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Difference Between Acupressure and Shiatsu

Asian forms of healing have become popular globally. These are renowned for their ability to balance the flow of vital energy. For instance, Acupressure and Shiatsu are known to unblock the body’s natural energy. As such, issues such as headaches, cramps, muscle tightness and diseases can be treated with these forms of healing. So, what is the difference between the two? 

What is Acupressure?

This is the application of light pressure to specific points in the body to help in the balancing of the mind and body. It is a common practice in Asia which came after the observation that body stimulation can release stress and tension by increasing circulation. 

So far, Asian medicine practitioners know approximately 364 acupoints and thousands of extra points where stimulation can occur. Pressing these points increases circulation, promotes deep healing and releases tension. 

The tension points are stimulated with the fingers which soothe the body’s endorphins hence releasing natural pain relievers. The body then unblocks the pathways which enable nutrients to penetrate the body cells. 

Acupressure is one of the most recommended ways to reduce stress, increase circulation in the body and strengthen muscles. 

What is Shiatsu?

The Japanese word Shiatsu means finger pressure. Performed on a table or mat, this is the use of fingers to stimulate the pressure points. 

Shiatsu creates more suppleness in the body’s muscular tissue which in turn resolves skeletal problems. This promotes better functioning of the nervous system, regulates the endocrine system and stimulates the normal function of body organs. Shiatsu also promotes healthy and glowing skin as it stimulates the blood supply. 

A traditional diagnosis is made through points on the abdomen as well as places where imbalances can be felt. No oils are used in the treatment. Also, treatment is done with the patient clothed. Practitioners can use the knees, hands, feet, elbows, knuckles, gentle stretching and even full-body movements. 

Similarities between Acupressure and Shiatsu

  • Both use stretching, pressure and body manipulation techniques to relieve pain and stress
  • Both do not use creams or oils during the application of pressure

Differences between Acupressure and Shiatsu

Definition

Acupressure is the application of light pressure to specific points in the body to help in the balancing of the mind and body. On the other hand, Shiatsu refers to the use of fingers to stimulate the pressure points. 

Focal points

While acupressure focuses on a few pressure points, Shiatsu focuses on the whole body. 

Application of pressure

Acupressure uses circular motions or pumping actions to apply pressure. On the other hand, Shiatsu uses sustained or stationary actions in the application of pressure. 

Acupressure vs. Shiatsu: Comparison Table

Summary of Acupressure vs. Shiatsu

Acupressure is the application of light pressure to specific points in the body to help in the balancing of the mind and body. It focuses on a few pressure points and uses circular or pumping actions. On the other hand, Shiatsu refers to the use of fingers to stimulate the pressure points. It focuses on the whole body. Despite the differences, both use stretching, pressure and body manipulation techniques to relieve pain and stress. 


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References :


[0]Bouratinos I & Jarmey C. A Practical Guide to Acu-points. North Atlantic Books, 2008. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=WpH3lVnEUIMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Acupressure+and+Shiatsu&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiB9KKO6PrvAhVWRxUIHXBwBP8Q6AEwBnoECAkQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Acupressure%20and%20Shiatsu&f=false

[1]Patrick McCarty. Beginners Guide to Shiatsu. Lulu.com, 2006. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=G6V2DnodBUQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Acupressure+and+Shiatsu&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimnbaZ6PrvAhUhpnEKHayHCTQ4ChDoATABegQIARAC#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Acupressure%20and%20Shiatsu&f=false

[2]Paul Lundberg. The Book of Shiatsu: Vitality & Health Through the Art of Touch. Simon and Schuster, 2009.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=ccjm9l0QB7gC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Acupressure+and+Shiatsu&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimnbaZ6PrvAhUhpnEKHayHCTQ4ChDoATAIegQIBhAC#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Acupressure%20and%20Shiatsu&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/3276/5861011907_0bd30af24e_z.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RSI-symptoms.jpg

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