Shiatsu FAQ’s

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a Japanese acupressure massage that works on the same meridians and pressure points as acupuncture. It uses finger pressure, palms, elbows, knees and feet to access the meridians and pressure points.  Shiatsu is able to treat the whole person and also specific complaints, injuries and conditions.

Shiatsu FAQs

How does Shiatsu work?

Shiatsu balances the body by releasing tension in the muscles, calming the autonomic nervous system (fight or flight response) and promoting the parasympathetic nervous system (the bodies natural healing response). Shiatsu uses a firm, steady pressure to bypass the surface levels of tension and access a much deeper relaxing space in the body, which allows the mind to switch off and enter what feels like the state between sleeping and waking.
Shiatsu also utilises nurturing touch, which is a much under-used and underestimated form of healing, especially in the UK where touch can be seen as overly familiar, sexualised or somehow inappropriate… But nurturing touch is also a great way to relieve stress, feel comforted and just to confirm physical and emotional existence and validity.

How many sessions should you have?

Well, that depends on your physical, mental and emotional needs, what you’ve been through recently and what you anticipate going through in the future.  After your initial consultation session, your therapist will design a programme for you based on your needs and goals.

In brief, depending on what you are currently dealing with and your general constitution you may only need a single treatment to give you a quick energy boost & balance up, or if you are in the middle of a highly stressful time, dealing with long-term health issues or training hard for a specific event you may need a course of 3-6 sessions over a month or two to relieve pain, aid healing and support your immune system.

Alternatively, if you have a stressful life with early/late working hours or lots of international travel (and jetlag) you may need weekly sessions to give your physical, mental and emotional body the ongoing support it needs.

It’s important to recognise that supporting and working with our health is an ongoing journey, while you will certainly feel better after a single session of Shiatsu, you should also be open to the fact that if you need one session you will probably need more sooner or later. The stress in our lives takes it’s toll over time, you might not feel it immediately but the effects are building up in your body. So unless you plan to change your life, quit your job and live on a beach somewhere (wouldn’t that be lovely!) you should see Shiatsu as a tool and a process to get your body to optimum health and support it to stay there (with good diet, right exercise and mindfulness exercises of course).

The easiest thing to do is get in touch and we can discuss your situation, look at the best options for you and tailor a package to fit your needs.

Feel free to contact us at for a free consultation.

What is the “Shiatsu Healing Journey”?

Like many things in life, it’s about the Journey rather than the destination! Your body is exactly the same; your body is on a journey from birth to death, through various states of health and ill-health… Given the right support (rest, relaxation, good food, fun, exercise… And Shiatsu!) your body can thrive in a healthy state, be more resilient to stress and illness, and work better for much longer!

However, if you start in your Shiatsu Journey in ill-health there is an adjustment for your body, mind and energy to go through in order to become well again.

Therefore it is important that the client is committed to the journey of their own healing process, in order to facilitate this Simon recommends that clients commit to a minimum number of sessions when they begin.

This way the client is less likely to quit treatments when they encounter post-treatment pain, disconfirm or a ‘healing crisis’ and decide that their current (ill-health) state is better than going through the pain to a healthier state.

This is partly dictated by psychology, where there is a ‘negative gain’ in staying in the same place (tired, in pain, low immune system etc) rather than moving out of that space into a more healthy and resourceful state. Committing to a number of sessions from the outset overcomes the potential later resistances.

If given the chance regular Shiatsu treatments can prove to be an extremely valuable way to support your mental, emotional and physical health in the long term…

The real question is how much is your health worth to you and are you going to do everything it takes to make the most of what nature has given you?

In truth, we are all a “work in progress” no matter what your age or constitution is… There is always an improvement to be made and more freedom to be gained!

That is the ‘Journey of Shiatsu’

What is Shiatsu good for?

Shiatsu is great for almost anything that commonly afflicts the human body, mind and soul. Because Shiatsu works on balancing the body’s natural energies and creating homeostasis (meaning ‘staying the same’ but effectively is about keeping the body in balance) you will be more resilient to the stresses and strains of life. Shiatsu will support you in whatever else you are going through in life. While Shiatsu can’t treat things such as cancer and heart disease, broken bones or broken hearts for that matter, it will support your physical, mental and emotional body to go through the required procedures with the minimum of trauma.

Short of writing an exhaustive list of all the conditions that shiatsu can help you deal with, here are a few things that Shiatsu can make feel better, or help you feel better about:
Jetlag & the effects of long haul international travel
Work stress (and home stress)
Emotional turmoil
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & M.E.
Lowered immune system and recovery from illness
Whiplash injuries
Bruxism & temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
Headaches, eye strain & migraine
Tennis elbow (or golfers elbow)
Shoulder issues (rotator cuff & dislocations etc)
Neck, back and shoulder pain and tension
And many more…

See below for more details on what Shiatsu isn’t good for.

What isn’t Shiatsu good for?

Shiatsu will help you deal with whatever you are going through, by supporting the energies of your body, helping you to relax, release negative thoughts, nurture your immune system, and comfort your body and soul.

Shiatsu is not a replacement for Western or Allopathic medicine! If you have been diagnosed with a serious condition, you should always consult your GP before receiving Shiatsu or any other Alternative or Complementary therapy. You should continue to take all of your medication in the manner prescribed by your Doctor.

If you have (or suspect you have) breaks or fractures, deep vein thrombosis, fresh trauma to soft tissue or any similarly injured and painful conditions, you should not have a Shiatsu treatment on that area, but should consult your Doctor or visit an Accident & Emergency clinic. Shiatsu will help you with your recovery from these traumas, so get in touch and we can monitor your recovery and create a treatment plan that will get you back to full health.

Could anything go wrong during a Shiatsu treatment?

There will be a thorough consultation before your first session, where you can tell me about your general health, relevant medical history and how you are feeling in general so that if Shiatsu is not suitable for you at this stage we will know in advance and can adapt and tailor the treatment to your needs.

If you are having any new or unusual experiences, such as anything that is painful to touch, old conditions that may have been recently aggravated, or sudden and unexpected changes in your health, then you should consult your doctor before having a treatment.

Could Shiatsu make a condition worse?

Shiatsu is an extremely safe therapy, we don’t force bones, joints or muscles, we don’t do adjustments of the vertebra, we are usually only using part of our body weight to apply pressure. Communication is an important part of giving and receiving a Shiatsu treatment, so you will have plenty of opportunities to say whether the pressure is too much, or if you experience any pain.

I have had years of training and experience, and never had a complaint, I’m also thoroughly covered by my personal liability and professional indemnity insurance, so you can feel confident in my hands.

What will Shiatsu work in conjunction with?

It’s my opinion that Shiatsu can help and aid any and all other treatments. For example, there are studies showing that shiatsu treatments help with the symptoms of chemotherapy (especially nausea and sickness, but not so much with hair loss).

If you are receiving acupuncture, reiki, physiotherapy or taking herbs and homoeopathy or following the advice of a nutritionist or naturopath, Shiatsu treatments will help and support your healing process.

Why should you choose me over anyone else?

Aside from my qualifications and experience, it comes down to the support and connections I create with my clients; my aim is for each Shiatsu treatment to be as effective as possible and for you to feel that I have an understanding, connection and commitment to your condition and path to health.

I have had a long relationship with Shiatsu myself, starting my studies in my early 20s and developing sensitivity and experience in dealing with a wide array of health issues. I have a continued commitment to learning and development, always refining my treatments and expanding my knowledge; through reading, further study, mentoring and exchanges with other therapists of Shiatsu and other healing modalities. All of this I pass on to you in each session.

Do you have more questions about Shiatsu?  Please email your questions to with the subject line: Shiatsu Questions

Or if you’d like to ask specific questions, please contact Simon at for a free consultation.

Simon was able to treat me from my office The Shiatsu massage I received from Simon managed to release a lot of my tension during a stressful few weeks I had been experiencing.  His approach and detailed explanation of the treatment he would give me was very much appreciated and interesting, as I knew little about this type of massage beforehand. Working on a computer all day, I tend to fall into bad habits. After the massage I was sitting up tall and felt revived, I would recommend anyone who has not had a Shiatsu massage before to experience it. Even better Simon was able to treat me from my office, which saved me valuable time, it would have taken me weeks to actually make an appointment myself, so I would say to anyone go on and give it a try.
Tina TosarCompany DirectorLondon, UK