Eastern massage for the masses

How HoMedics brings the benefits of shiatsu to its customers


It’s amazing to think that a massage therapy technique developed in 1300s Japan is still captivating and offering relief to people with aches and other physical ailments. Hundreds of years after its invention, shiatsu massage has crossed oceans and continues to thrive with new devotees who loudly proclaim its benefits.

Long after its invention, the centuries-old practice of shiatsu therapy was brought into the modern age in the 17th century; however, the invention of modern shiatsu as we know it is credited to Tokujiro Namikoshi, who founded a shiatsu-based college in 1940s Japan. Today, it is practiced around the world with the goal of offering relaxation and relief to anyone suffering discomfort or pain ranging from mild to severe.

What makes shiatsu different

In the U.S., what most people call a “massage” is really a Swedish-style massage, which uses long, gliding strokes on the joints, muscles, and connective tissues. The word “shiatsu” is Japanese for “finger pressure,” which is what a shiatsu massage delivers using the traditional Chinese points of acupuncture as a guide. (Shiatsu is sometimes referred to as “acupressure.”) For example, “shu” points on a person’s back run alongside the spine. Performed using thumbs, elbows, hands, knees and even feet when necessary, shiatsu massage applies the correct amount of circular motion pressure and various stretching techniques to these specific points on the body. In shiatsu massage, each point is rubbed 5–6 times before the therapist moves on to the next massage point.

Restoring energy flow

Shiatsu also involves massaging along your body’s meridians, or energy channels, with the goal of helping ease aches, pains, tension, fatigue, and symptoms of disease. Many believe that these meridians, which pass through skin and muscles, supply vital energy to your internal organs. Done properly, shiatsu is believed to deliver positive energetic effects that can boost your body’s performance in multiple ways and positively affect overall health, such as:

  • Reduce insomnia
  • Offer relief from headaches
  • Restore body energy
  • Reduce stress
  • Promote healing from a stiff neck, backaches, sprains, and more

A cornerstone of our massage line

At HoMedics, shiatsu has been incorporated into many of our best-selling massage products. Our talented designers and engineers have strived to replicate the authentic feel of a masseuse, but provided by rotating nodes, vibrating heads, etc., depending on the model.

However, shiatsu is just one color in our palette and is usually offered as an option with other massage styles, such as gentle rolling and invigorating percussion. On products like our Triple Shiatsu Pro 3D Kneading Massage Cushion, shiatsu is paired with heat for extra soothing that can help you recover from a thorough massage treatment. And because it is a dry massage (no oil) and can be enjoyed while fully dressed, shiatsu works perfectly with our on-the-go product line and can be performed almost anywhere.

Not just for back relief

Shiatsu massage isn’t just for your back — many of our foot massagers also feature it as a built-in option to apply pressure and deliver relief to overworked arches and soles, with products like our Shiatsu Air Pro Foot Massager with Heat.

Japanese wisdom that holds true today

Shiatsu has lasted for centuries with good reason. Start exploring the shiatsu settings on your HoMedics massage products, and get ready to feel the energy flow!

Don’t have a HoMedics massager with shiatsu? Explore our complete massage lineup online here.