Shiatsu Foot Massager – What is It?
A Shiatsu foot massager is a foot massage machine designed to work based on the Japanese principle of shiatsu, which means “finger pressure.” Although the machine obviously doesn’t use fingers to apply pressure to the foot, it is intended to achieve a similar effect as a traditional Asian shiatsu foot massage.
What is Shiatsu massage
Shiatsu massage differs from traditional massage techniques primarily in its focus on firm pressure on certain points, rather than other massage therapy techniques which may focus more on rubbing or stroking the body.
Shiatsu was invented in 1940 by Tokujiro Namikoshi. His interest in massage techniques came from his childhood experience of trying to help his mother deal with her rheumatoid arthritis pain. He discovered that applying direct pressure to her body was more effective in reducing her pain than rubbing or stroking her joints.
Tokujiro quickly began trying his technique on other sufferers, and it continued to work. After being arrested as a teenager for practicing massage in a larger city without the appropriate license, Tokujiro studied an ancient Chinese acupressure technique called Anma. Once he was qualified in Anma, he began his own clinic, where he practiced his own method of massage, which he called Shiatsu.
Like the better known technique of acupressure, Tokujiro’s shiatsu techniques focus on certain pressure points. In the traditional Asian understanding, these pressure points are thought to map to the way the body directs energy.
In his mid-20’s, Tokujiro applied his technique to a well-known philosopher, Ishimaru Gohei. Gohei was so impressed by Tokujiro’s abilities that he took out an insurance policy on Tokujiro’s thumbs for 100,000 yen (around $10 million present day US dollars), the most expensive disability insurance policy at the time in the entire country of Japan. Gohei’s influence helped aid the spread and growth in popularity of the shiatsu method.
Shiatsu Medical Benefits
Tokujiro believed the body contained everything it needed to heal itself. By applying direct pressure to different glands in the body, the body could be stimulated to produce the chemicals it needed, rather than being forced to rely on stimulant shots or other drugs. He viewed his shiatsu technique as a tool to help the body reduce stress and heal itself.
In modern Western medicine, both acupressure and Shiatsu are considered forms of alternative medicine. Modern medical practice has rejected the idea of the ch’i force that many far Eastern religions believed in.
Nevertheless, although it may no longer have the psychological benefits of being considered a mystical religious treatment, Shiatsu foot massagers are quite popular today. They just feel good!
Shiatsu foot massagers
When you are comparing foot massagers, if one is labeled shiatsu, it generally ought to mean that it is a stronger massage. Since the machine is attempting to simulate deep pressure from the fingers, it ought to really dig deep into your foot. If you are looking for a particularly intense, powerful foot massager, a shiatsu foot massager ought to be at the top of your list.
Some of the most well-regarded, best Shiatsu foot massagers available today are the Sharper Image MSI-F140H Deep Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager and the Deluxe Massage Wonder 8000A Shitasu Reflexology Rolling Foot Massager (both links go to Amazon). Unlike other foot massagers that focus on vibrating, both of these options offer deep rolling motion massages. If you are looking for a particularly deep foot massage, either one of these is a great option.
MSI-F140H on Amazon
Wonder 8000A on Amazon