of a massage table; the floor mats allow full body relaxation and let the practitioner access from all sides and apply pressure using body weight (as opposed to using just finger pressure, as may be done with other Shiatsu techniques).

For Shiatsu sessions, it is recommended to wear comfortable and loose clothing, preferable cotton (e.g. T-shirt and elastic-waist pants), and refrain from eating at least one hour prior to the appointment.
The session is more efficient if not preceded by vigorous exercise.
Sessions are normally one hour in length, usually taken once a week and the effects are cumulative.