Shiatsu Acupressure Massage for Back Pain Management

Updated: Apr 2

Acupressure is a non-invasive and non-pharmacological intervention with multidimensional roles and benefits. Current investigations substantiate the traditional claims and validate use of acupressure for painless treatment of numerous diseases. Present review appraised the different patented devices and practices with applications in the therapy of various acute and chronic ailments.


In order to treat back pain, the shiatsu therapist observes symptoms. I can only cover a couple of these in this article, I will return to write further about back pain treatments.


Ki is a concept within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Japanese medicine. It names energetic circuits within our body. These circuits are part of our mind, that's why Ki is hard to grasp, yet so well understood by ancients for thousands of years. Shiatsu massage like TCM is very good at treating the mind, the root cause of any illness or imbalance.


Ki stagnation (blockages) in the body mind are a cause of back pain. Ki stagnation comes about through lack of exercise, a life of too sedentary habits. Ki stagnation can also come about through emotional stress, like prolonged frustration. The characteristics of Ki stagnation include sensation of fullness, obstruction, distension and pain. Ki stagnation and blood stagnation cause cellular fluids to be stagnant also.


When left untreated Ki stagnation may lead to blood stagnation. A sports injury or accident can lead to blood stagnation, inflammation and bruising from the injury, all of these lead to back pain.


Back pain may also be due to liver Ki stagnation, which is also caused by excessive emotions. Liver Ki stagnation is characterised by tenderness in hip area, painful sides, lump in throat, poor appetite, maybe painful menses, irritibility, even frequent sighing.

  • Treat above to treat below. Treat contra-laterally.

Shiatsu removes the emotional stress, any of the symptoms, and also moves all of the blood and the toxins, which cleans the back, and the nerves can then heal.


Many muscles illiocostalis cervicis, iliocostalis thorasis, longissiumus capitus, longisimus cervicus, spinalis thoracis, multifidus, are involved in movements of the neck and head. The client may lie however is comfortable, often lying prone is not the best way, perhaps on the side, then turning gently onto the back, a bolster or several can be used to support the client in pain to alleviate the stress in the back.


Healing a back involves cleaning the lymphs, the nervous system the glands, ligaments, tendons, joints and muscles surrounding the painful area. In a shiatsu treatment often the painful area is left untouched and only the meridians are accessed.


Traditional Chinese medical doctors have understood meridians for more than 5000 years. Meridians are part of our subtle body anatomy, invisible to the naked eye, but more than visible to a trained practitioner. In Shiatsu the meridians are channels of Ki, that the Chinese call Qi, an electro magnetic light within us all. These channels of deep light can heal the mind, which allows the body to heal.


So really you can say that this manual therapy uses manual touch, care and also Ki in order to heal the pain. The actual treatment is gentle and non invasive.

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