Founded in the past century by Masunaga Senseï, the Iokai Shiatsu (shi: fingers and atsu: pressure) is a relatively young Japanese technique. Its sources, however, go very far back. Tuina, a traditional Chinese body technique dating back to about 2700 BC, is considered the mother of shiatsu. This is why the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yin and Yang, the study of the 5 elements and the acupuncture points remain closely linked to shiatsu. Through his pragmatic research, Masunaga Senseï codified the use of meridians and developed a therapeutic approach that became recognised in Japan, then in the West and in the East.
Shiatsu is traditionally practiced on the floor and fully dressed. It involves exerting pressure with the fingers, palms, forearms, elbows and knees on the energetic meridians of the body, as well as on the main points (tsubos). The meridians are the subtle paths for the circulation of vital energy (the Ki, in Japanese) and form a link between the surface of the body and the deep organs. Shiatsu also includes a wide variety of gentle mobilizations of the body joints.
Iokai Shiatsu is an art that is distinguished from a simple manual technique by the fact that it engages the psychic and physical wholeness (spirit-body) of the practitioner and the recipient. The quality of this communication is one of the essential points of Iokai Shiatsu in which the term “touching life” lies. Sasaki Senseï was deeply touched by these aspects during his collaboration with Masunaga Senseï and it is the heart of this approach that he teaches in Europe.