Shiatsu and endorphins

Often, we may hear "Shiatsu" referred to as a relaxation tool, a true but limited definition for the treatment that does not denote its nature and broad results as a therapy. The pressure exerted with the fingers and palms of the hands in certain points on the body has multiple effects on our organism that go far beyond relaxation, in addition to encouraging the self-knowledge and understand better and more comprehensively the health. Through different physiological mechanisms of action, the Shiatsu promotes the capacity to self-healing of the body. Among the most notable effects of Shiatsu, is the release of endorphins.

Aze shiatsu

What are endorphins?


We tend to associate endorphins with the feeling of happiness and, no doubt, of welfare. It is not for nothing that they are known as the "pleasure hormones". neurotransmittersendorphins, substances synthesised by our brain, with a structure very similar to opioids (hence the name endogenous opioid peptides). At the moment of, for example, trauma, the body releases endorphins as a form of analgesic to relieve some of the pain and allow the body to react, adapting to what happened at that precise moment. 


In addition to this, endorphins play an important role in our emotional state and its liberation contributes to our feeling of relaxed and with a sense of well-being. They also influence other processes, such as the appetite and the dreamand enhance the immune system.

Where are they produced?


Endorphins are produced in our brain, in the brain's pituitaryfrom where it is secreted and reaches the rest of the brain and body through the nervous system, participating in the regulation of many physiological processes. 

Aplicación terapia Shiatsu Namikoshi

What do endorphins do?

As we have seen, endorphins are involved in multiple processes including: 

  • Decrease and modulation of the sensation of pain.
  • Positive effect on the state of mind which can range from a feeling of relaxation to the point of euphoria. 
  • The endorphins are released at the same time as the ACTHadreno-corticotropic hormone, in response to stressful situations and reduce inflammation.
  • They are part of the homeostasis (self-regulation).
  • They enhance the immune system.
  • They participate in the regulation of the appetitethe function respiratory and the dream.


Shiatsu and endorphins

The Shiatsu stimulates the autonomic nervous system, generating certain biological responses in the body. According to the "Book Among the seven important benefits of Shiatsu therapy for the body is its ability to regulate the functioning of the autonomic nervous system and, in turn, the functioning of hormones.


According to recent research, when Shiatsu causes this stimulationIn the morning, our body produces a natural painkiller: endorphins.

How are endorphins generated with Shiatsu therapy?


The mechanical stimulation of our pressures results in the release of endorphins in the blood, which are responsible for an important part of the effects of Shiatsu. They produce a feeling of well-being in the patient and also a certain light-headedness. Sometimes, at the end of the session, the patient seems to be under the effects of a drug, and in fact he is. He is under the effects of his own endogenous morphine. 



The endorphins are not a single substance, but a family formed by dynorphins, enkephalins, beta-endorphins, etc., with various functions. With this we are now in a position to understand and explain a fact of maximum transcendence: the Shiatsu pressures, carried out at the level of the body, have a very important function. peripheralcause a reaction in the central nervous system, in our brain, which, through the pituitary gland, produces endorphins with effects on a general, systemic level. 


The Shiatsu relieves pain by stimulating the body with pressure and in turn stimulating the release of endorphins. Not all therapies are able to stimulate the body to these levels, which is why we also talk about Shiatsu as a overall treatmentThe therapy is based on a holistic, holistic approach to the body. The therapy is based on a pressure effective because of its characteristics, thus generating beneficial results in the short and long termwithout side effects.

"The heart of Shiatsu is like a mother's love, the pressure on the body stimulates the source of life".


Tokujiro Namikoshi