Shiatsu for elite Sport

Women's Superliga 2 Professional Player

Torrejón Volleyball Club. Natalia Tobón.

Athletes like me are often offered only one or two absolute treatments for our injuries. With Shiatsu, I have disproved this absolutism that is so common in sport today.  

I have never been one to resort to painkillers all the time, as they tend to cause chemical imbalances in my body, and I feel that abusing them would do more harm than good. That is why I have always gone to my trusted physiotherapist to treat my volleyball ailments.


It is true that the treatment is effective, as I have recovered from injuries in days that, according to my orthopaedic surgeon, would require weeks of rest. But it is worth noting the "violent" nature of this therapy, as it focuses only on the point of pain for a prolonged period of time, and exerts intense pressure that often goes beyond the line of pleasant pain.

After a session, the sore area feels as if it has been hit repeatedly, rather than treated in order to heal it. On occasion, muscle fatigue has prevented me from training after a session.

A couple of days ago I received my first Shiatsu session, due to an intense back pain that I have been carrying for several months. When I was informed about the therapy, I had my doubts about its effectiveness, as it is supposedly a therapy that does not seek pain and does not treat only the painful point, but is a global treatment. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the therapy.

To begin with, the session was on a stretcher, in silence and in a very relaxing atmosphere; which allowed my muscles to gradually but quickly relax. In my thinking, the painful area is always the most crucial to treat, but I was wrong to see that the area that hurt the most was the last one we treated.

The "general to specific" view is in complete contrast to my experiences in physiotherapy, as well as the absence of excruciating pain in Shiatsu.

At the end of the session, I felt light, relaxed, at peace and many other adjectives far less important than the lack of the constant back pain I struggled with on a daily basis. That night I slept pleasantly and without the need to wake up late at night because of the unbearable tension in my back.

This experience has certainly changed my view on how to treat my injuries and will be another therapy I will consider in improving my overall health.