In my opinion, Shiatsu is the most effective yet underrated natural treatment for sciatica pain.
It's one of the safer forms of massage with a history stretching thousands of years in East Asia.
If you're suffering from sciatica then give it a try (but I've listed potential risks below - especially for pregnant women).
When you're done reading, take a look at our list of shiatsu pillows that we've reviewed for self-relief as well.
Table Of Contents:
- What is Sciatica?
- What is Shiatsu?
- How Shiatsu assists with Sciatica
- Shiatsu masseuse and their patients
What is Sciatica?
Sciatic nerve runs from the lower part of the back through the buttocks and down through the leg.
When sciatica occurs feelings such as tingling, numbness, or weakness can occur mostly as the nerve pain travels down into the leg.
Usually only one leg is affected by the sciatica at a time. Both legs do not usually feel the pain at the same time. Sometimes it makes a person feel so helpless that he or she cannot even get around without being in excruciating pain.
Sciatica can be cause by several different things.
A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease are a couple of those things that cause the sciatic nerve to be irritated.
Sciatica can be so severe from time to time that it can be painful to walk, stand, or to even sit down.
When it gets that bad something needs to be done to relieve the symptoms.
Some patients have had Sciatica so bad that they can not even move and all they want to do is cry because the pain that is radiating from that area is unbearable.
What is Shiatsu Massage?
Shiatsu massage for Sciatica is a very effective way to ease the pain.
Shiatsu is a traditional Eastern Japanese artform that was founded by Chinese medicine. Anma is the Japanese massage modality that Shiatsu comes from.
It has been shown by the Japanese people that Shiatsu is an effective medical treatment.
Shiatsu means finger pressure in Japanese.
There is a rhythmic sequence that is followed going from one pressure point of the body to another.
It is a type of acupuncture because the areas that the pressure is being applied to is being stimulated. Even though needles are not being use, the stimulation of the pressure point is all that need to be able to put this type of massage in the acupuncture category.
When receiving Shiatsu, the pain being received by the pressure point stimulation is referred to as a good pain because the focus is to work that pain out of the body.
This massage usually is done with no type of massage oils with a client that is in loose fitted clothing.
Usually a massage is done for the client directly on their bare skin. It is very rare to see a massage that is done on top of the clothing of the client.
The clients in going to be placed on a mat directly on the floor or on a table that is very close to the floor.
Shiatsu treatment sessions last usually about an hour and at the end of that time period, the patient will feel so relaxed with peace of mind that the pain of the sciatica is slowly withering away.
Shiatsu Massage for Sciatica
Sciatica pain and Shiatsu massage work well together because Shiatsu is a safe and effective treatment for the lower back and hamstring.
The Sciatic nerve starts right at the lower back. Shiatsu uses a circular motion of the palms, fingers and thumbs starting right at the spine to stimulate a flow in the body that will travel right into that sciatic nerve.
As energy flows through the body, the pain begins to show signs of extreme relief. When the body blocks in energy, the pain of the problem with surface.
So, if the energy keeps flowing, the pain will stay at ease.
Sometimes tense muscles could really be putting some severe pressure on the sciatic nerve causing some really severe pain.
Massage of the tense muscles will help ease the tension off of the sciatic nerve also allowing for the energy to flow with ease.
After each session is attended, the pain from the sciatica will ease up.
Each session will begin to bring more and longer lasting relief from the Shiatsu massage.
An hour-long session is long enough to work up enough energy in the body to clear the energetic blockage that is being caused in the body. Usually the sciatic nerve gets compressed and the massage is used to work out that compression around the nerve.
Shiatsu really focuses on allowing the body to heal all by itself as the energy flows.
As the energy balance of the body starts to come together and restore itself, the pain with subside and start to wither away all on its own.
You would never think that certain pressure points in the body can cause so many pained areas to go away.
The healing aspects that massage has on the human body is so incredible.
Shiatsu Masseuse and their Patient
A masseuse or therapist that is performing a Shiatsu massage will always start out their massage with a consultation.
The patient needs to make sure he or she is very clear with the masseuse that they are dealing with a huge amount of sciatic nerve pain.
This way the masseuse will be able to customize the massage accordingly. In roughly five sessions, a Shiatsu massage will ease the sciatic nerve pain.
The patient will feel so relaxed and in so much peace. Sciatic pain can be so painful that the patient will go to whatever extremes that must be gone thru to make sure he or she is feeling better after the massage is done.
The masseuse measure’s the flow of the patients Ki levels which is the energy level in the body that gets blocked off due to pain.
These lines of energy are referred to as meridian channels and it is the jobs of the masseuse to made sure these channels stay free from any kind of blockage.
It also helps patients that may be suffering from poor appetite, mood problems, or sleep problems.
The masseuse always wants to make sure he or she is handling any type of issues or concerns that the patient may be having before starting the service.
Risks of Shiatsu Massage for Sciatica
Like many other types of massage, Shiatsu is very safe.
Just like other types of massage, Shiatsu massage for Sciatica has its risk factors.
During the massage, the therapist is moving the energy through their patient as a way of relief.
If the energy stays in one spot and does not continue to flow correctly, then the pain that the patient is having is not going to ever be relieved.
Sometimes this sustained energy could cause a slight headache or sometimes even stiff muscles.
This best thing a patient can do for themselves after receiving a massage is to drink plenty of water.
Before ever coming in contact with a patient, the therapist must do a full medical review. The therapist needs to know everything medical that is going on with the patient before conducting the massage. If the patient has any types of issues such as low platelets levels in their blood or weakened bones, then the therapist will have to perform a gentler massage on their client.
It is very important to stay away from patients that may be pregnant. Any type of massage is unsafe to do on a pregnant woman unless she is already in her third trimester.
The unborn fetus can be put in jeopardy if the pregnancy is any earlier than that.
Also, any patients that are going through chemotherapy or have heart disease also needs to be very careful being treated with massage.
Even though massage is great for some patients, it can be not great for other patients.
Patients that have any kind of skin disease or open wounds must also stay away from massage as a type of treatment for pain.
Massage could spread which ever sort of skin issue that the patient may have.
Shiatsu works wonders for Sciatica pain
As we've shown, sciatica pain and shiatsu work together.
Sciatica is the name for the pain that occurs when the sciatic nerve gets pinched or compressed.
When this occurs, it can be difficult to get around or even move at all. Walking around on a leg that is dealing with sciatic pain is almost impossible. Shiatsu massage is a type of massage that the Japanese people came up with to help ease pain by means of acupuncture without the use of needles.
The acupuncture is used to balance out the energy flow in the body to relieve the pain of the Sciatica.
After it is all said and done, your mood will be lifted, and your body will feel so relaxed that there are no more worries in the world.
It is nice to be able to gradually ease the pain and be back to normal in no time at all. Most medical specialist in the field of pain relief try to stay away from any kind of pain relievers such as opioid pain killers.
They are going to try any solution that they possibly can to refrain from prescribing some sort of pill to the patient to do exactly what a little bit of therapy can do for the patient.
Shiatsu is a great way to get the blood flowing and allowing the energy in the body to flow with ease.