The Japanese Master Shizuto Masunaga (1925-1981) was also a Professor of Psychology at Kyoto University. He adapted techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine in an attempt to combine Western and Eastern approaches to therapy. Masunaga himself had been exposed to Shiatsu from an early age through his mother who was a traditional Shiatsu practitioner and TCM healer. This unique combination of personal experience and academic studies formed the backdrop to the particular Shiatsu style which he systematically explored and defined for himself, later termed Zen Shiatsu.
In 1968 he founded the Iōkai Shiatsu Center ( 医王会 ) where not only Japanese, but an ever increasing number of Western students were trained in Zen Shiatsu, thereby introducing Masunaga’s teachings to Europe, the US and indeed world wide.