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Principles of Shiatsu


Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork, based on the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine. Shiatsu can assist an individual with strengthening the body's own healing abilities, promoting health and well-being. The word shiatsu translates literally from the Japanese as "finger pressure".

In practice, the thumbs, palms, elbows and knees are used to apply pressure to various parts of the body. Pressure can be gentle or firm, depending on the condition being treated. Treatment may also include the use of stretches and gentle rotations of the limbs and joints in order to support the flow of the "Ki" (or Chi)- the life force energy.

5 elements of Shiatsu


Shiatsu is a recognized form of complementary therapy. The theory of traditional Chinese medicine proposes that energy, moves through the body in well-defined channels or pathways known as meridians.

Good health is reliant upon the harmonious flow of Ki through the meridian system. Any blockage, stagnation or imbalance within the meridian system can result in physical, psychological and emotional discomfort.

By working the pressure points and meridians, blockages can be dissolved and the flow of energy can be harmonized. At the same time, body awareness will be improved. The Shiatsu therapist has a wide variety of different techniques available to tailor the treatment to your needs. Shiatsu can have a soothing as well as a invigorating effect.






Though shiatsu is a Japanese form of therapy, its origin is linked to ancient Chinese philosophy. It was developed during the early years of the twentieth century. In the year 1919, Tamai Tempaku, the originator of shiatsu technique published his writing called Shiatsu Ho, which was a combination of Anma (a massage therapy carried out by the blind), Ampuku (abdominal massage used during childbirth), other therapeutic exercises, and western anatomy and physiology.

A few significant events occurred that led to the evolution of shiatsu therapy

  • Between 1911 - 1925: The Shiatsu Law defined the term "Shiatsu" for the first time.
  • In 1955: Shiatsu got legal approval to be a part of Anma massage.
  • In 1957: Ministry of Health and Welfare officially licensed the Japan Shiatsu School.
  • In 1964: Shiatsu was recognized as a distinct therapy.


The evolution of Shiatsu massage as a recognizable therapy is due to the efforts of Takujiro Namikoshi. He was a small boy when his family shifted to Hokkaido in the year 1905. He was the one who unknowingly practiced this technique on his mother who was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. His mother said that she was better relieved of the pain when he gave her a massage, as compared to his siblings. He realized that pressing provided more relief than rubbing, and eventually helped in healing his mother's body completely.

This experience made him realize that this technique could also prove beneficial in treating other ailments of the body. Takujiro Namikoshi opened the Shiatsu Institute of Therapy in Hokkaido in 1925. In the year 1940, he opened the Japan Shiatsu Institute in Tokyo. The Ministry of Health and Welfare licensed the school in the name of Japan Shiatsu School after its legal acceptance as a part of Anma.




Shiatsu benefits the entire body from superficial to deep tissues, fascial, myofascial, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, digestive, circulatory, eliminative, respiratory and craniosacral systems.

Regular Treatment:
  • relaxes mind and body revitalize the skin
  • limbers muscles and promote proper joint alignment
  • stimulates the circulation of blood and lymph, supplying nourishment to the bodys cells
  • regulates neural functions
  • controls the endocrine system
  • adjusts the spine for proper skeletal alignment and posture
  • promotes a healthy digestive system



Shiatsu can be used for:

  • neck and shoulder pain
  • back pain
  • sciatica
  • headaches and migraines
  • whiplash
  • frozen shoulder
  • insomnia
  • pre-menstrual syndrome


  • sore, stiff joints
  • muscle tension and spasms
  • minor depression
  • fatigue
  • stress reduction
  • maintenance of good health



  • A session lasts about 60 minutes and takes on a place on a futon on the floor
  • Please bring or wear loose fitting clothing and clean socks, preferably cotton
  • It is not advisable to eat a heavy meal prior to the treatment
  • Drink plenty of water afterwards and avoid alcohol before and after treatment
  • If possible, minimize strenuous or stressful activities after a session

Shiatsu is for everyone – of any size, weight, age, strength or flexibility.

Every treatment is tailored to suit each client’s individual needs so absolutely anyone can enjoy a full Shiatsu Massage.

It can range from very gentle and relaxing to energetic and invigorating, depending on your needs and preferences which we will discuss prior to the massage along with any physical problems or issues to make sure that the treatment is applied safely.

I am a Shiatsu practitioner and my aim is to promote your health, but I cannot replace a doctor or alternative practitioner. Medical therapies essential for your health should therefore not be interrupted, discontinued, postponed or cancelled in advance.