The basic approach of oriental medicine is to emphasize natural powers of self-cure and to evolve a therapy that is entirely in harmony with the entire organism of the patient. Shiatsu is one of the oriental medical disciplines that have made great progress in such therapy.
The common conception that shiatsu is no more than the application of strong digital pressure on single points on the body misrepresents the truth. Shiatsu is based on a full oriental medical system, which explains the human body in terms of a network of meridians through which flows an energy called Ki in Japanese. If the flow of Ki through the meridians is smooth, the person is healthy. If the flow becomes sluggish, the person falls ill. The nature of the flow is analyzed on the basis of the Chinese conception of the duality Yin and Yang into two states called Kyo and Jitsu. In the Kyo state, the flow of Ki is sluggish, and the body functions are dulled. In the Jitsu state, the flow is too rapid, and the body functions are overactive. A therapy that fails to take these states into consideration can only further retard the activity of sluggish functions and further stimulate hyperactive ones. In short, such therapy can produce no beneficial effect at all.
The way to restore the proper balance to the system of Ki energy is the subject of Zen Shiatsu, the first book on the topic ever published in the English language. In this richly illustrated work, the author thoroughly covers to-nification-sedation, meridian shiatsu (Zen shiatsu). In addition to the services he performs as a therapist, he has devoted many years of study and much effort to developing new shiatsu ideas. Zen Shiatsu is the result of all these efforts. The inclusion of a chapter on self-shiatsu makes this an unusual and valuable book from the standpoint of people interested in home remedies.