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Studying Shiatsu

Last Updated May 21, 2021

Studying Shiatsu

Do you believe in the power of your hands to heal? If so, you have the makings of a Shiatsu therapist, one who is capable of fusing the elements of manual therapies and Chinese medicine to help others achieve optimal health. Whether you're new to oriental therapies or want to expand your skill set as a natural health professional, the study of Shiatsu massage will get you on the road to success.  

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a holistic bodywork that originated in Japan. It's a Japanese word which literally translates to finger pressure for the simple reason that the therapist uses their fingers and palms to balance the flow of qi, or energy, within the body to promote health and support the body's natural healing mechanism. Shiatsu increases blood circulation, which is crucial in addressing a wide range of physical, emotional and mental health issues, including:

  • Conditions shiatsu can help withChronic pain
  • Muscle tension
  • Neck and back pain
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive problems
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Hypertension
  • Labour pain

This form of massage therapy also improves the quality of sleep, reduces body weight and enhances the overall quality of life. Research shows that it's also beneficial to palliative care patients and an effective adjuvant therapy for people with schizophrenia. 

Many people love receiving a Shiatsu treatment to improve their health, but an interesting survey by the Shiatsu Therapy Association of Australia (STAA), the peak association for Shiatsu practitioners, revealed that more than half of their practitioners have female clients. About 48% reported that they get male and female clients, while 1% said that their clients are mostly males.   

Why is it Worth Studying?

Shiatsu is as much an energy healing modality as it is a manual therapy, thus capable of resolving any health problem at its root. A course in Shiatsu will educate you on the wonderful changes that you can make to a person's body, mind and emotions using manipulation techniques that are deeply rooted in the meridian systems. You will be able to apply the theory and principles of the modality in different clinical settings, improving the quality of patient care by providing treatments under the supervision of a Shiatsu practitioner.

Your hands-on training experience will not only hone your skills but also allow you to choose a specific program and demographic to work with. It's not only spa customers who can enjoy the positive effects of Shiatsu. In fact, this form of complementary therapy provides significant pain reduction in pregnant women and cancer patients. Although it's not part of the standard care for cancer, this type of medicine is an effective adjunct therapy as it helps reduce the pain intensity that cancer patients experience. 

Earning a qualification in Shiatsu will pave the way for a rewarding career. You may seek employment in any healthcare facility and collaborate with other health professionals, assist people working in the corporate world who suffer from back pain and headaches, or set up a private practice and manage your own schedule.

What's the Best Shiatsu Course?

Shiatsu courses in Australia

There are different pathways to learning shiatsu as there are for other forms of therapies. If you're looking to satisfy your curiosity or learn basic techniques which you can use on family members when the need for a soothing massage arises, a short course or weekend workshop may suffice.  

However, if you want to follow in the footsteps of most practitioners, who went on to practise Shiatsu straight away after completing their studies, enrolling in the Diploma of Shiatsu & Oriental Therapies, a nationally accredited qualification in Australia, is the way to go. As well as showcasing the efficacy of Shiatsu in the treatment of a variety of conditions, you will be able to join the country's professional bodies for Shiatsu and massage practitioners and expand your clientele in no time.

You will find several Shiatsu schools in Australia that offer introductory courses to walk you through the theoretical aspects of Shiatsu. This will prove to be beneficial to you later on, especially if you decide to pursue an accredited course and earn your qualification to become a full-fledged Shiatsu therapist.

Where Can You Earn a Qualification in Shiatsu?

Nothing beats studying with an accredited Shiatsu school that isn't only capable of providing you with unparalleled training but an exclusive ticket to the country's peak bodies for Shiatsu professionals, which include the STAA. Your affiliation with them coupled with your skills and tools for healing will boost your career in Shiatsu in the shortest time possible.

If you're ready to take the first step of your journey to success, check out the Australian Shiatsu College, which offers students an all-inclusive training program through its diploma course. Looking for an online course that teaches the basic principles of Shiatsu? Look no further, for the Health and Harmony Colleges has an impressive online learning management system which allows you to interact with your instructors seamlessly.

To find other natural health modalities which you can study alongside Shiatsu, you may browse through the complete list of courses on the Natural Therapy Pages.

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Originally published on Dec 11, 2020

FAQs About Studying Shiatsu

What is shiatsu good for?

Shiatsu is a kind of bodywork that stimulates the body's meridian systems to address imbalances and improve the flow of energy. In doing so, a Shiatsu practitioner can treat a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, including back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, digestive disorders, fatigue, insomnia, stress, anxiety and many others.

What is shiatsu a form of?

Shiatsu is a form of acupressure that works with the body's energy channels to address all sorts of ailments and diseases. A Shiatsu therapist employs gentle pressure to different acupressure points on the body that are connected to the meridians to eliminate pain and other conditions linked to it.

Is Shiatsu the same as acupressure?

No, Shiatsu and acupressure have their distinct differences. Firstly, Shiatsu is a holistic modality that works with the physical, emotional, mental and energetic bodies of an individual. Acupressure, on the other hand, focuses on the acupoints which correspond with organs in the body to address a specific condition. Secondly, Shiatsu employs static pressure, while acupressure applies pressure with a circular motion.

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