Like acupunture, shiatsu is based on a system of 12 meridians and 8 curious vessels. The work consists of pressures on « tsubos » (energy points), connections, relaxing and dynamising massages, and do in (stretching). Chakras are used as well.
When symptoms disappear, it is a relief, but not necessarily the evidence that the therapy is doing the appropriate thing. The real efficiency has more to see with the deep energetic re-balancing that takes place. Its effects are physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual as well (this being seen as a whole).
As Tokujiro Namikoshi says, « the heart of shiatsu is like pure motherly love. Pressure with the hands make the streams of life flow».