Touch Therapy

Photo by Mikey McNulty

Photograph by Mikey McNulty

Qua’s signature meditative shiatsu treatment heals and balances the body.

by Melissa Broughton

This unique blend of two therapies—shiatsu and cranial-sacral—is an intensely healing, restorative combination. Having experienced both shiatsu and cranial-sacral separately, I was curious when I saw both treatments combined as one at Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace.

Shiatsu, which means “finger pressure” in Japanese, uses a technique based on applying pressure to points on the body, in contrast to the “sweeping” movements of a traditional massage. Much like acupuncture (without the needles), shiatsu utilizes what Chinese medicine refers to as the meridians of our bodies—points that connect to certain body parts and organs. When you’re healthy, energy, or “Qi,” flows freely through the meridians; but sometimes these pathways become blocked, creating imbalances resulting in pain and weakness, explains Shannon Stringert, Qua’s spa director. Shiatsu can correct these imbalances and reenergize the body.

The treatment concludes with a cranial-sacral massage, which Stringert explains as “a series of light holds and compressions on the scalp.” Although the treatment is light, it can ease deep tension in the body and has been known to treat stress, neck and back pain, as well as migraines.

Combining the relaxing touch of a cranial-sacral massage with the art of shiatsu is both healing and calming. “Most massage treatments promote relaxation or rejuvenation,” explains Stringert. “It’s not often that you can experience both together. The massage starts off as a traditional shiatsu treatment, relieving pain and easing tension within the body, and the last portion of the massage is dedicated to clearing and calming the mind.”

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