Top 15 Benefits of Shiatsu Massage And The Best Shiatsu Back Massagers Reviewed

“Shiatsu” is the Japanese word for “finger pressure”, the hallmark of a massage therapy about to hit half a century of popularity in the Western world. It combines traditional Chinese medicine with Western therapies, using touch, pressure and manipulation of the human body to increase relaxation, lower stress and help the body heal itself without artificial help. This can be achieved in your home now by using Shiatsu Back Massagers.

Read more: 10 Best Back Massager Reviews and Buying Guide

Shiatsu Massage History

Massage was developed by the Chinese, along with herbalism and acupuncture, making its way to Japan courtesy a monk in the sixth century. The Japanese implemented some of their own arts and continued to refine it over the next several hundred years.

In the early 1900s, Japan’s Tamai Tempaku began blending anatomy, physiology, physiotherapy and chiropractic therapy into the techniques. He initially called this new synergy both “shiatsu ryoho” (finger pressure way of healing) and “shiatsu ho” (finger pressure method) before settling on ShiShiatsu massage historyatsu, which was recognized as an official therapy form by the Japanese government in 1964.

Styles of Shiatsu Massage

As Shiatsu massage has become more and more popular, more sub-styles have been established across the world. Here are five of the more widely-practiced forms of Shiatsu along with brief descriptions of what sets them apart as unique.

Shiatsu StylesZen Shiatsu:

Zen Shiatsu usually is done with the recipient lying on the floor on a futon. It is usually most effective when you are experiencing physical ailments caused by stress or emotional strain such as insomnia, muscular tension, headaches and stomach problems.

Macrobiotic Shiatsu:

Macrobiotic Shiatsu focuses on the belief that food is living energy and that the food we put into our bodies will affect the energy flow inside us. The practitioner of this kind of shiatsu will analyze a person’s state of being and recommend foods to improve it between sessions.

Namikoshi Shiatsu:

Namikoshi Shiatsu is the primary form of Shiatsu massage learned by practitioners in Japan in order to obtain a license. It is named after Tokujiro Namikoshi who opened Japan’s first Shiatsu clinic in 1925 and established what is now Japan’s Shiatsu College during the 1940s.This form is applied exclusively with the thumbs, fingers and palms and is based entirely on physiology and anatomy.

Movement Shiatsu:

Movement Shiatsu was developed by Brit Bill Palmer during the 1980s to help those suffering chronic conditions. Palmer used the movements of infants during development to inspire his exercises that recipients perform in between periods of normal Shiatsu.

Hara Shiatsu:

Haru Shiatsu is the blending of five major energy flows designed to improve your immune system.

Benefits of Shiatsu Massage

Depending on the practitioner, the person and the technique, there is a nearly unlimited number of benefits from undergoing Shiatsu massage therapy. Some of the most common are:

-Restore/maintain the body’s natural supply of energy
-Improve circulation
-Relief for sufferers of arthritis
-Relief from insomnia
-Relief of stress/tension.
-Lessening of anxiety/depression
-Relieves constipation
-Relieves digestive problems
-Relieves morning sickness
-Relieves menstrual problems
-Helps with recovery from muscle injuries
-Lessen migraine headaches
-Increase skin resilience
-Wrinkle prevention

Best Shiatsu Back Massager for your Neck

Zyllion ZMA 14 Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager

Zyllion ZMA14 Shiatsu back massagersWhile most Shiatsu Massagers focus on the neck, the Zyllion ZMA 14 makes sure that your sore neck gets its fair share of the good stuff as well. The Zyllion ZMA 14 has an extra set of Shiatsu massage nodes solely for your neck that has a separate heating function. There are three levels of vibration massage as well.

The Zyllion ZMA 14’s main feature is customized to allow the massage rollers to focus on the area you need the most work on your back and they can alternate from Shiatsu style movements to the traditional rolling bar method. The chair strap on the Zyllion ZMA 14 allows it to fit on almost any chair, from a hardback to your office chair to give you hours of relief. It comes with an overheat protection safety lock and a 20-minute auto shut off.

Zyllion ZMA14 Shiatsu FeaturesThese keep you safe and keep the chair from getting too hot or using too much energy. The seat cushion has two vibration settings to keep your glutes and thighs feeling relaxed as well.

Best Shiatsu Massager for your Back

Belmint Back Massager Cushion

Shiatsu Cushion FeaturesHailed as the godsend for back pain, the Belmint Back Massager Cushion contains eight deep-kneading nodes that work together to get to the deep tissue of your back and relieve muscle soreness, tension and stiffness. The remote-controlled massage cushion allows you to get relief for your neck, shoulders, back and lumbar region.

The seat cushion doubles as a vibrating motor that gives muscle relief to sore hips and glutes. The unit is also great for relieving stress or helping you relax when you are pregnant. You can choose between 10-, 15- and 20-minute auto shut-off cycles and turn the heat on or off.

Best Shiatsu Back Massager Pillow

Zyllion ZMA13BK Shiatsu Pillow

Zyllion ZMA13BK Shiatsu PillowIf you don’t have the space or the outlet for a full Shiatsu back massager, the Zyillion ZMA13BK Shiatsu Pillow is a fantastic alternative for helping relief muscle pain and deliver heat relief to all parts of your body. It has four three-dimensional massage nodes that change direction once every 60 seconds and its compact size allows you to put it behind your neck, lower or upper back, abdomen, thighs or calves.

Zyllion ZMA13BK Shiatsu Pillow ChairIt has adjustable handle straps that let you move it easily and keep it secure while you are sitting or reclining. It comes with a free replacement cover, has a 1-year warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Best Versatile Shiatsu Back Massagers

FIVE S FS801 Shiatsu Kneading Massager

FIVE S Shiatsu Neck and Back MassagerThe Five S FS801 Shiatsu Kneading Massager is a great choice whether you’re on the road, at your office or simply relaxing at home. It has eight kneading rollers and two massage directions to give you comfortable relief no matter where you are or where it hurts.

FIVE S Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager stylesThe Shiatsu kneading massager comes with a soothing heat function that can provide relief to your feet, legs, arms, lumbar area, shoulders, back and neck. It comes with both an AC adapter and a car adapter along with a three-year warranty.

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Carmen is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. She’s on a mission to build healthy habits for a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit.