As a practitioner of Shiatsu in the House of Commons, Andrew Staib is used to helping people who are stressed and under a lot of pressure.

Now he has extended his practice to treat patients in Sussex.

The ancient art of Shiatsu helps people suffering from illness, injury or the effects of stress.

Mr Staib, from Hove, said: "I see people with all kinds of conditions, including stomach conditions and painful back problems.

"The Movement Shiatsu I offer can help a great deal."

Movement Shiatsu combines psycho-therapeutic methods with traditional Chinese acupressure.

Mr Staib said: "I specialise in helping people discover why they have their physical problems in the first place and try to find out if their injury or illness is something that could be seen as a positive message.

"I use role play, movement and posture work to help people be less of a victim of their complaint and to have a more friendly relationship with their condition."

Shiatsu is a form of bodywork therapy that has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine and the historical massage techniques of Japan.

Modern Shiatsu is based on oriental traditions going back several thousand years combined with ideas and knowledge from modern disciplines such as physiotherapy and psychology.

The term Shiatsu literally means "finger pressure" and, as such, only just begins to describe the work of the Shiatsu practitioner.

In reality, various parts of the giver's body - fingers, thumbs, palms, forearms, even feet and knees - are used to apply pressure to the receiver's body through their clothes.

Shiatsu aims to release tensions, strengthen areas of weakness and to stimulate the body's general immunity and vitality.

Like acupuncture, it is based on Chinese medical theories and adopts a holistic approach, treating the person as an interconnected whole.

Patients are offered a practical way to explore how their symptoms may relate to other areas of their body and to their lives in general.

Mr Staib encourages people to work on their posture which can sometimes contribute to their symptoms.

He said: "There are several ways of looking at helping people. If someone is angry or stressed at work, their shoulders and neck will often tense up which can lead to aches and pains.

"Tension can be a good thing because it increases adrenalin and helps people to get a job done. But too much of it can start to destroy the body, which is not a good idea."

As well as his work in the Commons, Mr Staib has helped in the fields of HIV, drug dependence and domestic violence.

"There are a lot of emotional issues here. The people I have helped have been suffering from fear, anxiety and confusion. Undergoing this type of therapy can help them to relax and address their problems.

"By using movement in a client's session, I can help them become more aware of their body, how they move and how that movement could be contributing to their problem.

"We then explore alternative ways of moving in given daily situations which can release tensions and potential energies that may have become inhibited in the body."

Some of the conditions treated by Mr Staib include tension, back problems, joint stiffness, sciatica and arthritis.

Stress and emotional issues such as insomnia, anxiety, headaches, low energy and depression are also covered.

Many patients are treated for such illnesses as chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and poor digestion.

Mr Staib, who has diplomas in Shiatsu and Movement Shiatsu, is a registered member of the English Shiatsu Society.

He is currently running sessions at the Crescent Clinic in Brighton. More details are available on 01273 202221.