Shiatsu Massage in Gynaecology - Combining Massage and Herbal Treatments

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Shiatsu massage helps women connect to their emotional being. The body and the emotions are both different manifestations of energy. As shiatsu massage causes energy to flow smoothly and easily, the emotions as well as the body are harmonized during the treatment.


Although their manifestations appear in the reproductive organs, gynaecological disorders are closely related to the whole constitution, particularly the emotions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, great importance is placed on considering all aspects of a person in diagnosis and treatment. TCM emphasizes the role emotions play in gynaecological health and pathology, stating that emotional disturbances are a major disease cause in gynaecology. Thus emotional health is necessary for healthy menstruation. Suppressed, unexpressed or excessive emotions, especially irritation and anger, lead to imbalances in liver energy which underlie gynaecological problems such as PMS, endometriosis, irregular menstruation, painful menstruation and abnormal vaginal discharge.  


Many women who are single mothers or career women take on both traditional female roles of mother and homemaker and the masculine roles of breadwinner and business person. This often means trying to do too much in too little time with too few resources, which invariably leads to frustration and anger. On an energetic level, frustration is a non fluid or impeded flow of energy. Most women with PMS or endometriosis have more than average levels of emotional stress due to unresolved conflicts stretching back to at least puberty. This emotional stress may have happened in the past and is now over but it still reverberates through the woman's life as a well established psychological and emotional force in her identity and her life continues to be stressful.


As shiatsu massage alleviates stress and harmonizes both body and emotions, it treats the gynaecological problems issuing from emotional and physical stress.


When shiatsu massage is supplemented with herbal therapy, its scope is widened as well as becoming deeper and more subtle. Conditions found in the holistic approach of shiatsu massage are mirrored in conditions described in biomedical medicine. For instance,




  • the shiatsu massage and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) pattern of blood stasis is similar to elevated prostaglandin levels which can then be treated by herbs that invigorate the flow of blood; the raised PG levels stimulate the uterus causing excessive contractions leading to lower abdominal pain; the blood invigorating herbs reduce the PG levels alleviating the painful contactions


  • tension in muscle ( mostly smooth muscle), as in functional dysmenorrhoea, is often found when there is energy stagnation or deficiency and will respond to herbs which move or supplement energy


  • ovulation can be induced by herbs that act on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis




Western medicine and shiatsu massage cannot be merged simplistically as though there is an faithful correspondence between a shiatsu massage concept and its seemingly equivalent medical concept such as assuming that the pattern of blood deficiency, an energetic concept which holistic and macroscopic, is identical to anaemia, a narrowly defined, fragmented concept based on physiology and pathology which is diagnosed by relying on specialized microscopic examination and chemical testing. Comparisons cannot be made simplistically on semantic similarities but must be made on diagnostic or therapeutic similarities.

Findings from medical research can help refine and clarify diagnoses based on the pattern differentiation of shiatsu massage and TCM. For example, Spleen, Liver, energy, blood and Kidney patterns underlie asymptomatic ovulation, but research indicates Kidney deficiency is often the root pattern.



For more information on massage, shiatsu, pregnancy massage, cancer massage and How to Meditate: 8 Important Tips For the Beginner in Meditation, visit Massage Wisdom

Author - Leon Potgieter

Published - 0000-00-00