Shiatsu is a type of massage therapy that was primarily developed in Japan. With its name derived from the Japanese term for "finger pressure," it involves applying pressure to specific points on the body. While shiatsu has roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it's now commonly practiced throughout the world. As in acupressure, practitioners of shiatsu apply pressure to points on the body thought to be connected to certain so-called meridians.By stimulating these points, such therapists aim to promote the flow of vital energy (also known as "chi"). According to the principles of TCM, blockages in the flow of chi can contribute to a wide range of illnesses.Although scientists have yet to determine how or why shiatsu might improve health, it's theorized that the treatment may calm the sympathetic nervous system and—in turn—stimulate circulation, reduce stress, and soothe pain.