Shiatsu with Yutaka Homma

Namikoshi Shiatsu, a manual therapy developed in Japan through a synthesis of Eastern and Western medical concepts, uses mankind's most ancient medical tools - the human hand and human hearts - to treat the patient using a holistic approach that stimulates the body's own natural self-healing power to correct imbalances and effect a cure from within. In contrast to the compartmentalized, industrialized approach of Western medicine, the shiatsu therapist treats the whole individual, tailoring treatment to the person's condition to thus guide him or her towards improved physical and mental wellbeing.

What distinguishes shiatsu from other manual therapies is that it employs no rubbing or kneading techniques, but instead uses the fingers and palms to apply sustained, vertical pressure to acu-points throughout the body, penetrating gently but deeply to flush out accumulated toxins, promote the flow of blood and lymph, and restore optimal functioning to the internal organs, autonomic nervous system, and endocrine system.

By limbering the muscles and freeing up the body's myofascial matrix, shiatsu also facilitates increased range of motion and allows the skeletal system to rediscover its natural alignment.

In the East, it has long been held that "a good physician treats illness before it occurs" Illness and injury are often preceded by reduced physical and mental functioning due to a buildup of fatigue that manifests itself through everyday symptoms such as headaches, lethargy, dullness, or stiffness in the muscles of the neck and back. The body gradually loses its ability to maintain equilibrium, leaving it susceptible to further complications.

Different theoretical approaches to shiatsu have been developed, some modeled on Western anatomy and physiology, others on Eastern concepts of the flow of Ki energy through meridians linked to the various organ systems. But, regardless of the theoretical overlay, the essence of shiatsu lies in the concept of "Diagnosis and therapy combined." Using this approach, the therapist senses irregularities in the patient's body directly with her hands and refines the treatment accordingly, making it possible to benefit even those people whose symptoms resist conventional diagnosis. This is an intuitive approach in which the therapist's ultimate textbook is the patient in front of her - but it is an intuition informed by a wealth of accumulated experience and understanding of the human body.

Shiatsu is not just a matter of physical technique alone: it is a therapy based on a spirit of kindness and compassion. There is a saying in Japan that "The heart of shiatsu is like a mother's love - press on the body and nurture the wellsprings of life." When shiatsu is applied in this spirit, therapist and patient experience a direct, emotional bond that further enhances the effectiveness of the treatment.

About Yutaka Homma:
Yutaka Homma is a renowned Namikoshi Shiatsu master. He graduated from the Japan College in 1982, after which he began working at the Japan Shiatsu Centre in California and further went on to teach Shiatsu at in several massage schools in America. After his time in America he returned to Tokyo to open his own Shiatsu Studio and later he expanded to three studios in Japan and one in California. He went on to establish the Japan Shiatsu promotion & Academy (J-SPA) in Tokyo in 2001 and in 2006, he established a Shiatsu massage school in Ho Chi Min with Ngoc Anh Massage. He is also a member of International Shiatsu Association.