img_shiatsuWhat is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a Japanese therapy, translated literally shiatsu means ‘finger pressure’. Following the same theories as acupuncture and Tai Chi, shiatsu therapists work with the vital energy of the body known as Ki (Qi/Chi in Chinese), using hands on approaches to address imbalances in the meridians of the body and the pressure points along these meridians (also known as acupuncture points).

As well as working the meridians and their points, shiatsu therapists also use other techniques to improve the well being of their clients, such as mobilisation of joints, cross fibre massage, fascia unwinding and rhythmic joint mobilisation.

Shiatsu has been describes as Japanese physiotherapy, Massage and Acupuncture without needles. None of these descriptions give you a full picture but may give you some idea – of course there is no substitute for trying it yourself!

Why have a Shiatsu Treatment?

Shiatsu helps to restore balance in the body’s energy system – where there is imbalance there will be ill health or discomfort. In Shiatsu theory, as well as most Eastern theory, each meridian is linked to a body organ and body system (e.g. the Heart meridian governs the heart and the circulatory system), and restoring balance to a meridian will improve a condition linked to the meridian, it’s organ and system. Shiatsu cannot claim to cure, but most clients feel some benefit.

As Shiatsu treatments are physical, treatments can also be very effective at reducing symptoms or conditions caused by tight muscles, for example headaches, neck, back and shoulder pain, stress and many structural imbalances.

Shiatsu is also fantastic for those that just want some ‘me time’ and relaxation – you don’t have to have something ‘wrong’ to benefit from a treatment – think of it as a service or M.O.T. for the body to keep it in optimum working order.

What happens during a treatment?

You will remain fully clothed throughout the treatment so it is important to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Natural fibres are preferred but not essential.

Shiatsu is traditionally performed on a Japanese futon (a thin but comfortable mattress) on the floor, however it is so versatile, treatments can easily be given seated or lying on a couch.

A detailed history will be taken, please give as much information as possible as this will determine the treatment given. All information is kept strictly private and confidential. Shiatsu practitioners registered with the Shiatsu Society are bound by a code of ethics and no personal judgements will be made about any of the information you provide, other than for the purposes of diagnosis.

Pre and Post treatment consideration.

If you suspect you have a health problem you must consult your GP.

  • Do not eat at least 1 hour before your treatment.
  • Refrain from heavy meals, alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine on the day of your treatment.
  • Drink plenty of water after your treatment.
  • You may feel cold during or after a treatment so it is advisable to bring as extra layer with you. Please inform me if you are cold during the treatment, your comfort is paramount.
  • Your body will continue the healing process for some time after the treatment. Listen to it – if you are tired; rest, if you are thirsty; drink more water. You must provide your body with the best environment to heal.

How will I feel after a treatment?


Everybody reacts differently, most feel calm and relaxed and have a good nights sleep following the treatment, some feel their joints are more mobile, some that their aches and pains improved, some feel great ‘for no reason’. On incredibly rare occasions clients may feel tired or experience flu like symptoms. This is part of the healing process and should be seen as a positive reaction. Drink plenty of water, eat foods high in antioxidants and rest.

If you ever have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.

Susie Heals is our Shiatsu Practitioner. Click on the photo to learn more about Susie’s work.