What is Shiatsu and ABT?


Asian healing artsThe Asian healing arts have been evolving for over eight millennium. Whether you need help with a chronic condition or support in your current health and fitness program, you’ll find that Asian bodywork therapy can play an important role in enhancing your health. Asian bodywork therapy (ABT)/ massage therapy , acupuncture, and herbal medicine are the three main branches, and while ABT is the oldest branch it has been the latest to gain popularity in this country. Since 1992, I have practiced shiatsu,  an ABT form that evolved in Japan. It is concerned with the movement of energy through the body, how we draw that energy from the earth, the air and the universe and how we keep it flowing optimally.

Although the word “shiatsu” translates literally as finger pressure, its practice includes stretching, rocking, shaking, grasping, kneading and pressure applied with the fingers, hands, elbows, and sometimes the feet.

There are many forms of ABT and my practice also includes some adjunct therapies that could be included in your session. Tuina is a Chinese form of physical therapy using focused hand techniques for specific injuries.  Thai massage expands the use of stretching, and visceral organ massage can be useful for more internal complaints.



Karen Kessler, Licensed Massage Practitioner, Asian Bodywork Therapist

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