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Zen Shiatsu is a form of bodywork administered by thumbs, fingers, palms, elbows, feet and knees.  It depends on the meditative activity of the practitioner, which is specially aimed at detecting the body’s response to the treatment.  It influences the subsequent treatment, step by step.  Pressure is applied to all parts of the body along specific pathways (meridians).  These are essentially the same meridians that are used in traditional Chinese medicine for acupuncture, though modified and extended.

The professional Zen Shiatsu therapist is trained to feel the body’s condition, particularly circulation, through his/her hands in order to find the imbalanced areas in the body.  The therapist attempts to restore the balanced flow by skilfully stimulating the imbalanced meridians.

Zen Shiatsu is ideally performed while the recipient lies on a futon on the floor, allowing the practitioner access from all sides and the ability to apply pressure using body weight.  A table may be used for certain conditions.  The shiatsu recipient should be dressed comfortably by wearing light clothing.  No massage oils or lotions are used or needed because the practitioner does not slide along the body surface, but gives a series of presses along the pathways.