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Ohashiatsu® is a therapeutic practice that is related to Shiatsu massage but includes exercise, self-improvement and meditation. It is said to strengthen the body, correct posture and improve the mind. Operating on the principal that the Ki (energy) can be regenerated and rebalanced to give the practitioner a more centered and revitalized energy system,a typical Ohashiatsu® workout involves stretches, meditation, Shiatsu-like massage techniques and limb rotation. The Ohashiatsu® massage is taught in various institutes in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.
The technique was invented by the traditional Japanese healer, Ohashi, who is known for bringing Eastern holistic meditation and massage practices to the West, especially the United States where he arrived in 1970 after he graduating from the University of Chuo in Tokyo, Japan. His practice grew throughout the 1970s which allowed him to pass on his skills and knowledge to his students. He taught his students in seminars or through a variety of books and video tapes he created to disseminate the Ohashiatsu® philosophy. His bestselling manual is called Do-it-Yourself Shiatsu.
A typical Ohashiatsu® session is expected to provide relief from a number of modern-day ailments, including fatigue, tension, joint pain, headaches and anxiety. It aims to help the client achieve an advanced stage of relaxation that is thought to facilitate a better connection between the body, mind and spirit. This is brought about by the subject lying on the floor or massage table while the Ohashiatsu® practitioner manipulates, stretches and applies pressure to the client's energy meridians. A successful session will allow afford the client some amount of catharsis of bad energy, rejuvenating the good.
One of the principal differences between Ohashiatsu® and regular shiatsu, and in fact other massage techniques generally, is that Ohashiatsu® is based on a philosophy of mutuality and reciprocity between the masseur and massaged. Energy is said to pass in both directions, inspiring the balance and harmony between both the practitioner and client.
As many massage and alternative therapies, Ohashiatsu® has gained in popularity since Ohashi's introduction of the practice. It is even said to have accumulated famous proponents of the method including Liza Minelli, Ralph Lauren, and Dr. Henry Kissinger.