Shiatsu is a type of massage that utilizes pressure points that correspond to organs and energy pathways throughout the body. Its goal is to reinvigorate the circulatory system and decrease muscular tension. Rooted in ancient Japanese and Chinese traditions, Shiatsu massage contributes to relaxation and improvements in health, according to the Shiatsu Society. The Namikoshi system and Zen Shiatsu are two derivatives of traditional shiatsu massage.
Shiatsu massage evolved out of Anma, an ancient form of Japanese massage, and acupuncture, a form of Chinese therapy. Anma practice involves tapping, rubbing and applying pressure to different points on the body, stimulating and influencing the muscular and circulatory systems. Tamai Tempaku invented Shiatsu massage at the beginning of the 20th century, and the Japanese government recognized it as a form of medical therapy in 1964. Since the 1940s, many schools of Shiatsu massage -- including the Namikoshi system and Zen Shiatsu -- have developed throughout the world.