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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Beth Holz, MS, RN, FNP, HNC (Private Practice)
Description: This concise manual provides an overview of shiatsu principles and applications for antenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal care. Basic energy-based theory, derived from Eastern healing arts, provides the foundation upon which hands-on shiatsu applications are described.
Purpose: Shiatsu, based upon traditional Chinese and Japanese healing approaches, is used to promote the balance of the body's natural energy. This book identifies core midwifery skills using "touch, gentle pressure and massage" to promote nurturing throughout the perinatal period. The author's goal is to promote the therapeutic use of touch in maternity care, as well as support training programs facilitating development of "core skills" using shiatsu. Since shiatsu training is typically extensive, this book serves to support shorter focused programs. This book is an educational tool used for the incorporation of shiatsu into midwifery practice. Information is considered supplemental to practical training experiences.
Audience: Although intended for midwives, this book is appropriate for women's health professionals, bodywork practitioners, and complementary therapy health professionals. The lead author is a shiatsu practitioner and educator in the United Kingdom. She has developed specialized experience working with midwives and pregnant women for thirteen years. Her descriptions of shiatsu applications for labor through postnatal periods include technique, point identification, and case studies.
Features: The book encompasses professional issues related to the use of shiatsu, Eastern energy concepts, hands-on applications for the perinatal period, and the use of shiatsu for self-healing. Applications are organized according to areas of the body and include specific routines (back routines, coccyx release, occipito-sacral balance, sacral opening/gathering, neck, head and shoulder routines). Identifying specific techniques to address common problems of pregnancy and labor, this book serves as a significant reference for bodywork practitioners. References and summary of research are specific to the use of shiatsu in maternity care. Readers would benefit from additional diagrams outlining each of the 12 meridians within the appendixes.
Assessment: This is a worthwhile addition to resources on holistic healing using touch. It offers information specific to maternity care that is not easily found in other bodywork therapy books.