What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu Massage was developed in Japan early in the 20th Century. Although influenced by Western medicine, it has its basis in Traditional Chinese medicine and follows the same principles of energy and meridians as acupressure. The practitioner uses fingers, thumbs, elbows, knees and even feet in a combination of massage techniques, applying pressure to key points to influence and stimulate energy flow in the body. Shiatsu has become very popular in the West, where it is practiced both by trained practitioners and as a self-treatment for minor ailments.

 Key Principles

Shiatsu is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, according to which "life energy' (Ki in Japanese and qi in Chinese) circulates around the body through meridians, or channels, which can be influenced at specific points (acupoints, or tsubo) on the body. Stimulating the tsubos externally, either by acupuncture or by finger pressure and massage, is said to reduce excess ki where its flow is blocked or it is overactive (jitsu), and to restore it where it is depleted (kyo). Practitioners aim to identify and harmonise the body's jitsu and kyo patterns.

Practitioners may use a specialised technique called hara diagnosis to monitor the flow of ki through the internal organs and their meridians. Treatment techniques vary, with some practitioners working on specific tsubos, as in Chinese acupressure, and others using a general massage to stimulate the meridians. Western practitioners use physiological terms to describe the effects of shiatsu, claiming it regulates the hormonal system and the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid; aids the elimination of waste products and releases muscle tension; and promotes deep relaxation. They claim that shiatsu works effectively as a general tonic an also enhances the body's self healing abilities.

How to gain ANTA Accreditation in Shiatsu?

Here are a few tips to help you gain accreditation with ANTA in Shiatsu.

  1. Review our recognised courses to obtain information on colleges and courses ANTA recognises for accreditation
  2. Download a Membership Application form, fully complete and post into ANTA
  3. Ensure you have certified copies of your qualifications and academic records
  4. Use the applicants checklist within the application to ensure fully completed

Special Note: Diploma of Shiatsu
To be registered as a provider with Health Funds including Medibank Private and to be accredited in Shiatsu by ANTA you must meet the following education requirements:

  • Complete a Diploma of Shiatsu (HLT50207, HLT50212) or equivalent
  • The foundation/structure of the Diploma of Remedial Massage excluding Certificate IV must in effect be either:
    • 12 month full time course (note - a course that commences in the early part of the year with continuous attendance/study and finishes near the end of the year is deemed to be a 12 month course), or
    • 18 month part time course, or
    • of lesser time than the above as a result of recognition of prior learning or credits which are shown on the academic statement/transcript
  • 20% of the course must contain clinical training to be completed on campus, supervised by a trainer with appropriate qualifications (note - any training completed off campus at a clinic with a practitioner is not acceptable)
  • The following practical course components which require skills based knowledge must also be completed on campus – surface anatomy, palpation, clinical examination, assessment of conditions, treatment plans, tactile therapies, massage techniques and other associated therapeutics and techniques

All associations recognised by Medibank Private are required to ensure graduates meet the above educational requirements before submitting them to Medibank Private to be registered as Shiatsu providers.

ANTA's Scope and Standards of Practice

To view ANTA's commitment to the delivery of quality health care, public safety and promoting informed choices in Shiatsu read our Scope and Standards of Practice.
Scope and Standards of Practice - Shiatsu

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