What is Shiatsu?

The origins of Shiatsu are found in ancient Indian practices which later spread to China and Japan, together with Buddhism. The Tuina Massage practiced in traditional Chinese medicine was then developed further and around 1915 the term Shi atsu (finger pressure) became popular in Japan. Fingure pressure based physical therapy eventually reached the West after the Second World War.


Shizuto Masunaga developed what later became known as „Zen Shiatsu“ in Japan during the 1970s by combining traditional techniques, such as accupressure, with psychological observations and concepts. Many different styles of Shiatsu are practiced today – what they all have in common though is an approach based on the „Science of Ki.”


The concept of Qi (or Ki in Japanese) states that our vital energy, the Ki within us, is the source of all movement and transformation in the body. Ki flows continuously along pathways called meridians.

When Ki is flowing harmoniously, a person will experience optimal health. If the Ki becomes depleted or blocked, symptoms like fatigue or pain will arise. The flow of Ki can be affected by movement, acupressure, and touch – all used during a shiatsu session – as well as lifestyle, diet and emotions.

Angela Meister