Shiatsu is a Japanese massage technique of applying pressure to specific points located along the body's 14 energy channels (meridians). The practitioner may use his or her fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows, knees and feet to conduct the massage. The effect of this treatment is to increase the flow of energy (qi) throughout the body as a whole. Energy blockages are released, allowing qi to flow more freely. Shiatsu benefits the muscles and joints as well as the internal organs, and can be used to treat stress within the body as well as disorders relating to the muscles and skeleton (musculoskeletal system).