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Other names: Monopril
Therapeutic massage, like acupuncture, originated from the Chinese. Over the centuries it travelled through the Korean Peninsula to Japan where it has undergone extensive refinement. Today, it has reached the stage where it is surprisingly effective in obtaining relief for many ailments.
Shiatsu is gaining in popularity in Western countries, as part of the move away from the drug-taking and pill-popping of conventional medicine as we know it. Instead of the dangerous and often crude approach of interfering with the body’s chemical system, by the use of potent drugs (from which there are often poisonous side-effects), the body is stimulated to produce its own healing. In other words, Shiatsu, like acupuncture, stimulates positive chemical reactions in the body, to commence the healing process.
Although termed massage, Shiatsu is really a very specific and regimented therapy, based on principles which are as complex as, and similar to, acupuncture. It involves massage and pressure being applied to specific parts of the body to relieve symptoms and to assist in the regeneration of diseased organs. Shiatsu makes use of the principle that organic disorders have surface manifestations. Among the nervous reflex systems of the body, one of the most representative is the mechanism whereby organic disorders give out symptoms which affect skin and muscles. The surface, and near-surface parts of the body constantly receive stimuli from the brain and spinal cord, by way of the network of nerves that extends over the entire body. When one of the inner organs is out of order, a corresponding stiffness, or soreness, will occur in the skin and muscles. In addition, dry scaly patches of skin are further signs of the autonomic nervous system indicating organic disorder.
How Shiatsu works
As internal abnormalities exert an influence on the surface of the body, it follows that internal organs can be influenced by means of stimuli on the body’s surface. For example, by applying pressure to a part of the body’s surface, it is possible to stimulate the spinal cord and other nerves of the central nervous system. It has been proven scientifically that such stimulus activates internal organs, is beneficial to blood vessels and produces chemical changes, such as the secretion of vital hormones. In other words, organic disorders can be helped by stimulus, in the form of rubbing and exerting pressure to the appropriate spot, or position, on the body.
Shiatsu treatment
A general form of treatment for allergies, relates to the localised, or generalised, itching, rash or swelling which invariably accompanies allergy reactions. These may pass in a matter of days, or weeks, or they may be chronic and persist for months, or years.
According to Professor Katsusuke Serizewa, of Tokyo University, people with allergies frequently have rashes or dry, scaly areas on the back, in a triangular area, running from the base of the neck to the outer edges of the shoulder blades. In addition to this, if pressure is applied with the thumb to the seventh cervical vertebra — located level with the top of the shoulders — it will produce a sudden, sharp pain. Repeated massage at this point will greatly assist in reducing allergy symptoms. To extend the benefits of this treatment further, it should be followed by massage and gentle pressure at the following points: either side of the third and ninth thoracic vertebrae; either side of the second and fourth lumbar vertebrae; centre of the chest; centre of the diaphragm; below the navel, and the outside centre of each wrist.
Shiatsu can be of great benefit to allergy sufferers. However, like acupuncture, it should be used in conjunction with the other methods suggested in this book, and not in itself as a means of cure. The advantage of Shiatsu is that it can be safely carried out by practically anybody, once they know the points at which to apply pressure.

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