Zen Shiatsu

Zen Shiatsu - The Hara, diagnosis and treatment with attentive and sensitive fingers.


In Japanese

'Shi' is 'finger',  'Atsu' is 'pressure'; 

Shiatsu means 'finger pressure'. 


Shiatsu uses fingers, but also 

palms, elbows, knees, and feet 

to treat the physical body. 


The physical is enhanced by 

deep energy work, 

the essential life force of the body.  

What is Zen Shiatsu?

Zen Shiatsu is a gentle yet highly effective traditional Japanese body work technique that follows the philosophical ideas and teachings of Shizuto Masunaga Sensei. It is rooted in the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the core concept of Qi (energy). The goal is to improve health and to balance disharmony by stimulating the natural healing power of the body. The primary form of communication with the receiver is physical contact. 


Zen Shiatsu Technique incorporates physical bodywork on anatomical body structures and subtle energy work on meridians (energy lines). This is a holistic therapy which affects physical, mental and emotional aspects of the receiver. For this it is said that Zen Shiatsu is a healing art, an experience that touches the body as well as the mind.


The Zen Shiatsu Experience is grounded in the subtle practices of concentration and meditation. Key principles of the method are -  awareness and sensitivity, empathy and compassion, focused mind and unconditional giving, unity and flow, listening and feeling, intuition and creativity, spontaneity and simplicity, trust and surrender,nourishment and support, breath and hara (tan tien).


All these are qualities cultivated in the Zen Shiatsu Therapist, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the healing experience while giving a relaxing and pleasant bodywork session. It is a mutual interaction, a meeting of giving and receiving in a safe and trusting environment where real and lasting change can occur.


Zen Shiatsu is a place where east meets west, where ancient medicinal traditions of the orient meet modern medical knowledge, gleaning the best of each and offering a comprehensive and holistic healing experience for body and mind.


For details and content of Zen Shiatsu study programs 

go to the Zen Shiatsu Levels page.

Zen Shiatsu for back and legs with rocking technique

Zen Shiatsu Integrated

In a Zen Shiatsu Integrated Treatment natural therapeutic methods are combined with a holistic approach to give a treatment that accesses body and mind in one complete and comprehensive session. 


The Shiatsu practitioner follows the working principle of integration, using physical bodywork of leaning, pressure, stretches and manipulations together with subtle and focused energy methods. The application of these methods integrates theoretical knowledge and intuition, heightened sensitivity with mindful attentiveness, feeling the structures of the body while 'listening' to its currents and rhythms.


In the Zen Shiatsu Integrated Courses, students learn all the necessary skills to work in an integrated manner, as well as acquiring knowledge and tools for cultivating their personal health and well-being. A balanced and healthy person is an important foundation for an effective and skillful practitioner. For this reason, Integrated Zen Shiatsu means not only integration of healing techniques, but also integration on the level of the individual practitioner who is attentive to his/her balance of the body and mind, and strives to maintain this balance on a daily basis. Such personal cultivation allows the giving of efficient and beneficial treatments without tiring or injuring the practitioner. Some of the tools which can be applied are the practices of general, physical exercise, yoga, tai chi chuan, qi gong, do-in and meditation.    

Scalp, head and face treatment - acupressure points for all the meridians in the body
Zen Shiatsu - shoulders, arms and hands, stretching and releasing tension and moving the qi.
Shiatsu - Using thumbs to work on pressure points that affect the whole body, from head to feet, physical and energy work.

Zen Shiatsu Study - for who?

Learning Zen Shiatsu is not only for some one who wants to become a professional practitioner. Any one can learn Shiatsu simply to improve personal health and develop more awareness of the body and its energetic processes. Learning shiatsu will also enable you to participate actively in the support of health and well-being of friends and family.Any one can learn Shiatsu simply to improve personal health and develop more awareness of the body and its energetic processes. Learning shiatsu will also enable you to participate actively in the support of health and well-being of friends and family.


It is not necessary to have  previous experience in bodywork, massage or energy work to be able to participate in the courses. Any person with a sense of curiosity and a sincere interest to learn and explore a new field of practice is welcome to apply and do a course. You may begin with a wish to learn for personal interest and benefit, and end up taking further steps towards a more specialized and professional study program that is aimed at benefiting others as well. The course you decide to take and the degree of expertise you achieve depend on your intentions and aspirations. Whether the aim is to become a Zen Shiatsu therapist, or just to learn how to treat yourself, family and friends, all are good reasons to learn this healing art and skill.


The number of participants in each course is relatively small, so that each student receives individual attention, correction and feedback. Practical experience is gained through work with course partners under the supervision of the teacher and qualified assistants. In every course, in addition to Zen Shiatsu practice, students acquire skills and tools for personal practice and self-therapy. Confidence and expertise are gained through theoretical knowledge and practical experience which support the path to become a professional and experienced practitioner.

Zen Shiatsu class in the dojo, abdominal treatment with rocking technique.

The courses also focus on developing in the students self-awareness and a wholesome attitude towards personal health, through practice sessions of Qi Gong, Do-In, Yoga and Meditation. The well-being of the body and the mind are as important as therapeutic professionalism. Classes are usually taught in peaceful, serene and natural surrounding in an intensive course format, and together with the supportive and nourishing group dynamic, this can serve as a period of retreat, introspection, and personal growth.

for reflection ... and inspiration


Shiatsu no kokoro                         The heart of Shiatsu

Haha no kokoro,                            Is like a mother’s heart, 

Oseba inochino                             Pressing the human body  

Inochi (seimi) no izumi waku.        Stimulates the source of life.  


(Tokujiro Namikoshi)