Shiatsu is a Japanese form of acupressure; it actually translates as finger pressure. The source of both Shiatsu and Feng Shui is Traditional Chinese Medicine. It was initially developed for animals to maintain the health of the Chinese livestock. Traditional Chinese Theory incorporates the balance of Nature and was derived from the study of Nature and its effects on those of us living on the earth. They developed a mapping of energy pathways in the body known as the 12 meridians.

Each meridian has a yin and yang aspect known as sister meridians:

• Lung/Large Intestine-Metal-Skin/Body surfaces Kidney/Bladder-Water-Bones & Marrow
• Liver/Gall Bladder-Wood-Tendons & Ligaments
• Heart/ Small Intestine-Fire-Vascular System
• PericardiumlTriple Heater-Fire
• Spleen/Stomach-Earth- Muscles and Lymph

Another aspect that the Chinese developed is called 5 Element. In their study of Nature, they categorized the different qualities of all life on the earth into 5 categories known as the

5 Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, And Water. Each of these aspects is related in a nourishing cycle or a controlling cycle.

Nourishing Cycle: The Wood feeds Fire, Fire creates Earth in its ashes, Earth creates Metals by years of compression, Metal holds Water Water nourishes Wood’s growth

The controlling cycle is: Wood consumes Earth in its growth. Earth dams Water, Water extinguishes Fire, Fire melts Metal, Metal cuts Wood. Ideally all the elements and thus the meridians would be in balance but I have not seen this in either a dog or human. So if a being is deficient in an element, we use the nourishing cycle to build the deficient element. If we have an excess element, then we use the controlling cycle to decrease the excess.

Just as we seek balance of the whole in Reiki, it is the same goal in Shiatsu. A shiatsu treatment is a gentle hand pressure called palming or finger pressure using the thumb. There are point-to-point treatments that have been developed to treat specific symptomolgy but we always treat whole energetic pattern, working the whole meridian. The form of Shiatsu that I practice is called Zen Shiatsu which uses the most full (excess) meridian and the most deficient balancing both brings the all the others into balance. This gentle pressure is soothing to the dog and they often relax, falling asleep during treatment.