About shiatsu

Shiatsu is a physical therapy which uses a combination of pressure points, gentle manipulation and stretching to re-energise weak areas and reduce tension in the body. By applying sensitive, mindful, static touch with thumbs, fingers and palms, the Shiatsu giver affects the functioning of physical systems such as nervous, circulatory and respiratory, thus supporting the body’s innate self-healing abilities and promoting a sense of relaxation and wellbeing.  

Shiatsu can be learned by everyone. Some train to professional practitioner level; some learn sufficient to support friends and family at an informal level.

Based in East Asian Medicine

Originating in Japan, Shiatsu has grown internationally since the 1970's. It is an evolving form of bodywork, incorporating influences from both East Asian Medicine and Western medicine and therapies.

Practical and accessible

Shiatsu is given through clothes, so is practical for everyday workplace and family settings without the need for privacy and extra room heating. Traditionally practised on a futon at floor level, Shiatsu can also be received on a treatment table or chair.  Although a professional Shiatsu session will generally take place in a clinic room or client’s home, community or family-based Shiatsu can be shared anywhere – at the kitchen table, in the garden, on the beach.

Shiatsu is safe and effective

Academic research indicates that Shiatsu is safe and can reduce a wide range of symptoms, improving quality of life and reducing dependency on medication.

Shiatsu touch, in its stillness, depth and gentle compassion, is able to support the whole person.

Shiatsu should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment, but can be used alongside medical treatment.


Common questions about Shiatsu

Find out more about Shiatsu and the answer to questions you might have

Download our leaflet for more information 

What is shiatsu

Shiatsu Society Leaflet