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Iokai Shiatsu is based on the principles of traditional Eastern medicine. This philosophy has existed for thousands of years and has a unique view on health and illness. Key principles are a holistic approach, emphasis on the prevention of illness, the importance of balance and a free flow of life energy.




The essence of Eastern medicine is a holistic approach. Humans are considered to be inextricably linked to their surroundings. All is connected to each other, as are body and mind. Illness is not seen as an isolated independent phenomenon but rather a physical or mental expression of a disturbance of the general well-being.


In ancient China it was common practice for doctors to look after people’s well-being. Their most important task was to keep people healthy. In the first place, traditional Chinese medicine was a preventive medicine. Villagers provided their doctor with shelter and food as long as he maintained their good physical condition. If people became ill, he did not get anything until he cured them. This resulted in various effective treatment methods both aimed at preventing illnesses and curing patients.


Traditional Eastern medicine is centred around the notion of balance. This balance is different for everyone. It is connected to people’s surroundings. In our Western society it is quite challenging to keep your balance. We are constantly exposed to changes, stimuli and pressure, and our lifestyle also brings challenges. Our ability to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances in our lives determines our health and general well-being.

The importance of balance can be traced to the principle of yin and yang. People consist of yin energy (calmness, stability, cool) and yang energy (activity, movement, warm). These energies influence each other. In order for our bodies and minds to function in a healthy manner, it is important that yin and yang are in balance. In our society, in which there is much emphasis on yang in the form of action, excitement and pressure, it is crucial to give attention to yin. This means that there should be sufficient time to rest, reflect and relax in order to maintain balance.


According to traditional Eastern medicine our body consists of an extensive system of energy channels called meridians. The meridians are related to our bodily functions and organs. Vital life energy is called Ki. In the case of disruptions or stagnations of Ki in the meridians, the energy system is out of balance. This may lead to physical or mental problems. The aim of Eastern medicine is to restore the energy balance. In this way, body and mind are encouraged to heal.