How Shiatsu and self-Shiatsu can help with insomnia.

Updated: Jul 2

"When I wake up, I am reborn." Mahatma Gandhi

We can generally talk about insomnia when we are unable to sleep peacefully for a period of 4 to 8 hours consequently.

When the sleep disorders occur, many aspects of our life are affected. We feel nervous because we cannot rest and relax properly.

Sleeping is our first natural source of relaxation and regeneration and insomnia will affect all the rest of our life on the long period. This is why it is important to restore our natural sleep pattern as soon as possible.


Insomnia is a very common problem in our society. Poor diet, excessive worries, sedentary life, pressing deadlines, anxiety and stress are all factors that bring tensions in our body. And when it’s under pressure, our mind become incapable to relax.

Chronic pain can be another cause of insomnia. Shiatsu and self-Shiatsu can help with both, as a research done at the University of Alberta as shown.


That said, is Insomnia the main problem?

Personally I believe that Insomnia and sleep disorders are just symptoms that brings other problems to the light, but don’t worry because every problem has a solution!

We need to see Insomnia as the way our body use to ask for attention, awareness and self care.

But how can Shiatsu help with insomnia and sleep disorders?

Working on the muscles, Shiatsu stimulates the circulation of body fluids and improves the dilation of blood vessels, helping with the toxins’ elimination.

Shiatsu sessions also benefit the Nervous System that is involved in our rest/activity balance.

Considering that each person is a Universe in herself/himself, a Shiatsu sessions will vary from individual to individual depending on the energetic diagnosis. You can find some example of Shiatsu treatments for insomnia below.


• If the main causes are muscular tensions and stiffness, the Shiatsu sessions may be focused to relax the muscles using techniques that bring the individual toward a major awareness of her/his body. Very often who suffers of insomnia is very tense in the areas of shoulders, nape, neck and jaws. In this case the Shiatsu practitioner may treat the energetic channel of Gall Bladder, Triple Heater and Bladder. After the first session I usually give to my clients easy exercises to do at home to speed the healing process.

• If the insomnia derives from digestive issues, the Shiatsu sessions will be focused on strengthen the digestive system via the work, among the others, on the Stomach, Spleen/Pancreas or Liver energetic channels and the first session may be followed by some diet indications

• When Insomnia is due to emotional problems as anxiety, the Shiatsu sessions may work on the Heart, Kidneys or Spleen energetic channels, supporting the client to relieve the tensions in those channels. The first session may be followed by some indication for breathing exercise and acupressure points tips.

• Sometimes Insomnia is due to overthinking, when the mind is full of thoughts even when it’s time to switch it off and sleep. The Shiatsu sessions will be directed on balancing the channels involved (usually Spleen/Pancreas) with a particular focus on a grounding work on the whole individual’s body-mind. Diet indications and breathing and stretching exercise tips may follow the session.

• When the main cause of insomnia is stress, usually the channels involved are Kidneys and Bladder that are connected with the body-mind’s stress response activity via adrenals and the Heart channel that is the centre of our emotional response. In such cases the Shiatsu treatments will support the client at all level, focusing on the restoration of an healthy and balanced stress response through the body work with some breathing indications to relieve stress.

All the Shiatsu treatments will relax the body mind and will improve the energetic level of the individual moving her or him toward a better quality of life. The body is more relaxed, the breath deeper and the mind calmer.

If you want to know more about the self-Shiatsu guided session please click here.

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