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Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage which involves applying pressure to various points on the body. The therapist will often use their elbows, knees, fingers or feet during the session.

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu aims to support and strengthen the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself. It is a holistic therapy and incorporates the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of being. The aim of Shiatsu is to restore the ‘chi’ (energy) in the body; to release tension, aid healing and promote health.

There is no current evidence that Shiatsu is an effective medical treatment, however the therapy may be used to help:

  • Improve energy levels
  • Relieves tension and stress
  • Deeply relaxing
  • Helps aid sleep

Shiatsu is not recommended by NICE and should not be used in cases of cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, osteoporosis or fractures.

Are there any side effects of Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a safe therapy but some people may experience mild side effects after a session, such as headaches or muscle stiffness. This should only last for a few hours. If these symptoms continue, you should contact your GP for advice.

How can I find a Shiatsu Practitioner?

There is currently no professional body that monitors Shiatsu therapists. To find a practitioner, visit the Shiatsu Society Website.

Last updated: May 13, 2022

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