Thursday, November 18, 2021


One technique that comes from traditional Shiatsu Therapy is the practice of walking on the patient's backside.   Walking on the backside creates a natural stretching exercise for both spine and connective tissue which is often compressed, tight, and misaligned.  The technique is a balancing act that demands finesse.   In Japan, some therapists use a parasol for balancing in the same way a tight rope walker does.

While the patient lies prone upon a mat on the floor, the therapist skillfully steps on the buttocks and back. One must take care never to crush the recipient!  Therefore guidelines are mandatory. 

The first is sizing.  The patient whether a male or female, must not be slighter,  thinner, or smaller than the practitioner for full weight-bearing.  It is preferable that they are of equal weight and build, or the patient should be larger and heavier than the therapist.   If the patient is a slight build then the therapist may apply only one foot to the back rather than both feet.  One foot is also used for massaging the shoulders, arms, and hands.

Secondly, one never steps on the area where the kidneys are located, or on the neck, or upon a very frail person, or on a pregnant woman even in her early trimester.  This rule applies to whether or not a patient is recovering from an operation or accident, and too if this technique would trigger PTSD.  Don't walk on their back!  Common sense must be applied.

The third rule is never to jump on the recipient.  Only carefully placed footing on safe backside areas are to be used in a rhythmic and gentle manner.

Lastly, one follows the patient's comfort zone.  It is important that the patient is able to breathe easily and not be encumbered.   Do not overuse this technique or apply it longer than the patient is able to receive this technique.   It is not suitable for everyone, nor is every therapist skilled in the technique. 

Little children make enthusiastic and natural walking on the back therapists when shown how to do it correctly.   Their light weight is sufficient to give some relief to a backside that is weary and tense.  Children find it great fun and it is a wholesome family activity to share together. 

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