Shiatsu (“finger pressure”) is a hands-on therapy that originated in Japan. Similar to acupressure, there are no needles involved in shiatsu. Shiatsu therapists use finger and palm pressure to stimulate pressure points with a therapeutic intention to restore harmony and balance to the recipient.

Shiatsu is often associated with a form of energy or meridian based therapy (referred as Zen shiatsu or Meridian shiatsu) in the West.  However, the shiatsu officially taught and commonly practiced in Japan is mainly based on the neuromuscular system which has incorporated a philosophy and techniques of Western body works (spondylotherapy, osteopathy, and chiropractic), and elements of traditional Japanese massage and manipulation techniques (Anma, Doin, and Judo-Kappo) .

Characteristics of Shiatsu

Relaxation ***

Therapeutic ***

Intensity: Moderate to Strong

Lubrication: no

Undressing: no

Tip: Depends on facility

How to interpret the rating scale

applying thumb pressure shiatsu massage to client's back

Shiatsu is available at Toronto Shiatsu Clinic

 Tips! How to Find a Shiatsu Therapist

Shiatsu therapy is not regulated in any province in Canada or the U.S. Virtually anybody can practice shiatsu or call him- or herself a shiatsu therapist. Training courses for shiatsu can vary from several weekend workshops to over 2,200 hours of schooling.  Read more…(How to Find a Shiatsu Therapist)


Shiatsu – Shape of Thumb Describes the Experience of Therapist

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