Of all the Japanese massage styles, shiatsu and nuru are arguably two of the best known. In fact, they are probably two of the best known Asian massage. They are two very different massage styles that offer a world of exotic sensations and mesmerising benefits. But which one is better? Here’s what we think.

A Brief History of Japanese massage therapy

All Japanese massage therapies have a background in Chinese medicine. Massage, along with acupuncture and medicinal herbs, has played an integral role in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Its influence spread to Japan in the 6th century when a Buddhist monk introduced massage therapy to the country. The Japanese redeveloped and refined many of the techniques to suit their own beliefs and lifestyles.

Originally, massage was known as anma (tuina in China) and over time, became less associated with medicine and more to do with providing relaxation and pleasure. Desperate to keep the massage aligned with trusted medicinal standards, practitioners began to take measures. This is how shiatsu was born. Tamai Tempaku combined physiotherapy and chiropractic with massage. He used finger pressure applied in specific parts of the body to treat illnesses. In 1964, shiatsu was officially acknowledged as a therapy by the Japanese government.

Nuru massage has a different background. It started off the same as shiatsu, with massage therapy being introduced in Japan in the 6th century. But instead of going down an ‘official’ route, nuru massage was born in the red light districts of Japan. Up until 1954, prostitution was legal in Japan. Then, the laws changed and the sex industry scrambled to adapt. Instead of selling intercourse, they began selling erotic body massages instead and sensually bathing clients, which is also known as a soapy massage. Nuru massage is a variation of that.

What is a shiatsu massage and where can I get one?

What is a shiatsu massage?

Shiatsu is a unique form of Asian massage therapy. It uses finger pressure, focusing on acupressure points. It is based on the theory that there are various energy points on the body and when efficient flow of energy through the body becomes blocked, you are more likely to become ill. Thus, therapists stimulate these points using a series of rhythmic pressures using their fingers, thumbs and palms. Each point is also an area of the body that typically holds the most tension. It is held for two to eight seconds, and initially, you may feel soreness and discomfort but shiatsu clients describe this as “good pain”. If you feel any intense or prolonged discomfort, tell the therapist so they can adjust the pressure for you.

Shiatsu is usually done on a padded mat on the floor or a low massage table, and there is no oil involved so unlike many other massage therapies, you can be fully clothed. This makes shiatsu great for the body-conscious or people who wish to be more modest.

What is a nuru massage?

Like shiatsu, nuru massage is a unique style of therapy. But instead of finger pressure, nuru massage involves the masseuse using her body to massage the client as well as her hands. A special kind of clear gel, that’s specific to nuru massage, is used. It’s made from Nori seaweed which grows off the coast of Japan and has an interestingly viscous texture. When mixed with warm water, it becomes thinner but extremely slippery – which is perfect for a nuru masseuse to start sliding on top of you. For this reason, nuru massage is also known as the body slide massage. The therapist will use a mixture of slides and strokes of her body and grinds of her crotch to provide you an intense combination of deep relaxation and pleasure.

Nuru massage is very erotic and usually performed naked to allow the therapist to move freely. Because of the full naked bodily contact, people have described nuru massage to be as intimate, sensual and sometimes even better than sex.

Shiatsu or Nuru Massage – Which is the best Japanese massage?

Which is the better massage?

It depends on what you want. Both produce very unique sensations, but shiatsu uses a variety of hands pressures while nuru uses a masseuse’s body and weight to create pleasure. Both will leave you feeling totally relaxed, but shiatsu focuses on muscle aches and ironing out the knots in places of major tension while nuru focuses on whole body tension and sexual gratification.

In some ways, nuru may provide a more widespread and deeper level of satisfaction. Places like the shoulders typically carry a lot of stress (hence the saying that refers to stress: “carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders”), and standard massages like shiatsu directly target these areas. But stress is also carried in the sexual areas and we know this because we tend to turn to sex and orgasms to help us sleep and de-stress. But because of society’s ‘taboo’ views on sex, these areas are seldom addressed in therapy and the stress builds up. Even when we have a massage, the stress comes back quickly because of this build up in the sexual areas. Nuru massage helps to release the tensions in this area and you’ll experience head-to-toe tranquillity and physically and mentally relaxed.

But of course, nuru is quite sexual in nature and the body-conscious and people who wish to be more modest may be apprehensive. In that case, shiatsu would be more appropriate. However, nuru is the ideal massage therapy if you’re completely stressed and worn out to the point that you’re suffering from migraines and insomnia. Here at VIP outcall we offer these services on location anywhere in London so if you want to book yourself the cheapest and best outcall nuru massage in Kings Cross then don’t hang about as our sexy Asian masseuses are proving to be very popular!