From ArticleWorld

Shiatsu is of Japanese origin and combines an understanding of how the body works incorporating western principles of anatomy and physiology with thousands of years of eastern philosophy and experience. In its traditional form, it involves only the use of thumbs, palms and fingers pressing and stretching the body. In some schools, however, knees and elbows are also used.

In 1964, it was officially accepted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan and has been fully incorporated into the public healthcare system of that country.


Shiatsu is considered beneficial for many conditions. Included among these are the more minor complaints like poor sleeping habits and stress to back pain, migraine, whiplash and asthma.


Shiatsu is founded on the same principles as acupuncture with the difference that no needles are used. In both practices, the concept of 'qi' is the most important. Qi is the vital energy that flows around the body via meridians, the channels that run through and connect all the parts of the body. Energy flow may be interrupted or blocked for some reason and this causes illness or a feeling of ill health.

The Shiatsu practitioner takes into consideration the symptoms and the state of health of the subject and devises a treatment plan. While some conditions can be treated successfully after only one visit, others may take from five to ten sessions. The aim is to balance qi and restore harmony to the body and the soul, as the idea is to treat the body as a whole and not just the symptoms.