Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) Can Do Shiatsu and Acupressure Massage Therapy by Chris Lontok

Ancient healing arts from Asia have evolved through the ages to become what we know in our present time as shiatsu massage therapy and acupressure massage therapy. In fact, these two massage therapy modalities share a common history.

The truth is, shiatsu massage therapy and acupressure massage therapy are two names for the same massage therapy. Shiatsu is the Japanese name for acupressure massage therapy. They also call it acupoint massage therapy. The Japanese learned shiatsu massage therapy or acupoint massage therapy from the Chinese, though.

Traditional Chinese medicine originated the basics of shiatsu massage therapy, acupressure massage therapy and acupoint massage therapy more than two thousand years ago. According to the Chinese Canon of Medicine of 475 BC to 221 BC, “Overstrain and fright may cause obstruction of meridians and collaterals manifested by paralysis. The treatment is massage and medicated liquor."

Another document, the New History of the Tang Dynasty of 581 AD to 907 AD also spoke of massage therapy, saying, "In the Imperial Bureau of Medicine there is one massage doctor and four massage masters in charge of Daoyin therapy (physical and breathing exercise combined with self-massage) and bone-setting."

According to the Six Codes of the Tang Dynasty, "Massage is used for treating the diseases caused by wind, cold, summer heat, damp, hunger, overeating, overstrain and excessive leisure."

The General Collection for Holy Relief, also an ancient Chinese traditional medicine document, gave the following definitions: "Pressing and rubbing may be applied either separately or in combination; all these practices are called massage. Pressing alone without rubbing, rubbing alone without pressing, pressing together with rubbing, pressing and rubbing in combination with herbal medication - each has its own indications."

Between 1368 AD and 1911 AD, during the Ming and Qing dynasties, over twenty other monographs were written about massage therapy. At that time, massage therapy was already officially recognized as one of the thirteen specialties of traditional Chinese medicine. This triggered the development of pediatric massage.

China’s trading activities throughout the world facilitated the spread of acupressure massage therapy. Within China, massage therapy underwent other developments as the People's Republic of China was established in 1949. From that time forward, various massage therapy and traditional Chinese medicine colleges, research institutions, hospitals and clinics were also established.

The philosophy behind shiatsu massage therapy or acupressure massage therapy is centered on the life force called Qi which is supposed to flow throughout the body. While blood flows through the veins, though, Qi is said to flow through energy meridians. The meridians are connected to all the vital organs of the body, as well as to the muscular system and the skeletal system. When the flow of Qi is smooth and unimpeded, the person will be in perfect health. The meridian points correspond to various vital organs and reflect their state of health.

The meridians are like highways which can be the venue for either good health or illness. The development of disease begins when negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, fright, anger, melancholy and sorrow, or an excess of positive emotions, block the flow of Qi. Too much heat, dryness, fire, wind, damp and cold are also some other factors that could obstruct the smooth flow of Qi. Shiatsu massage therapy or acupressure massage therapy is applied to unblock the flow of Qi. Therapeutic energy is unleashed to remove impediments and restore the flow of positive energy through the meridians to all body parts.

Today a licensed massage therapist (LMT) can do shiatsu massage therapy or acupressure massage therapy as well as craniosacral massage therapy, reflexology massage therapy, deep tissue massage therapy, sports massage therapy and pregnancy massage therapy. Since a licensed massage therapist often treats people who have been hurt in accidents, he or she also usually does insurance billing for people in auto accidents.