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Unleashing the healing power of shiatsu

If you spend hours every day hunched over a computer monitor or smart phone, your neck and back muscles can get mad and sore. Stress makes it worse. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams introduces you to a shiatsu expert who explores the healing power of the massage technique.

Steer clear of a deep-tissue massage after a night of drinking. thinkstock.com
Shiatsu massage helps relieve tension and boosts energy. thinkstock.com
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — After a stressful day spent typing on a computer, lugging groceries or doing yard work, your back and neck muscles can tighten up and hurt. Shiatsu massage may help.

Naoko Vold, a shiatsu expert from Rochester, Minnesota, says she learned the ancient technique in Japan and has been practicing since 1968.

"Shiatsu is my passion," Vold says. "It is a way to help people relieve tension and increase energy within 10 to 15 minutes. That's the power of shiatsu."

Vold explains that shiatsu practitioners use their fingers to press on sensitive points on the body, called tsubo in Japanese. Slowly increasing the pressure on those spots helps to balance the body's flow of energy. She says the result is reduced tension and increased energy.

"This is the mystery of shiatsu," Vold says. "It awakens nerve pathways and people feel better quickly."

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Modern medicine is still trying to figure out the mystery behind shiatsu and related therapies. The National Institutes of Health notes on their website that massage can help reduce pain and may help to lessen anxiety. Vold compares how some of her clients feel after a 10-minute session to what you might experience on a much-needed vacation.

"It's similar to the feeling of relief and release you might get when you first see the ocean or a snow-capped mountain," Vold says. "Your whole being goes, 'ah.'"

Vold says shiatsu massage is most effective when done regularly. So she teaches her clients how to do the massage at home.

If you'd like to learn more about Vold's and her Shiatsu program, check out her YouTube channel. Search for Naoko Vold Shiatsu for Everyone.

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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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