Shiatsu is a form of therapy coming from Japan. It makes use of kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching. It is performed without oils, through light, comfortable clothing. "Shiatsu" translates as "finger pressure." It is a non-invasive therapy that may help reducing stress and contributing to overall wellbeing. The effect may be stimulating and invigorating or calming and sedative, depending on the goal of the session. One of the fundamental concepts of Chinese/Japanese medicine is Qi (pronounced "chee"). This is the vital energy in our body that underlies all functioning. Qi flows in specific pathways called meridians. The Shiatsu therapist accesses the Qi through points along the meridians called Vital Points. Health is present when there is abundant Qi in the meridians and the flow is free and unobstructed. When the Qi becomes poor or out of balance, or when the flow is obstructed, symptoms arise. The Shiatsu therapist is trained to recognize patterns of disharmony in the body, even prior to physical signs appearing. Simple yet subtle changes are indications of an imbalance that, left alone, may progress to a point where symptoms appear. Balance can be restored with proper assessment and regular Shiatsu sessions. Shiatsu practitioners may also offer lifestyle and activity recommendations.