Shiatsu Society (UK)


Statement last updated @October 19th 2020

Update for Shiatsu Society Practitioners based in Wales - 19th October 2020

Following the announcement by the Welsh Government of a “fire-break lockdown”, this is relevant information taken from the Welsh Government website this afternoon.

A short, sharp “circuit breaker” or “fire-break” will be introduced across Wales at the end of this week to help regain control of coronavirus. This means that a series of restrictive measures will be in place from 6pm Friday 23 October until the start of Monday 9 November 2020.

What restrictions will be in place?

  • people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • people must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with
  • certain businesses and venues, including our sector must close
  • face coverings continue to be mandatory in the indoor public spaces that remain open (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions), including on public transport and in taxis
What will happen after Monday 9 November?

Following the end of the fire-break, a new set of national rules will be introduced, covering how people can meet and how the public sector and businesses operate.

Can hairdressers and beauty salons stay open?

No. All close contact services including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, and sports and massage therapists are required to close. Since Shiatsu practitioners offer Close Contact services, this means that practitioners in Wales cannot give hands-on treatments until the lockdown is lifted.

The Shiatsu Society recommends that you contact your Welsh Assembly representative and your MP to discuss any financial help available. Basic information on financial support for businesses is available here. 

Further information on the firebreak lockdown is available here

We will keep you informed of further updates as they occur.

Sending you positive thoughts in this challenging situation

Shiatsu Society Board


Shiatsu Society Practitioners based in England - 14th October 2020

The new three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England has come into force today.

There is no specific change of guidelines for Close Contact services in Medium and High Alert Level areas. There may be changes to guidelines in Very High Level areas. This alert level currently applies to the Liverpool City Region only, but could change at any time. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures, these could include the closing of personal care and Close Contact services or prohibiting the highest-risk activities. Our treatments come under the Close Contact guidance, so Shiatsu would be affected if there were additional measures made by local authorities in Very High Level areas. Further information on the Very High local alert level can be found here.

To understand if there are additional restrictions in your area please check the postcode checker on GOV.UK which shows which alert level applies in each area, as well as checking guidelines published by your local authority.

We will keep you updated with updates as they occur.


Best wishes,

Shiatsu Society Board 

Shiatsu Society Practitioners in Wales can return to work - July 27th

We are pleased to announce that following the Government announcement on Friday 24th July, practitioners based in Wales can return to work from Monday 27th July.

Shiatsu Society Practitioners in Scotland can return to work on the 22nd July - July 17th 

We’ve heard tonight that practitioners based in Scotland can return to hands-on treatments on the 22nd July providing they adhere to Scottish Government guidelines plus our own Back to Work guidance. We are delighted to hear this news and look forward to practitioners being able to recommence supporting clients.

Shiatsu Society Practitioners in England can return to work - July 13th 

Last week the UK Government announced that close contact services, including our sector are able to return to work if they are based in England.

We are therefore pleased to announce that Shiatsu Society Members can resume Shiatsu practice in England only for the present from the 13th July.  

Practitioners will be required to adhere to the Close Contact Service Guidelines issued by the Government and the Shiatsu Society Return to Work pack. This announcement does not apply to those based in a local lockdown area. 

Practitioners based in Wales have a provisional start date of the 27th July. We are awaiting guidance from the Scottish Government on a return date. 

We welcome this move forward for practitioners to provide this essential service. 

News Release - Integrated Healthcare Collaborative and Shiatsu Society UK
- June 26th 

Inconsistent government lockdown easing policies lack scientific basis and clarity says Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC)

The Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC), of which the Shiatsu Society is a Core Member, has written to the Prime Minister to demand the government explains its scientific justification for preventing complementary healthcare workers from returning to practice.

The complementary, traditional and natural healthcare industry has been fully supportive of, and compliant with, the government’s measures to control the spread of Covid-19. As such, the majority of practitioners and therapists have been unable to provide consultations in person, although many have continued to support clients remotely where possible. 

However, in recent weeks, the government has allowed professions, such as physiotherapists and podiatrists, who practise in a setting and mode of practice akin to complementary, traditional and natural healthcare workers, to return to work. In addition, hairdressers and barbers, who also provide close contact services, have now been told by the government that they too can return to work, as long as they take precautions.

The IHC is concerned that there does not appear to be any logic, clarity, or scientific basis to the government’s decision-making in this area. Indeed, many complementary healthcare workers believe that this policy is unfair, inconsistent, and discriminatory. The result is that this valuable sector of the healthcare workforce, and clients who use their services, continue to suffer.

Healthcare professionals in this sector contribute to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of millions of people across the UK. They want to return to practice as soon as possible, but cannot, because of this continued confusion and non-science-based policy-making by the government.

The IHC has asked the Prime Minister to publish the government’s scientific advice and justification for continuing to prevent the return to practice of this sector of the healthcare workforce, and to provide clarity on when they will be able to do so.

The Shiatsu Society is working hard with its colleagues in the IHC to hold the government to account in this matter, and to take action so that our members can return to work quickly and safely.

Shiatsu Society Statement - June 24th

Following the Government announcement on the 23rd June 2020, we would like to confirm that the Shiatsu Society position has not changed. Our advice to members is to continue suspending face-to-face contact as social distancing is still required.

We continue to advise you to follow Government Guidelines and refer to the Government website.

If you are based in Scotland also check the NHS Inform Scotland and Public Health Scotland websites and for Wales see Public Health Wales.

Please be assured we are following government statements closely and will be keeping you abreast of changes as they happen.

Wishing you all patience and fortitude in these challenging times.

Shiatsu Society Board Directors


Shiatsu Society Statement - March 20th

Advice to Members to suspend face to face contact until further notice

Until now we have left decisions on continuing with clinical practice up to individual members but last night our partner organisation CNHC issued the following statement and we’ve decided that the Shiatsu Society should also take this position:

CNHC’s position is that you should suspend seeing your clients until further notice

We don’t yet know if this advice from your own professional organisation will assist you with insurance or benefit claims, any information that you can share with us would be gratefully received and disseminated

Here’s a link to current government guidelines:

Until now we have avoided a blanket suggestion to cease Shiatsu treatments because of the important role of our therapy in healthcare. There have been emails and facebook posts calling for a stronger stance from us and we do ask that you remember we are juggling our role as Directors with our personal and professional lives! We also respect your autonomy and your capacity to make individual decisions, but the landscape has changed again and we must act fairly and responsibly for the greater good

However we also recognise that this is a very serious challenge to self-employed practitioners with no alternative income stream and we’ll all be looking at ways in which we can creatively continue both to support our clients and to survive financially

We’ll be updating you regularly as the situation unfolds and meanwhile wishing you all the best of health and spirits!

Shiatsu Society Directors