is a Japanese technique that functions by harmonising the subtle energies
in the human body through manual pressure. Like acupuncture, it is based on
the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Shiatsu in its present
form was developed in the early 20th century.
According to the precepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine,
life energy circulates throughout the human body via a network of twelve
subtle channels known as meridians. Each meridian is associated with the
functions of an internal organ and with a set of psychological
Ideally, the energy would be perfectly balanced throughout
the circuit of meridians, enabling the individual to function in perfect
harmony. Alas, physical and psychological stress as well as external
factors can disrupt the smooth flow of this life energy, leading to
energetic imbalance and stagnation which in turn, if the situation
continues, create physical and psychological tension.
The technique of Shiatsu consists of manual pressure and
stretches applied to the meridians and the acupuncture points situated
along them. These movements painlessly liberate and regulate the
circulation of energy.
energetic harmonisation helps the receiver to regain physical and
psychological balance. By breaking down energy blockages in the
meridians, Shiatsu prevents tension from taking root and becoming a
permanent fixture in the individual, which could eventually lead to
illness. Because the blockages have been liberated, the receiver recovers
his or her own "immunity". He or she is thus better equipped to
deal with problems and to resist illness. By favouring this immunity,
Shiatsu can play a role in the prevention of physical affliction and
A person undergoing a Shiatsu session is not the passive
recipient of a treatment, rather an active participant in the search for
his or her own harmony.
On a mechanical level, the movements performed in Shiatsu
stimulate the lymphatic system - which is linked to the immune system -
and the circulation of blood.
is recommended to help deal with stress-related conditions: tension,
headaches, back pain, sleep disturbance, nervous problems.
In Japan, Shiatsu is
officially recognised as being « therapeutic » by the Ministry of Health
which defined it in 1955 as follows: "Shiatsu is a form of
manipulation using the thumbs and the palms and employing no tools
mechanical or otherwise, which applies pressure to the human skin to
correct defective internal functioning, promote and maintain health and
treat specific illnesses ".
The main contraindications
to Shiatsu are:
- cancer in the progressive stage
- open wounds
- non-consolidated fractures
Shiatsu is a non-conventional medicine according to the
definition of Resolution A4-0075/97 of the European Parliament. It cannot
substitute for a visit to a health professional.
I observe the ethical code of the Institut
Francais de Shiatsu: