In recent years, the medical field has emphasized the novel concept of evidence based medicine (EBM). This concept is especially pertinent to shiatsu, and we at the Shiatsu Society of Japan are working to put it into practice.

However, some feel that EBM may not be the most effective approach for all patients. Even if the efficacy ratio is 60-90%, this means that there exist 10-40% of patients for whom it is not working. Studies also bring to light cases where EBM cannot be applied, such as disorders for which insufficient evidential data exist, disorders that resist treatment, and illness with a psychological component.

This has lead some practicing physicians in the United Kingdom, where EBM has been implemented, to advocate for a new concept called narrative-based medicine (NBM). This clinical approach involves treating the patient globally (physically, emotionally/ psychologically, and socially), based on a ‘narrative’ obtained through dialog with the patient regarding the causes, conditions, and their current feelings surrounding their illness, enabling health care providers to respond to the patient’s needs based on an understanding of the background and human interrelationships surrounding the disease. NBM, which places emphasis on establishing dialog and a relationship of mutual trust with the patient, is being looked on to close the gap between the science of medicine and the art of human interaction. NBM is precisely the clinical method that shiatsu therapists have always employed, and the current trend is evidence that the world has opened its eyes to this approach. EBM and NBM represent the dual approaches of science and art that are indispensable to providing the patient-centered medical care that will truly respond to patents’ needs.

Dr. Hiroshi Ishizuka
Shiatsu Society of Japan

Effects of Shiatsu to the Plantar Region on Center of Gravity Sway (Part1)

Koichi Hoshino*, Munetaka Hibi**, Hiroshi Ishizuka


There are few studies on the effects of plantar region shiatsu treatment on the locomotor system. In this study, we examined the effects of shiatsu stimulation of the plantar region on standing balance, based on measurements obtained using a stabilograph. Four healthy subjects received shiatsu treatment to the plantar region for 1 min 42 sec per session. Results showed no significant differences between the stimulation group and the non-stimulation group with respect to total trajectory length, outer circumference area, rectangle area, or effective value area. Further research is required using different test subjects and research methodology.

Keywords: Shiatsu, plantar region, center of gravity sway, standing balance

I. Introduction

In shiatsu therapy, the plantar region is approached based on a variety of interpretations depending on the symptoms involved, with numerous accounts of its perceived efficacy based on experience.

However, few studies have been conducted on the effects on the locomotor system of Japanese manual therapies to this region.

In this study, as an initial step in clarifying the effects of shiatsu therapy on the muscles and structure of the planter region and the consequent effect on locomotor function, we progressed to the pre-experimental stage in the measurement and analysis of changes to standing balance using a stabilograph. This is an interim report on the results obtained and summary of our ongoing research.

II. Methods

1. Subjects

Research was conducted on four healthy males (mean age: 30±10.68 years old) who were students at the Japan Shiatsu College. Test procedures were fully explained to each test subject and their consent obtained.

2. Test location and period

Testing was conducted in the lounge space at Japan Shiatsu College between January 29 and February 5, 2015.

3. Measurement procedure

Center of gravity sway was measured using a stabilograph (Gravicorder GS-10 Type C; Anima Corp.). Each measurement was recorded for 1 minute while subjects stood with the medial borders of their feet together, arms crossed over their chests, and eyes closed. Results were obtained for 10 measurement criteria (total trajectory length, unit trajectory length, unit area trajectory length, outer circumference area, rectangle area, effective value area, sway mean center deviation X-axis, sway center deviation X-axis, sway mean center deviation Y-axis, and sway center deviation Y-axis).

4. Stimulation

(1) Area stimulated

In accordance with the basic treatment points employed in Namikoshi shiatsu, 4 points were stimulated between Point 1, located in the plantar region between the bases of the second and third digits, and the edge of the heel, using 2-thumb pressure with the test subject in the prone position (Fig.1).

Fig.1 4points of region

(2) Duration and method of simulation

Pressure was applied for 3 seconds to each of the 4 points, repeated 3 times, then single-point pressure was applied to Point 3 for 3 seconds, repeated 3 times, with a total duration of approx. 1 min 42 sec for both feet. Treatment was applied using standard pressure (pressure gradually increased, sustained, and gradually decreased), with pressure regulated so as to be pleasurable for the test subject (standard pressure) 1.

5. Test procedure

In order to average the test subjects’ learned behavior, they were randomly divided into two groups of two, Group A and Group B. Group A was scheduled to act as the non-stimulation group first, then as the stimulation group, while Group B acted first as the stimulation group, then as the non-stimulation group (Fig. 2).

Fig.2. Test schedule and learned behavior averaging

(1) Stimulation group

The procedure was performed as follows:
1) 3 min rest in seated position
2) 1st stabilograph measurement
3) 3 min rest in seated position
4) 2nd stabilograph measurement
5) Shiatsu stimulation to planter region
6) 3 min rest in seated position
7) 3rd stabilograph measurement

(2) Non-stimulation group

The procedure was performed as follows:
1) 3 min rest in seated position
2) 1st stabilograph measurement
3) 3 min rest in seated position
4) 2nd stabilograph measurement
5) 1 min 42 sec rest in prone position
6) 3 min rest in seated position
7) 3rd stabilograph measurement

6. Statistical processing

Of the data obtained from the stabilograph, measurements for total trajectory length, outer circumference area, rectangle area, and effective value area were compared between the non-simulation group and the stimulation group by subjecting data on change rates between the 2nd and 3rd stabilograph measurement to t-testing.

III. Results

1. Total trajectory length (Fig. 3)

Compared to the non-stimulation group, which had a change date of 85.5 ±7.2% (mean ± SE), the stimulation group had a change rate of 92.9 ± 7.0%, which was not statistically significant (p<0.595).

Fig.3. Total trajectory length

2. Outer circumference area (Fig. 4)

Compared to the non-stimulation group, which had a change rate of 90.6 ± 17.8%, the stimulation group had a change rate of 79.6 ± 13.3%, which was not statistically significant (p<0.744).

Fig.4. Outer circumference area

3. Rectangle area (Fig.5)

Compared to the non-stimulation group, which had a change rate of 79.3 ±14.9%, the stimulation group had a change rate of 79.4 ± 13.9%, which was not statistically significant (p<0.996).

Fig.5. Rectangle area

4. Effective value area (Fig.6)

Compared to the non-stimulation group, which had a change rate of 92.0 ± 23.8%, the stimulation group had a change rate of 90.6 ± 17.6%, which was not statistically significant (p<0.975).

Fig.6. Effective value area

IV. Discussion

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of shiatsu stimulation to the plantar region on standing balance, This was based on the hypothesis that shiatsu stimulation would have a similar effect to that reported in existing research showing the effect on standing balance of sensory stimulation to the plantar region2〜6.
In this study, which was still at the pre-experimental stage, we were not able to obtain data or statistical results to substantiate the effect on balance of shiatsu to the plantar region. However, each sample observed suggested a trend in the effect of shiatsu stimulation, so there is a chance that a different result will be obtain when testing is conducted with a larger sample size.
On the other hand, all measurement values obtained from this sample were from healthy test subjects considered to be within the standard range7. It was assumed that, for test subjects within such a range, measurement values would be easily variable based on physical condition, a factor which cannot be averaged out through uniform test procedure. For this reason, it is difficult to fully investigate the effect of shiatsu stimulation on standing balance using the measurement data obtained from a stabilograph alone.
In the future study, it will be necessary to consider an experimental method that includes examination of test subjects and the use of other measurement criteria in addition to the stabilograph, with integrated analysis of the results obtained.

V. Conclusion

Shiatsu stimulation of the plantar region in four healthy test subjects did not produce a statistically significant change in measurement values using a stabilograph.
Testing to the effect of plantar region shiatsu on standing balance was insufficient due to the limitations of the test procedure employed at this stage, necessitation a re-examination of the methods employed in testing.


  1. Ishizuka H et al: Shiatsu ryohogaku: 96, International Medical Publishers, Ltd. Tokyo, 2008 (in Japanese)
  2. Okubo J et al: Sokuseki atsujuyouki ga jushin doyo ni oyobosu eikyo ni tsuite. Jibirinsho 72: 1553-1562, 1979 ( in Japanese)
  3. Ito A et al: Sokutei sokuakkaku ga ritsui shisei no jushin doyo ni ataeru eikyo. Nihon rigaku ryoho gakujutsu taikai 2004. A1113-A1113, 2005 (in Japanese)
  4. Utsunomiya Y et al: Kankaku shigeki ga seiteki ritsui ni oyobosu eikyo. Nihon rigaku ryoho gakujutsu taikai 2005: A0853-A0853, 2006(in Japanese)
  5. Kamei S et al: Sokutei no kankaku shigeki ga jushin doyo ni ataeru eikyo ni tsuite. Aino gakuin kiyo 20: 27-40, 2006 (in Japanese)
  6. Nose T et al: Boshi sokuteibu he no shokuatsu shigeki ga shisei seigyo ni oyobosu eikyo, Nihon rigaku ryoho gakujutsu taikai 2009: A4P2047- A4P2047, 2010 ( in Japanese)
  7. Imamura K et al: Jushin doyo kensa ni okeru kenjosha data no shukei. Equilibrium research, supplement 12: 15-23, 1997 ( in Japanese)

Measurement of the Psychological Effect of Full Body Shiatsu Therapy: a Case Report

Shinpei Oki*


This report examines the case of a female patient in her 20s who received three full body shiatsu treatments between May 24 and June 7 2015, with the objective of reducing psychological stress. The psychological effect was evaluates using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) index. Following treatment, improvements in the t-scores of all six POMS factors were observed. This suggests that full body shiatsu therapy has a stress-relief effect, which may be verified through further studies.

Keywords: shiatsu, stress, POMS

I. Introduction

So many people are feeling the effects of psychological stress in modern society that stress can be considered endemic1. In Japan, many people look to alternative therapies, including anma, massage, and shiatsu, for treatment of stress.
Multiple studies have been conducted into the effects of manual therapy on stress relief 2〜5, confirming its effectiveness. Research has also been conducted into the use of shiatsu for treating stress6, but insufficient data exists on the effects of general shiatsu carried out by a therapist on a patient. In this paper, we report on a case in which full body shiatsu used to alleviate stress with psychological stress measured using a mood profile, which will serve as a springboard for future investigation.

II. Methods

Test subject: Female office worker in her 20s
Period: May 24 to June 7, 2015(3 sessions)
Location: Patient’s home
Treatment method: Namikoshi-style full body shiatsu, starting in lateral position
Evaluation method: in order to evaluate psychological effects, a Japanese-language POMSTM test (Kaneko Shobo) was administered immediately before and after treatment. POMS is a mood profile test developed by McNair et al in the U.S>, which employs answers to 65 questions to enable simultaneous measurement of six factors: tension-anxiety, depression, anger-hostility, vigor, fatigue, and confusion. The POMS results for this report were converted from raw data to t-scores and totaled. POMS has been implemented on large groups of healthy adult males and females and standardized, with t-scores calculated for mean value and standard deviation by age and sex. The t-score is calculated as 50+10x (raw score- average score)/ standard deviation. If the raw score is equal to the average score, the t-score will be 50. The lower the t-score, the lower the tension-anxiety, depression, anger-hostility, vigor, fatigue, or confusion. Thus, for vigor, a higher t-score indicates a more favorable condition7.
The goal and measurement procedure for POMS was fully explained to the patient and her consent obtained.

*Representative, Nekonote Shiatsu

III. Results

History of present illness

The patient was transferred to a new department at work in April 2015 and, still unaccustomed to the new workplace and job responsibilities, was experiencing high daily stress levels. Work mainly involved VDT (video display terminal) operation, with over hours per day spent engaging in computer input.

Medical history

Inguinal hernia (surgery completed in 2013)

Family history

No relevant items

Subjective findings

  • Sleep disorder
    On some days, the patient had difficulty getting to sleep because she was unable to relax emotionally. The harder she tried sleep, the more difficult it would become.
  • Neck, shoulder, and lumbar pain
    The patient experienced chronic neck and shoulder stiffness. Perhaps because she assumed the same posture for extended periods, she experienced a grinding pain when she extended her back.

Examination findings

  • Observation
    The patient’s complexion was poor, with bags under her eyes and numerous pimples around her jaw. Head-forward poster with exaggerated lumbar kyphosis was observed.
  • Palpation
    Cervical region: Hypertonus was confirmed in anterior and middle scalenus, splenius capitis, rectus capitis posterior major and minor, and semispinalis capitis. Misalignment of the lower cervical vertebrae was also observed.
    Shoulder, dorsal, and lumbar regions: Hypertonus was confirmed in the upper trapezius, levator scapulae, and quadratus lumborum.
    Abdomen: The lower abdomen was flaccid and induration was observed in the descending colon region (left umbilical region).

Treatment #1 (May 24, 2015)

  • Rigidity in the dorsal region was alleviated.
  • Post-treatment, the patient reported full-body relaxation and mild drowsiness.

Treatment #2 (May 30, 2015)

  • Patient reported that she slept well after the previous treatment and that she awoke the next morning with no feelings of lethargy.
  • She also stated that her neck and shoulders felt lighter thatn usual.

Treatment #3 (June 7, 2015)

  • Patient reported that she slept well for several days after treatment and that she felt comparatively fresh on waking.
  • She still felt stiffness in the neck ad shoulders, but it was not sever. Her lumbar region was still slightly stiff, but not painfully so.
  • She felt that her stress level was lower as well.
    Table 1 shows the POMS t-scores measured before and after all three treatments. Aside from the anxiety factor on May 24 and the vigor factor on May 30, the values for all factors showed improvement post-treatment, with a general trend toward improvement as the treatments progressed (Fig. 1).

Table.1. T-scores for six POMS factors

Fig.1. Changes in t-scores for six POMS factors

IV. Discussion

In the case presented in this report, the patient showed improvement in al six POMS factors over the course of three treatments. Kamohara et al and Asai et al demonstrated the possibility for suppression of sympathetic nervous system activity using shiatsu to the abdominal region and the dorsal region, respectively8〜9. Also, Yokota, Watanabe, and Tadaka et al reported miotic (pupil contraction) response to shiatsu to the anterior cervical, lower leg, sacral, and head regions, respectively, possibly due to either suppression of the sympathetic nervous system10〜12. The patient in this case report received full body shiatsu, including comprehensive shiatsu stimulation to all of the above-mentioned region, so it is probable that a relaxation effect was achieved due to both suppression of the sympathetic nervous system and simulation of the parasympathetic nervous system. In addition, Kato reported that, in restraint-stressed rats, acupuncture electro stimulation lead to normalization of secretion of monamines including dopamine and serotonin in all areas of the brain13, so one might consider the possibility that a similar mechanism occurs with shiatsu stimulation as well.
A single case such as this is insufficient evidence to argue for the effectiveness of shiatsu therapy fir treatment of stress. Verification of the effectiveness of shiatsu as a means of stress alleviation will require a study employing statistical methodology, whish I hope pursue as a research topic in the future.

V. Conclusion

Improvement was observed in all six POMS factors over the course of three full body shiatsu treatments.


  1. Govt. of Japan Cabinet Office website: Heisei 20 nendo-ban kokumin seikatsu hakusho, 2008 (in Japanese)
  2. Kober A, Scheck T, et al: Auricular acupressure as a treatment for anxiety in prehospital transport setting. Anesthesiology 98: 1328-1332, 2003
  3. Sato T: Kenko na seijin josei ni okeru hando massaji no jiritsu shinkei katsudo oyobi kibun he no eikyo. Yamanashi daigaku kango gakkaishi 4(2): 25-32, 2006 (in Japanese)
  4. Fujita K: Haibu massaji ni yoru seijin daisei no shintaiteki · sinnriteki eikyo. Ube furontia diagaku kangogaku janaru 4(1): 37-43, 2011 (in Japanese)
  5. Sakai K et al: Kenko na josei ni taisuru takutiru kea no seiriteki · shinriteki koka. Nippon kango kenkyu gakkaishi 35(1): 145-152, 2012 (in Japanese)
  6. Honda Y et al: Serufu keiraku shiatsu ga kibun ni oyobosu kyusei koka to sono yuzabiriti ni kan suru kenkyu. Kenko Shien 15(1): 49-54, 2013 (in Japanese)
  7. Yokoyama K: Nihongoban POMS tebiki, 1-7. Kaneko Shobo, Tokyo, 1994 (in Japanese)
  8. Kamohara H et al: Effects of Shiatsu Stimulation on Perpheral Circulation. Toyo ryoho gakko kyokaishi (24): 51-56, 2002 (in Japanese)
  9. Asai S et al: Effects of Shiatsu Stimulation on Muscle Pliability. Toyo ryoho gakko kyokaishi (25): 125-129,2001 (in Japanese)
  10. Yokota M et al: Effect on Pupil Diameter of Shiatsu Stimulation to the Anterior Cervical and Lateral Crural Regions. Toyo ryoho gakko kyokaishi (35): 77-80, 2011 (in Japanese)
  11. Watanabe T et al: Effect on Pupil Diameter. Pulse Rate, and Blood Pressure of Shiatsu Stimulation to the Sacral Region. Toyo ryoho gakko kyokaishi (36): 15-19, 2012(in Japanese)
  12. Tadaka S et al: Tobu he no shiatsu shigeki ga doko chokkei · myakuhakusu · ketsuatsu ni oyobosu koka. Toyo ryoho gakko kyokaishi (37): 154-158, 2013 (in Japanese)
  13. Kato M: Kosoku sutoresu ratto he no hari tsuden shigeki no nonai monoain ni oyobosu eikyo. Meiji shinkyu igaku (27): 27-45, 2000 (in Japanese)

Shiatsu Therapy for a Patient with Suspected Peripheral Neuropath while Diagnosed with Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

Ishiro Maruyama*


This report examines the case of a patient diagnosed with traumatic cervical spinal cord injury and suspected peripheral neuropathy (flaccid paralysis of the lower extremities) who was treated with shiatsu therapy for the alleviation of dorsal muscle tension. After 29 treatments, lower-limb motor function recovered. This suggests that hypertonicity in paraspinal muscles was significantly related to the motor dysfunction due to peripheral neuropathy. Considering other reports on the effect of shiatsu stimulation in improvement of muscle pliability, we conclude that in this patient the decrease in muscle hypertonicity due to shiatsu therapy resulted in improved blood circulation and increased spinal range of motion, leading to a recovery of motor function.

Keywords: flaccid paralysis of the lower extremities, shiatsu therapy, dorsal muscle tension.

I. Introduction

Spinal cord injury refers to injury of the spinal cord where it is protected within the spinal canal. Depending on the level of the spinal cord injury, symptons presented may include motor, respiratory, circulatory, urinary, digestive, or other dysfunctions. Treatment is divided between initial phase treatment and chronic phase treatment, with initial phase treatment including pharmacotherapy, localized rest, cranial traction, and surgery, while chronic phase treatment centers on rehabilitation. Here, we report on a case in which the symptons of a patient diagnosed with traumatic cervical spinal cord injury virtually disappeared following therapy.

II. Methods

Location: Patient’s home
Period: August 25 to December 1, 2014 (Number of treatments: 29)
Test subject: 82 year old female
History of present illness: The patient sustained a traumatic cervical spinal cord injury 46 years previously. Rehabilitation restored motor function in the upper limbs, but paralysis (paraplegia) of the lower limbs remained and she had been confined to a wheelchair ever since. Six years previously she sustained a fracture to her right humerus, and later required amputation of the arm due to pyogenic osteomyelitis. Two years previously she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and admitted to a tuberculosis ward, after which she became bedridden. After discharge from the hospital, she developed pain in her upper limb and dorsal regions, and it was arranged for her to received homecare massage for alleviation of the pain.

Medical history: Paraplegia (circulatory organ, urinary, and digestive organ dysfunction) due to spinal cord injury; gallbladder cancer; pancreatic cancer; tuberculosis; amputation of right arm due to pyogenic osteomyelitis


  • Shiatsu to cervical, dorsal, sacral, and gluteal regions in lateral position
  • Shiatsu to left upper limb and lower limbs in supine position (emphasis on treatment of lower limbs)


  • Pain evaluated using 10-step VAS
  • Manual muscle testing (MMT)

III. Results

August 25 (Treatment #1)

Pre-treatment findings

Subjective findings
  • Motor paralysis and sensory dysfunction inferior to lumbar region
  • Numbness below knees
  • Bladder and rectal dysfunction
  • Pain in upper limb and dorsal regions
  • Hot and cold flashes (excessive swearing from neck up)
Objective findings
  • Limited range of motion in left shoulder joint
  • Flaccid paralysis and sensory dysfunction of lower limbs
  • Pain in dorsal and gluteal regions
Post-treatment findings
  • Hot and cold flashes alleviated due to improved circulation
  • Pain reduced

September 4 (Treatment #4)

Post-treatment findings

  • Dorsal region muscle tension reduced (thoracolumbar junction)
  • Pain in medical femoral region absent
  • Slight return of sensory function in femoral region (femoral nerve, obturator nerve)
  • Muscle contraction observed in femoral region (adductor muscles)

September 8 (Treatment #5)

Post-treatment findings

  • Plantar pain absent
  • Patient found shiatsu to sacral region pleasurable

September 18 (Treatment #8)

Post-treatment findings

  • Patient felt urinary and bowel sensations (improvement of bladder and rectal dysfunction)
  • Return of sensory function to femoral region

October 2 (Treatment #12)

Post-treatment findings

  • Muscle contraction observed in femoral region (femoral nerve, obturator nerve)

October 30 (Treatment #20)

Post-treatment findings

  • Muscle contraction observed in femoral region (sciatic nerve)

November 6 (Treatment #22)

Post-treatment findings

  • Movement observed in hip joint (flexion, extension, external rotation, internal rotation)
  • Movement observed in knee joint (flexion, extension)
  • Left shoulder joint more stable; pain absent
  • Changed sensation distal to knee

November 17 (Treatment #25)

Post-treatment findings

  • Movement observed in ankle joint and toes (flexion, extension) with patient lying in lateral position
  • Patient able to form slight bridge (elevation of gluteal region)

December 1 (Treatment #29)

Post-treatment findings

Subjective findings
  • Patient experiences numbness in calcaneal region
  • Pain eliminated
Objective findings
  • Return of motor function inferior to lumbar region
  • Improvement to bladder and rectal dysfunction

IV. Discussion

In most cases of spinal cord injury, the vertebrae undergo dislocation fracture due to an external force, with concomitant damage to the spinal cord. Characteristics vary depending on the level and degree of spinal cord injury (complete or incomplete paralysis), but immediately after the injury spinal shock occurs and autonomy is lost in the spinal cord inferior to the injury. Specifically, flaccid paralysis occurs, with loss of all motor, sensory, and deep tendon reflex function, while at the same time autonomic nervous function is also impaired. Following the recovery period, reflex functions in the spinal cord inferior to the injury are recovered, resulting in spastic paralysis, characterized by hyperreflexia of the deep tendon reflexes1.
In this case, since the patient exhibited flaccid paralysis from post-injury to the present, it is likely that this was a case not of spinal cord injury, but rather of spinal cord compression. In other words, assuming lower motor neuron damage and comparing spinal cord injury level with ADL levels, since T1 ADLs (upper limbs normal, full wheelchair mobility) were possible and T6 functions (circulatory organ stability) were unstable, it was determined that there was an irregularity in the upper thoracic vertebrae. Clinical findings indicated that the thoracic spine was straight, with almost no curve in the thoracic vertebrae. We may hypothesize that this caused hypertonus in the dorsal musculature, causing lower motor neuron damage, pain, and motor dysfunction.
Based on the above determination of peripheral neuropathy due to spinal cord compression, shiatsu therapy was carried out with the objective of alleviating pain and restoring motor function in the patient. As a result, after 29 treatments, decrease in VAS values as an indicator of pain (Table 1) and recovery of muscle strength as determined by manual muscle testing (Table 2) were observed, although numbness remained in the calcaneal region. If this were a case of spinal cord injury, such rapid return of function would be unlikely2-3. It is therefore reasonable to assume that recovery was due to shiatsu treatment of peripheral neuropathy caused by nerve entrapment due to hypertonic muscles.
At the very least, in this case it is highly likely that hypertonicity in paraspinal muscles was significantly related to the motor dysfunction due to peripheral neuropathy. Considering other reports on the effect of shiatsu stimulation in improvement of muscle pliability4〜6,we conclude that in this patient the decrease in muscle hypertonicity due to shiatsu therapy resulted in improved blood circulation and increased spinal range of motion, leading to a recovery of motor function.

Table.1. 10-step VAS pain scale values (post-treatment)

Table.2. Manual muscle testing (MMT) of lower limbs

V. Conclusion

Even in patients afflicted by long-term peripheral neuropathy (pain and motor dysfunction), recovery through shiatsu therapy is possible.


  1. Nara N et al: Toyo ryoho gakko kyokai rinsho igaku kakuron (dai 2 han) sekizui sonsho. Ishiyaku shuppan KK: 171-173, 2010 (in Japanese)
  2. Shinno Y: Massho shinkei shogai no rehabiriteshon. Nihon rehabiriteshon igakukaishi 28 (6): 453-458 (in Japanese)
  3. Nishiwaki K et al: Massho shinkei sonshogo no shinkei saisei to rehabiriteshon. Nihon rehabiriteshon igaku kaishi 39 (5): 257-266, 2002 (in Japanese)
  4. Asai S et al: Effects of Shiatsu Stimulation on Muscle Pliability. Toyo ryoho gakko kyokai gakkaishi (25): 125-129, 2001 (in Japanese)
  5. Sugata N et al: Effects of Shiatsu Stimulation on Muscle Pliability (Part 2). Toyo ryoho gakko kyokai gakkaishi (26): 35-39, 2002 (in Japanese)
  6. Eto T et al: Effects of Shiatsu Stimulation on Muscle Pliability (Part 3). Toyo ryoho gakko kyokai gakkaishi (27): 97-100, 2003 (in Japanese)

*Graduated Japan Shiatsu College in 2012

A Case of Posture Correction with a Combination of Pressure Application and Mobilization

Genta Niikura*


In clinical practice, one encounters many patients presenting subjective symptoms of shoulder stiffness or back pain. Here we examine a case in which symptoms were alleviated through posture and joint correction, in addition to using shiatsu therapy to reduce muscle tension. By combining the pressure applications of shiatsu therapy with mobilization, it was possible to achieve an effect on both muscles and joints.

Keywords: shiatsu therapy, pressure applications, mobilization, posture correction

I. Introduction

In clinical practice, one often encounters patients for whom, even though muscle tension is alleviated through shiatsu therapy consisting of pressure application to muscles and soft tissues, similar symptoms return after several days or weeks.
It was our opinion that these symptoms could be more effectively treated with a combination of shiatsu therapy and ongoing posture correction and joint adjustment.
Here, we report on a case in which significant therapeutic effect was achieved through joint adjustment and posture correction via the use of pressure applications combined with mobilization.

II. Methods

Subject: Female child care worker in her 30s
Location: This clinic (Genta Chiroin)
Period: March 30 to April 12, 2014
Primary complaint: Work involves frequent crouching, leading to lumbar pain, stooped posture, and severe shoulder stiffness; patient told by coworkers that she has poor posture
Treatment method: Full body shiatsu1 combined with mobilization for shoulder, hip, and sacroiliac joints
· For rounded back:
Prone position: Palmar pressure to spine, spinous process adjustment
· For internal rotation of shoulder joints:
Lateral position: Pressure applications to superior angle of scapula, sub-clavicular region, and coracoid process, plus adjustment procedure to scapula
· For Lumbar kyphosis:
Supine position: Palmar pressure to abdomen and inguinal region
Prone position: Adjustment of hip and sacroiliac joints
· For posterior pelvic tilt:
Supine position: Palmar pressure to abdomen and inguinal region
Prone position: Adjustment of hip and sacroiliac joints

III. Results

Treatment #1 (March 30, 2014)

Pre-treatment findings

Subjective findings

Work involves frequent crouching, leading to lumbar pain, stooped posture, and severe shoulder stiffness; patient told by coworkers that she has poor posture

Objective findings

Exaggerated posterior pelvic tilt, rounded back, exaggerated internal rotation of shoulders (Fig.1)

Fig.1. Pre-treatment #1

Post-treatment findings

Subjective findings

Reduce sensations of shoulder stiffness and lumbar pain; reduced discomfort at work, even after maintaining same posture for a prolonged period

Objective findings

Tension in lumbar musculature reduced due to creation of anterior pelvic tilt and lumbar lordotic curve; reduced internal rotation of shoulders due to improved shoulder posture (Fig.2)

Fig.2. Post-treatment #1

Treatment #2 (April 12, 2014)

Pre-treatment findings

Subjective findings

Patient told by those around her that her posture had improved; alleviation of lumbar pain

Objective findings

Anterior pelvic tilt maintained; exaggerated internal rotation of shoulders observed (Fig.3)

Fig.3. Pre-treatment #2

Post-treatment findings

Subjective findings

Alleviation of symptoms of shoulder stiffness and lumbar pain; reduced discomfort, even after maintaining same posture for a prolonged period

Objective findings

Improvement of exaggerated internal rotation of shoulders (Fig.4); alleviation of muscle tension due to adjustment of joint position

Fig.4. Post-treatment #2

IV. Discussion

According to the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare2, the two most common symptoms experienced by both men and women in Japan are, in order, stiff shoulders and lumbar pain. Little has changed in this situation, and a comparatively large number of patients visiting our clinic list stiff shoulders or lumbar pain as their primary complaint.
It is my experience in a clinical setting that, in order to alleviate shoulder stiffness or lumbar pain, effects are longer lasting if reduction of excess muscle tension is used in combination with joint adjustment.
The reason is that, as humans are bipedal, they must continually maintain posture in opposition to gravity. The extensors, trunk muscles, and other antigravity muscles must maintain contraction in order to resist gravity and maintain proper posture, which when disrupted is corrected by postural reflexes3. It follows that a greater load is placed on these muscles when proper posture and skeletal alignment are regularly disrupted during routine daily avtivities. For this reason, correction of chronically disrupted postural and skeletal alignment should help alleviate symptoms of shoulder stiffness and lumbar pain.
In this case, initial examination revealed marked postural disruption from the line of gravity (Fig.1), indicating probable hypertonus in the pectoralis major and other shoulder internal rotator muscles along with reduced tonus of the antigravity muscles. Also, hypertension in the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles were likely responsible for the posterior pelvic tilt.
In the initial treatment, hypertonus in the gluteus maximus and hamstrings was improved, along with overextension of the quadratus lumborum and erector spinae muscles, as was evidenced by the reductions in posterior pelvic tilt and lumbar kyphosis. Also, concerning the shoulder joints, changes to the position of the scapula were likely due to reduced hypertonus in the internal rotators, including the pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, and subscapularis (Fig.2)
Prior to treatment #2, a slight internal rotation of the shoulder joints was observed, though no major postural disruption from the line of gravity compared to post-treatment #1 was apparent (Figs.2, 3). In treatment #2, further improvements to pliability in hypertoned muscles improved balance with over-extended muscles, causing positional changes to the shoulder joint and humerus that likely resulted in reduced tension in the trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, and other neck muscles that led to improvements in head position.
It is difficult to determine whether disrupted posture due to routine daily activities led to muscular hypertonus and hypotonus or whether the problem was due to irregularities in joint alignment, but since multiple reports have shown that shiatsu stimulation effectively increases muscle pliability4-6, in this case it is likely that pressure application relaxed hypertoned muscles that were the cause of postural disruption while mobilization improved joint positioning, resulting in alleviation of symptoms.

V. Conclusions

When the pressure applications of shiatsu therapy are combined with mobilization, there is a tendency for symptoms of stiff shoulders and lumbar pain to be alleviated due to elimination of muscle hypertension and improved joint positioning. However, because this report only contains one example, it will be necessary to study larger number of cases.


  1. Ishizuka H: Shiatsu ryohogaku, first revised edition, International Medical Publishers, Ltd. Tokyo, 2008 (in Japanese)
  2. Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: Kokumin seikatsu kiso chosa. 2013, (in Japanese)
  3. Toyo tyoho gakko kyokai: Seirigaku. Ishiyaku shuppan KK, 1990 (in Japanese)
  4. Asai S et al: Effects of Shiatsu Stimulation on Muscle Pliability. Toyo tyoho gakko kyokai gakkaishi (25): 125-129, 2001 (in Japanese)
  5. Sugata N et al: Effects of Shiatsu Stiulation on Muscle Pliability(Part2). Toyo ryoho gakko kyokai gakkaishi (27): 35-39,2002 (in Japanese)
  6. Eto T et al: Effects of Shiatsu Stimulation on Muscle Pliability (Part3). Toyo ryoho gakko kyokai gakkaishi (27): 97-100, 2003 (in Japanese)

*Clinic Derector, Genta Shiryoin

Effects of Inguinal Region Shiatsu on Walking Ability

Hiroki Koizumi*, Yasutaka Kaneko**


The Timed p and go (TUG) test was employed to determine the effect of inguinal region shiatsu on walking ability. The post-treatment time was shorter than the pre-treatment time, suggesting that shiatsu stimulation may improve walking ability at least temporarily.
Keywords: Timed Up and Go test, iliopsoas muscle, inguinal region, shiatsu


Yoshinari et al have reported on the possibility that shiatsu stimulation to the inguinal region increases range of motion for hip extension and lumbar vertebrae retroflexion in standing automatic trunk retroflexion1, postulating that shiatsu stimulation to the inguinal region reduced tension in the iliopsoas muscles, increasing range of motion in the lumbar vertebrae hip joints. However, there was no reference to functional changes. In this comparatively simple study, we observe changes to walking ability after inguinal region shiatsu using the highly reliable TUG test as an evaluative tool. The TUG test, devised by Podsiadlo et at in 19912, is a widely used evaluation index for walking ability in the elderly.

II. Methods

Location: 8th floor classroom, Namikoshi Institute · Japan Shiatsu College
Test subject: 66-year-old male (no history of central nervous system dysfunction, bone fractures, muscle rupture, degenerative arthritis, or other disorders that may affect lower limb function)
Period: September 4, 12, 19, October 3, 2015 (4 treatments over 30days)
Stimulation: The subject was placed in a relaxed supine position with all four limbs extended. The therapist stimulated three points over the inguinal ligament, extending medioinferiorly frpm the anterior superior iliac spine to the lateral border of the public bone3. Stimulation consisted of (1) palmar pressure (pressure using the thenar eminence) and (2) shiatsu using the therapist’s thumbs of both hands, held for approximately 5 seconds per point, applied for 5 minutes each on the left and right sides. Strength of pressure was such that, when the therapist’s palm and thumbs sank into the skin and subcutaneous tissue, he was able to feel the inguinal ligament and femoral pulse, at a pressure that was comfortable for the subject.
Evaluation: The TUG test was used to evaluate pre- and post-treatment times required. An armless chair was used, with a red cone placed 3 meters directly in front of the leading edge of the front leg as a marker. Responding to a verbal signal, the subject was required to stand up from the chair, walk around the cone, and return to sit in the chair. The time required to complete this task was measured with a stopwatch. The task was performed immediately before and immediately after stimulation, (1) at regular walking speed; and (2) at maximum walking measured and the time for walking speed at (2) maximum effort was used as the measurement value.

III. Results

Post-stimulation times were reduced compared to pre-stimulation for all four sessions. No overall time reduction was seen for pre-stimulation or post-stimulation times over the entire period. (Table 1, Fig.1)

Table.1. TUG times (sec)

Fig.1. TUG times changes

IV. Discussion

The iliopsoas is comprised of tow muscles, the iliacus and the psoas major, which come together in the pelvic cavity to form the iliopsoas before passing through the muscular lacuna below the inguinal ligament and inserting onto the lesser trochanter of the femur. Shiatsu of the inguinal region targets pressure to the inguinal ligament, with pressure directed more or less perpendicularly to the skin’s surface on points along the inguinal ligament from the anterior superior iliac spine to the lateral border of the pubic bone. The pressure therefore should penetrate to the iliopsoas muscle.
When walking at a moderate pace, after reaching extension at the end of the stance phase the lower limb swings forward like a pendulum, allowing the foot to move forward without employing the iliopsoas muscle. However, in effortful walking, the iliopsoas contracts powerfully during the initial-to-mid swing phase, flexing the extended leg to swing it forward4. According to research conducted by Anderson et al using an electromyography, the effect of these muscles on walking is greater the faster the pace5. It is also likely that iliopsoas functionality also plays a role in pelvic stability while walking, as well as emergency postural control when balance is lost.
Eto reported on the probability that shiatsu stimulation improves regulation of muscle output6, hypothesizing that this may be due to its effect on kinetic and sustained neuromuscular units along with increase in local blood supply. Similarly, thereduced post-treatment times recorded in this study were likely due to changes in the condition of the iliopsoas muscles due to shiatsu stimulation of the inguinal region, affecting their function during effortful walking to result in increased walking speed.
Regarding the fact that no cumulative time reduction was observed during the overall test period, this was likely because shiatsu stimulation to the iliopsoas in isolation did not result in a fixed change to the condition of the muscle. We hypothesize that, in order to achieve a more lasting changes, it would be necessary to effect changes in hip flexors other than the iliopsoas, including the rectus femoris and tensor fasciae latae, along with antagonists such as the gluteus maximus and hamstrings, leading to changes of alignment in the sagittal plane for the hip joint and pelvis.
In this case, because no control was used, we cannot rule out the possibility that the reduced times were due to a learning effect in the test subject. Further research employing test methodology that includes a control is required in order to verify the effect of shiatsu stimulation in isolation.

V. Conclusion

Shiatsu stimulation to the inguinal region resulted in a tendency for TUG times to be shorter post-stimulation than pre-stimulation.


  1. Yoshinari K et al: Effect on Spinal Mobility of Shiatsu Stimulation to the Onguinal Regioin. Toyo ryoho gakko kyokai gakkaishi 32: 18-22, 2008 (in Japanese)
  2. PodsiadleD, Richardson S: The timed “Up&Go”: a test of basic functional mobility for frail elderly persons. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 39.2: 142-148, 1991
  3. Ishizuka H et al: Shiatsu ryohogaku. International Medical Publishers, Ltd. Tokyo: 102, 2008 (in Japanese)
  4. Neumann D, Shimada T, Hirata S: Kinkokkakukei no kineshioroji. Ishiyaku Shuppan, Tokyo: 573-574, 2005 (in Japanese)
  5. Andersson EA et al: Intramuscular EMG from the hop flexor muscles during human locomotion. Acta Physiologica Scandinavia Vol.161, Issue 3: 361-370, 1997
  6. Eto T: Shiatsu ni yoru teihaikutsuryoku no henka ni tsuite. Nihon shiatsu gakkai (2): 10-12, 2013 (in Japanese)

*Shiatsu Department, Japan Shiatsu College, **Shiatsu instructor, Japan Shiatsu College; Clinic director, MTA Shiatsu Chiryoin

The Effect of Standard Namikoshi Abdominal Region Shiatsu on Short distance Sprint Performance

Keisuke Okubo*, Maho Nakano*, Hiroyuki Ishizuka**


Sports are receiving increasing attention in Japan ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The goal of this study was to verify the effect of standard Namikoshi shiatsu therapy on sports performance.
After adequate warm-up, the test subject performed five 50-meter sprints separated by 5-minute rest intervals. The sprints were timed and photographed using a fixed camera to facilitate running posture analysis. Abdominal shiatsu, consisting of the standard 20 points on the abdomen, repeated 3 times, was applied before the initial run and during each 5-minute interval. During control testing, the subject spent the same time resting in supine position. Testing was performed on different days for shiatsu and control sessions.
On average, sprint times were shorter when shiatsu had been applied. Comparison of photographic images also showed changes in trunk rotation, knee flexion, and stride length. These results suggest that Namikoshi standard abdominal shiatsu consisting of pressure to 20 points on the abdomen may have positive effects on sprint performance.

Keywords: Shiatsu, running, sprint, abdominal region, abdominal pressure, trunk, exercise, 50m, track and field, manual therapy, angular momentum, image, rectus abdominis, external abdominal obliques, internal abdominal obliques, Olympics, Stride length, rotation, motion, ROM, joint range of motion, joints, load, track, competition, time, massage, start, dash, run, crouch start, running motion, standard Namikoshi abdominal region shiatsu

I. Introduction

In this study, we examined the effect of standard Namikoshi 20-point abdominal shiatsu1 applied to a runner prior to running a 50- meter sprint on ankle, knee, trunk, and shoulder joint ROM, hip flexion speed, and starting hip position, and verified the accompanying changes to stride length and run time.
Measurements were taken after applying shiatsu stimulation to the test subject on August 15, with control measurements taken on August 2 when the test subject had received no shiatsu stimulation. Shiatsu stimulation consisted of standard Namikoshi 20-point abdominal shiatsu, repeated 3 times, before the initial run and during the 5-minutes rest interval prior to each of 5 runs. Adequate stretching was carried out prior to running2.

II. Methods

Date: August 2 and 15, 2015
Location: Komazawa Olympic Park athletic field, straight track
Test subject:
27-year-old male
Weight: 52kg
Height: 161cm
Played soccer from elementary school to University
Equipment: CASIO Digital Sports Stop Watch HS-70W
Imaging equipment: Sony Handycam HDR-SX420
iPhone 6 Plus
Editing application:
Adobe Premier Pro CC 2015
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

Fig.1. Experiment protocol

III. Results

Table.1. Comparison of times (sec) with and without abdominal shiatsu

IV. Discussion

The short-distance running cycle can be divided into two phases: (1) the support phase (when the sole of the foot is in contact with the ground); and (2) the recovery phase (when the sole of the foot is not in contact with the ground). Phases (1) and (2) can each be further divided into three sub-phases. The (1) support phase includes (1)-1 foot strike (the period when a portion of the sole of the foot is in contact with the ground); (1)-2 mid support (The period from when the sole of the foot is in full contact with the ground, supporting the body’s weight, to immediately before the heel loses contact with the ground); and (1)-3 takeoff (the period from when the heel loses contact with the ground to when the toes leave the ground). The (2) recovery phase includes (2)-1 follow-through (the period from when the sole of the foot leaves the ground to when the sole of the foot leaves the ground to when rearward motion of the lower leg ends); (2)-2 forward swing (the period when the lower leg is moving from back to front); and (2)-3 foot descent (the period immediately prior to when the ground). Specific muscles are active during each of these phases, which may very depending on running speed. When observing the muscles active while running, the abdominal muscles are strongly active only when running 100 m at an average speed of 36km/h, as compared to 1km at an average speed of 12km/h or 16lm/h. During the running cycle, strong abdominal muscle activity is observed from (1)-2 to (2)-23.
The reason abdominal muscle activity is only observed in short-distance running is due to the strong angular momentum generated between arm swinging and the pelvis. While running, the pelvis produces rotational motion on a vertical axis, generating angular momentum around the vertical axis. Arm swinging is important for reducing trunk deflection due to this motion; in practice, the angular momentum produced by arm swinging eliminates the trunk deflection due to pelvic angular momentum. This is a distinguishing characteristic of short-distance running4.
In running there is an ideal leg trajectory. According to research conducted using a sprint training machine, leg motion effectively utilizes flexible twisting and rotation motions in the pelvis ad trunk and is also necessary to adroitly maintain balance. Also important is that this motion originates in the epigastric fossa, around the level of the upper lumbar and lower thoracic vertebrae5.
Muscles thought to be affected by abdominal region shiatsu include the muscles related to maintaining abdominal pressure (diaphragm, rectus abdominis, external abdominal obliques, internal abdominal obliques). When these abdominal wall muscles contract in coordination with the pelvic floor muscles, intra-abdominal pressure rises. It is known that increased intra abdominal pressure significantly reduces the load placed on upper and lower lumbar intervertebral discs6.
Based on the above discussion, one possible explanation for improved running performance and shorter times recorded in this study is that abdominal shiatsu resulted in more coordinated performance of muscles involved in maintaining intra abdominal pressure and improved trunk stability. It is also possible that improved response time from the start of the sprint to the first step resulted in faster running times, but analysis would be problematic at this stage.

V. Conclusions

Abdominal shiatsu does not directly affect the lower limbs, which are the focus of running. However, it may have an effect on the trunk, from where such motion originates, contributing to more ideal motion in the upper and lower limbs.
Nevertheless, many points in this study remain unclear, and it is possible that there would be no effect on middle or ling distance running times, where abdominal muscle activity is less apparent. More specialized testing and analysis is required.


  1. Ishizuka H: Shiatsu ryohogaku, first revised edition, International Medical Publishers, Ltd. Tokyo, 2008 (in Japanese)
  2. Sugiura S: Sutoretchingu & womuappu buibetsu telunikku to kyogibetsu purogruramu. Oizumi shoten, 2008 (in Japanese)
  3. Kawano I, Tsukuba Daigaku et al editorial supervision: Konin asuretikku torena semon kamoku teksuto, dai 6 suri. Bunkodo, 2011 (in Japanese)
  4. Shikakura J et al editors, Kawano I e al aditorial supervision: Konin asuretikku torena senmon kamoku tekisto, dai 7 kan asuretikku rehabiriteshon. Bunkodo, 2011 (in Japanese)
  5. Kobayashi K: Ranningu pafomansu wo takameru supotsu dosa no sozo. Kyorin shoin: 42, 2001 (in Japanese)
  6. Sakai I et al translator: Purometeus kaibogaku atorasu kaibogaku soron undokikei dai 2 ban. Igaku shoin, 2013 (in Japanese)

*Shiatsu Department, Japan Shiatsu College, **Shiatsu instructor, Japan Shiatsu College

Applied Abdominal Shiatsu

Michiko Kuroda*

Report on Shiatsu Overseas

In order to promote the international spread of shiatsu, a therapy developed in Japan, the Namikoshi Academy · Japan Shiatsu College sends instructors to Vancouver, Canada once a year to provide practical guidance. In 2015, Japan Shiatsu College instructor Michiko Kuroda delivered a presentation to instructors of the Canadian College of Shiatsu Therapy and therapists at the Japan Shiatsu Clinic on the theme of applied abdominal shiatsu. Below is the report submitted by Ms. Kuroda on her presentation.

On September 26, 2015 I delivered a lecture to the staff of the Japan Shiatsu Clinic. At the Japan Shiatsu Clinic, operated by Japan Shiatsu College graduated Kiyoshi Ikenaga, many students of different nationalities engage in study of anatomy, physiology, and the fundamentals of Namikoshi shiatsu. Although I attended as an instructor, I myself learned much from the experience. Following is the content of the lecture I delivered.

1. Introduction

The abdomen is a region for which significant therapeutic effect can be expected from shiatsu, but which can be challenging to treat.
Here, using standard Namikoshi abdominal shiatsu as a base, I would like to examine the topic from the perspective of both Western and Eastern medicine, with the hope of encouraging you to more actively employ abdominal shiatsu in your treatments.

2. Standard Namikoshi abdominal shiatsu

Research by Shiatsu Therapy Research Lab at the Namikoshi Institute has shown that abdominal shiatsu, a distinguishing characteristic of Namikoshi shiatsu, affects the autonomic nervous system to slow cardiac pulse, lower blood pressure, increase muscular blood flow, stimulate gastrointestinal peristalsis, and reduce pupil diameter, as well as having an effect on the musculoskeletal system (Fig.1)
In addition, the rectus abdominis and iliopsoas muscles can also be treated, making the abdominal region an extremely important area for treating lumbar pain.

Fig.1. Standard order of abdominal shiatsu

3. Western medical perspective: an anatomical approach

As mentioned previously, abdominal shiatsu can be highly effective for both regulating the autonomic nervous system and treating lumbar pain. Now let’s examine the effect of tension in the abdominal muscles on posture.
As shown in Fig.2, hypertonus in the rectus abdominis and iliopsoas has a significant effect on pelvic angle and lumbar spinal curvature.
Next, I would like to consider how to approach the psoas major from the abdominal region. Whereas the rectus abdominis is a superficial muscle, the psoas major is deep. Therefore the key to treating the psoas major muscle is to have a clear image of its origin, insertion, and path.

Fig.2. Effectof rectus abdominal and hypertonus on pelvic angle lumbar spinal curvature

Iliopsoas (Fig.3)

Origin: Vertebrae bodies and intervertebral discs, Th12-L5 (superficial head) Transverse processes of all lumbar vertebrae (deep head)
Insertion: Lesser trochanter of the femur
Innervation: Femoral nerve (L1-L4)
Actions: flexion of hip joint; anterior pelvic tilt
Test: Thomas test (flexion contracture of hip joint)

Fig.3. Iliopsoas

Actions of the liopsoas (Fig.4)

(1) When pelvis and lumbar vertebrae are fixed
→Flexion of hip joint
(2) When femur is fixed
→Lumbar lordosis; anterior pelvic tilt

Fig.4. Actions of the iliopsoas

Illustration of rectus abdominis and iliopoas

Factors to consider during pressure application

(1)Recipient’s posture
· Recipient’s hip and joins should be flexed, with thoracic breathing
(2)Have a clear objective
· Apply shiatsu to 20 points and small intestine points using 2-thumb pressure
· Have clear image of location of targeted muscles and adjust depth of pressure accordingly

4. Eastern medical perspective; abdominal diagnosis

What is abdominal diagnosis?
Abdominal diagnosis involves assessing the patient’s physical condition through palpation of the abdomen to detect stiffness or tension in the abdominal wall, resistance or pain when pressure is applied, watery sounds in the organs, and so on.
In Western medicine, the main objective of abdominal palpation is to determine the condition of the organs from outside the abdominal wall; but is Eastern medicine, abdominal diagnosis is used to determine the quantity of healthy ki, which provides resistance to disease, along with the qualities of ki, blood, and body fluids, based on tension, stiffness, and indurations in the abdominal skin and muscles.

· In abdominal diagnosis, responses specific to each area are examined

· Typical responses

· Incorporating abdominal diagnosis into abdominal shiatsu
(1) Recipient’s posture
· Recipient’s lower limbs should be extended, with abdominal breathing
(2) Objective
· Perform abdominal diagnosis and treatment during the palm pressure series
· Perform treatment and abserve reactions while treating 20 points and small intestine points

5. Conclusion

For this lecture, my motivation for addressing abdominal shiatsu was to focus on treatment of lumbar pain via shiatsu to the rectus abdominis and psoas major muscles and also to introduce abdominal diagnosis. Of course, when treating an actual patient, it is necessary to evaluate not just the abdominal region, but the quadriceps femoris, hamstrings, and other muscles as well, and conduct a thorough diagnosis that includes listening, observation, and interview techniques in addition to abdominal diagnosis.
It is my hope that you will keep these techniques in mind as another perspective from which you can assess your patients and as a means of understanding their condition.


  1. Collected Report of The Shiatsu Therapy Research Lab 1998-2012, Japan Shiatsu College (in Japanese)
  2. Purometeus Kaibogaku atorasu kaibogaku soron undokikei. Igaku shoin (in Japanese)
  3. Toyoigaku kihonto shikumi. Seitosha (in Japanese)

*Instructor, Japan Shiatsu College

Pressing to Save a Life – An emergency medical encounter by a shiatsu therapist

Tomochika Eto*

1. Introduction

Sports trainer is listed on the Japan Shiatsu College website as a possible career path for graduates of the college.
In my case, though what I do may be slightly different than what most people imagine when they think of a sports trainer, I do make my living as a trainer of sorts. In 2001 I was working as a supervisor of teaching assistance operations for physical education, and I entered the Japan Shiatsu College with the objective of developing a more rounded program (and also hoping I may be able to set up a clinic at the university). After graduating and obtaining certification, I continued mainly to supervise teaching assistance operations at the university. My duties included implementing fitness testing, results aggregation, resolution, and interpretation, training supervision, explanation of equipment usage, and so on. It may seem as if I was not making use of my shiatsu skills, but there was a time when I was not so busy with my work at the university that I practiced home care shiatsu after finishing work at the university. I also employed shiatsu on various student athletes to help them with shoulder and back problems.
Here I would like to report on an incident that occurred during those everyday activities in which the physical skills and knowledge I acquired through my training in shiatsu pressure application helped in an emergency lifesaving situation. Normally life is uneventful and we have few encounters with people in a life and death situation, but I hope that my experience will be instructive for anyone who should find themselves in such a situation.

2. Circumstance of the incident

The incident occurred one day in October 2012 in a class that began at four in the afternoon. That day I was performing support work as usual, dividing the students into several groups to measure side-to-side jumping. Side-to-side jumping is an agility test which measures how many times the subject is able to jump over or onto three lines drawn one meter apart in 20 seconds.
Just as the buzzer on the timer sounded to signify the end of the test, one of the students collapsed. Since he had been stepping energetically until immediately before falling, his momentum caused him to fall flat on the floor without breaking his fall, as if a switch had been turned off inside him. I was standing behind the students operating the timer. As I watched the student fall, seemingly in slow motion, I recalled how once before a student had collapsed due to an epileptic fit. I approached the student expecting to find similar symptoms. Even if he had lost consciousness, I thought it would have been from the fall. This hypothesis proved to be way off the mark, but it may have been why I was able to deal with the situation so calmly.

3. Student’s symptoms and my mental state during rescue

The student did not respond to verbal cues and his limbs were like rubber. During the course of examining his condition I happened to check his radial pulse.
One would expect a shiatsu therapist to have sensitive fingertips and be adept at palpation and pulse taking. I assessed that the pulse of the student in question was shallow, rapid, and weak. Rationally I knew that he did ‘have a pulse’, but the strange sensation conveyed to me through my fingers prompted me to take the following actions.
We are trained that when a patient’s heart stops we should immediately call 119 emergency services and have someone bring an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), but in this case I was doubtful and asked fellow trainer ‘A’ to bring the AED without asking him to call 119. Instead of barking out the order as we were taught during training, I asked casually, saying something like “Anyway, maybe you’d better get the AED.” Fortunately another trainer ‘B’ had just come on shift and, having heard the word “AED”, grasped the situation immediately and reched off to get the devide. Even more helpful was the fact that, without my directly instructing him (I forgot to), he tool in upon himself to call 119.
As I awaited the arrival of the AED I observed the student carefully, thinking rationally on the one hand that he did ‘have a pulse’, but worried by the abnormal sensations conveyed to me through my fingertips. I was convinced that, logically, all we had to do was attach the AED and the voice message would confirm that there was nothing wrong. But the student’s complexion began to turn blue and I could feel his pulse gradually weaken. Whether it turned out to be a case of mere fainting or a serious case of cardiac arrest, I decided to play it safe and began performing cardiac message. Having learned in class that, when chest compressions are performed properly, cardiac output is approx. 20 cc, I semiconsciously performed chest compressions with weak pressure that would produce less than 20 cc output. Reflecting on it later, I think the pressure reflected my mental state of wanting to ensure oxygenated blood reached the brain and heart, without risking any damage to the sternum, ribs, heart, or other organs.
Eventually the AED arrived. The two of us applied the electrode pads together without regard to our training or the steps laid out in the manual and the automated analysis began. I awaited the ‘No shock required’ message, convinced even at this stage that it was just a case of fainting. I prayed for that message, which would mean that both the student and those of us performing the first aid could return to our peaceful routine.
However, the message that came from the AED was the one I had heard in training: “Shock required”. When I heard that message a switch turned on inside me, a little too late perhaps, realizing that whatever happened we needed to save this student! From that point on, we made a point of following the manual and acting according to our training. Following the electric shock, we performed artificial respiration combined with chest compressions consisting of vertical compressions at least 5 cm deep at a rate of 120 per minute. After one or tow minutes of that, a reaction something like agonal respiration occurred. Judging that it was agonal respiration, we continued chest compressions and artificial respiration until we decided that he was returning to normal breathing, at which point we placed him in the recovery position.
After repositioning him, I continued to yell in his ear to hang in there and keep breathing, as they say that if you call someone as they are passing through death’s door, they will return to the land of the living.

4. Arrival of emergency rescue and transfer to hospital

Coordination between the trainer who called 119, the athletics office, and the security station went smoothly, and I remember that the emergency rescue team arrived within seven minutes after the student had collapsed.
Two rescue teams of three members each showed up. I don’t remember clearly whether the first team requested the second team or not. I explained the situation and the use of the AED to one of the paramedics while watching the activities of the first rescue team out of the corner of my eye. When the second rescue team began administering oxygen the student began to speak incoherently and it seemed like he was out of danger. But he was taken to the hospital before fully regaining consciousness.
Just under 20 minutes passed from the time the incident occurred to the time the ambulance left. During that time, the teacher in charge of the class took care of the other students and accompanied the students who had collapsed. The othertwo trainers and I did what was necessary to restore the training area to normal operating conditions.
While continuing normal open operations, we waited for the hospital where the student had been taken to contact us. This being the first time in my life I had every performed CPR, I was relieved that the person had been resuscitated. However, looking back calmly on the incident once I had regained my composure, I began to worry: Was the pressure sufficient when I just used one hand? Did I wait too long before beginning chest compressions? And so on.
Around 90 minutes after the incident occurred, we received a phone call from the teacher who had accompanied the student, saying that he had regained consciousness and was able to hold a simple conversation. I experienced the greatest sense of relief I had had since passing the national exams. Having received notification that the student regained consciousness, I returned home more than two hours later than usual.

5. Further developments

Apparently, the hospital analyzed the data from the AED we had used. The manufacturer also inspected the battery and the unit was returned to us six days after the incident. As things continued to return to normal, I wondered what had become of the student and what had caused the problem. To conter myunease, I spent my days reading accounts of AED saving lives and surfing the Internet in search of information.
Near the end of November, 50 days after the incident occurred, the student who had collapsed came to see me. When the incident occurred he had been exercising so of course was wearing gym clothes, so when he appeared before me smartly dressed in street clothes I at first didn’t recognize him. We spoke for just under half an hour, during which time he explained in detail how he only vaguely recalled the events surrounding the incident, how his release from hospital had been transferred to another hospital, and that the cause had been due to a genetic disorder of which he had been unaware.
I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to him, considering that if I had saved the life of a passerby on the street they probably would not have paid me a visit to fill me in on all the details.
He told me that he would be able to return to student life, and I conveyed the news to all related parties. I received a letter of appreciation from the fire marchal at the end of December, 70 days after the incident occurred, and one from the university president 20 days after that at the beginning of January. With hits, I felt that in my heart that I had achieved closure.

6. Further ruminations and my perspective as a shiatsu therapist

In Japan, the general public was first authorized to perate AEDs in July 2004. I received my anma, massage, and shiatsu certification in April of that year. Two years later, in June 2006, I took a course in standard first aid in Hiratsuka, where I was living at the time. I wasn’t really aware of it then, but at the time I tool that first aid course it was still comparatively soon after AEDs had been authorized for general use. What I remember from the practical class was that the firefighter teaching the class thought highly of chest compressions. I still clearly remember mentioning while chatting to him during a break, “I’m a shiatsu therapist, so I have a good feel for performing perpendicular compressions.” In shiatsu terms, you might say that, while supporting the weight of you lower body with your knees, you apply hand-on-hand pressure with elbows extended, skillfully applying upper bodyweight to exert rhythmical pressure. Also, to push the comparison farther (perhaps too far?) you could say that the hand-on-hand pressure applied to the sternum using the heel of the palm is like fluid pressure, but without the flow.
For manual therapists, touching other people’s bodies is a major premise of their work. Speaking subjectively, I feel that among manual therapists, shiatsu therapists are probably the most sensitive to the notion of perpendicular pressure. With the chest compressions of CPR, while one must press perpendicularly in order to ensure effective delivery of oxygen (blood), at the sane tine there is a risk of damaging the ribs and sternum. I was glad I had learned about and acquired the skills of ‘perpendicular compression’ at the time, and especially now that I have used it to actually save a person.
As I mentioned earlier, I think shiatsu therapists also have good pulse palpation skills. In basic shiatsu, when one treats the axillary region, one palpates the radial pulse to determine if you are pressing on the right point. In the process of repeating this over and over, the various pulse feels of many different people accumulate in your fingertips like a medical chart. This may be why I was able to recognize the student’s irregular pulse.
I realized that most shiatsu therapists are very busy with their day-to-day responsibilities, but I strongly recommend that everyone make the time to take a first aid course offered by the Red Cross or you local fire department. While the chances of being involved in a medical emergency are slim, proper training will not only help you handle the situation calmly, but will also provide an ideal opportunity to apply your skills as a shiatsu therapist.
By the way, the feeling of practicing chest compressions on the doll used in the course is surprisingly similar to the feel of performing it on an actual person’s chest. I would like to express my respect and gratitude to the person who developed it.

7. Conclusions

One year after the incident, I took a first aid course for the third time in my life. It’s certainly not because I was full of myself for having saved someone, but the instructor informed me that I was applying the electrode pads in the wrong position. I realized that, whether first aid or shiatsu, one needs to study every day to maintain one’s skills.
It is not unimaginable that the skills one develops as a shiatsu therapist while coming into contact with people both spiritually and physically can be applied in a variety of situations, from nursing to childcare. It will make an interesting topic for further study.


  1. Ishizuka H: Shiatsu ryohogaku, first revised edition. International Medical Publishers, Ltd., 2008 (in Japanese)
  2. Shimazaki S, editorial supervision; Tanaka H, editor: AED machikado no kiseki. Diamondo Bijinesu kikaku, 2010 (in Japanese)
  3. Japanese Red Cross Society, editors: Sekijuji kyukyuho kiso koshu. Nisseki sabisu, 2012 (in Japanese)

Shiatsu Society of Japan Submission Guidelines

I. Editorial policy

  1. Manuscripts submitted to this publication must be original papers on shiatsu or a shiatsu related field, previously unpublished and not scheduled for publication in any other journal.
  2. Manuscripts submitted will classified based on the following criteria:
    (1) Original article: Research and reports showing originality and a clear conclusion;
    (2) Brief report: Research and reports of topical interest that require timely publication;
    (3) Case report: Report on a significant clinical case rich in implications for members and readers;
    (4) Other: review article, investigative report, essay, member contributions, etc.

II. Submission procedure

  1. Manuscripts should be submitted in Japanese, printed on A4 paper in horizontal writing using a word processor. Each page must be numbered.
  2. Other than specialized terminology, all writing must employ standard kanji and modern kana usage. All specialized Eastern medical terms not in common use must include furigana.
  3. The manuscript must basically be arranged to include. I. Introduction; II. Methods; III. Results; IV. Discussion; V. Conclusions; VI. References; Figures.
  4. The cover page must include the following items:
    (1) title;
    (2) author’s name;
    (3) affiliated organization;
    (4) number of manuscript pages;
    (5) number of figures;
    (6) contact information.
  5. The manuscript must be no longer than five printed pages (24 sheets or less of 400-character manuscript paper). For purpose of calculation, title, author name, and affiliated organization; 400 characters of main text; or ore one figure 7.7 cm wide by 9.5 cm tall count as one page.
  6. Figures or photos may be either 7.7 or 16 cm wide by up to 24 cm tall. Sizing of figures and photos must take print format into consideration.
  7. Figures must be print-ready and submitted separately from the written portion of the manuscript, with the insertion point for the figure indicated in the right margin of the manuscript.
  8. References should include only those documents cited in the manuscript and must be numbered with the reference number listed in the manuscript to the right of the location where the citation occurs.
    For a magazine: Ref.#) author name: title, publication name, edition (number); pages, year of publication (Western calendar)
    For a book: Ref.#) author name: title, pages, publisher, location of publication, year of publication
  9. Arabic numerals must be employed, with units of measurement in m, cm, mm, kg, g, mg.
  10. An electronic file saved in Text format must be submitted along with the manuscript. If possible, figures should be submitted along with the manuscript as electronic files saved in JPEG, PNG, or TIFF format.
  11. Electronic files must be saved on CR-R, DVD-R, or USB memory.
  12. In principle, corrections by the author will only be permitted on the first proof; rearrangement of sentences or corrections to figures is not allowed.
  13. Manuscript publication is free of charge within the guidelines, but submissions that exceed the guidelines will be charged at cost. Those wishing to publish in color will be charged at cost.

III. Copyright

  1. The Shiatsu Society of Japan retains all rights for permission to print, publish, or cite and reproduce figures. The Shiatsu Society of Japan also retains the right to consent and charge a fee for databasing, secondary use, reprinting, or reproduction using a copy machine or other device.
  2. The manuscript will be published only after the author has signed and sealed a Declaration and Assignment of Authorship Consent Form pledging that the manuscript submitted has not been submitted elsewhere and that copyright will be assigned to the Shiatsu Society of Japan.


日本指圧専門学校 同窓会会長
指圧道師範 川原善次郎

消火器と云えば、胃腸があげられるが、指圧で胃腸をコントロール させるには、腹部指圧と背部指圧があります。基本指圧が一番ですが、基本指圧でも丁寧に隅々まで指が行き届かなければ効果は出せないものです。 それに胃腸のコントロールに欠かせないのは頚部指圧の前頚部指圧、横頚部指圧を丁寧にする事が大切ですが、あまり難しく考える事はありません。基本指圧がきちんと出来ているかです。 腹部指圧の基本指圧で、掌圧で時計周りに圧する時に脾臓の部分で指先はどう使っているかで治療が出来るか否かです。また、拇指圧の一点目が微妙です。一点目の少し左上が胆のうです。臍の周り四点目が十二指腸です。 掌圧で最初に回る四手目盲腸、六手目、七手目、九手目は、これは大体大腸です。

六手目は、大腸では上行結腸と横行結腸の曲がり目、七手目は、横行結腸と下行結腸の曲がり目、九手目は、S状結腸。 大腸周りの指圧は、臍の周りの硬い時は、指圧は強からず、癒くり指圧が速く緩む。

腹部の拘結には背部の指圧は欠かせない。背部の指圧は背部四点目から十点目で胸椎其番目から腰椎一番の小内臓神経、腰椎二番目から其番の下腸間膜動脈神経 に刺激を与える背部指圧は欠かせない。この間の指圧をしながら気になるコリを見つけたらこのコリを強からず持続を加えるのが、早い治療になる。 基本指圧をよく思い出してください。基本指圧は良く出来ています。後は指の使い方です。

El Shiatsu y su Difusión en el Extranjero

Escrito por Kiyoshi Ikenaga, Shiatsupractor


  • Definición de Shiatsu
  • Esencia del Shiatsu
  • Historia del Shiatsu (Los Comienzos - Origen del Shiatsu)
  • Historia del Shiatsu (Parte Media – El camino hacia el reconocimiento legal)
  • Historia del Shiatsu (Ultima Parte – Shiatsu Derivativo y otras derivaciones)
  • Difusión del Shiatsu – Problemas y Condiciones en el Extranjero
  • Homogeneización de Licencias en el Mundo del Shiatsu – “Shiatsupractor®”
  • El Shiatsu y el Shiatsu Derivativo
  • Curriculum Estándar de 2200-Horas para la Categoría de Shiatsupractor
  • Bibliografía y Referencias


Cuando practico Shiatsu en el extranjero, se vuelve extremadamente importante definir el Shiatsu correctamente. Japón es el lugar de origen del Shiatsu y la mayoría de la gente en Japón sabe lo que es el Shiatsu. Aunque la gente no comprende la definición exacta del Shiatsu, pueden asumir el significado general del Kanji (caracteres chinos actualizados al japonés). Sin embargo, aunque el Shiatsu se ha dado a conocer recientemente en países extranjeros, la palabra en sí no tiene significado en los caracteres del alfabeto Latino. Y por ello se necesita una explicación. Para traducir el significado del Shiatsu en Español, “SHI” es dedo y “OYAYUBI” es pulgar. “ATSU” es presión, así que traduciendo literalmente Shiatsu significa “presión con el dedo” o “presión con el pulgar”. La definición parece simple.Sin embargo, el problema no es la palabra. Para difundir el Shiatsu con precisión, terapia manual original japonesa, es muy importante dar instrucciones basándose en los terrenos legales de la Terapia del Shiatsu reconocidos por “La Ley de terapeutas especialistas en Shiatsu, Masaje y Anma, especialistas en Acupuntura y especialistas en Moxibustión”.

El Shiatsu fue reconocido por primera vez bajo la ley japonesa en 1955, y en el libro de texto “Teoría y Práctica del Shiatsu” publicado por el departamento médico del Ministerio de Bienestar (actual Ministerio de Salud, Trabajo y Bienestar) en Diciembre de 1957, donde el Shiatsu se define como sigue:

“La técnica del Shiatsu se refiere al uso de los dedos y la palma de las manos para aplicar presión en secciones determinadas en la superficie del cuerpo, con el propósito de corregir desequilibrios del cuerpo, y para mantener y promover la salud. También es un método de contribución para la sanación de enfermedades específicas.”

La traducción anterior sobre la definición del Shiatsu se puede encontrar en las páginas Web CSSBCón

Dicho esto, los siguientes tres puntos fueron fijados como la principal premisa de la terapia del Shiatsu:

  1. Utilizar las manos al descubierto. (Sin herramientas, codos, rodillas, pies, etc.)
  2. Presionar la superficie del cuerpo (no frotar, golpear ni tirar)
  3. Tener la intención de mantener y mejorar la salud o recuperación de una enfermedad.

Estos son los tres conceptos más importantes a la hora de explicar el Shiatsu fuera de nuestras fronteras.


La característica del Shiatsu es practicar utilizando sólo los dedos, palmas y especialmente los pulgares, aunque la esencia del Shiatsu es “Diagnóstico y Terapia combinados”.

“Diagnóstico y Terapia combinados” es la habilidad que debe tener el terapeuta especialista utilizando sus órganos sensoriales (palmas, dedos y pulgares) para detectar irregularidades, tales como rigidez de la superficie del cuerpo, y rápidamente corregir o sanar estos problemas. Para adquirir esta admirable habilidad lleva una experiencia considerable. La diferencia definida entre la terapia del Shiatsu y la medicina moderna y medicina de Kampo (también conocida como Medicina Tradicional China, tales como acupuntura y moxibustión) es precisamente “Diagnóstico y Terapia combinados”; el echo es que el Shiatsu no siempre requiere que se haga un diagnóstico previo antes de comenzar el tratamiento.

En la medicina moderna, el tratamiento sólo se puede decidir después de haber hecho un diagnóstico. En la MTC, también es necesario diagnosticar antes de tratar. En la Terapia de Shiatsu, los terapeutas especialistas promueven la prevención y recuperación de una enfermedad estimulando el sistema inmunológico y el poder natural de sanación que las personas ya tienen. Por tanto, incluso sin un diagnóstico o con la barrera del lenguaje, los terapeutas especialistas pueden, por citar a Toru Namikoshi Sensei, tratar pacientes con “los pulgares y un futón fino” en cualquier lugar. Tratando el cuerpo como un todo ayuda a restaurar las funciones físicas del sistema nervioso, sistema circulatorio, la estructura de los huesos, músculos y la secreción interna y estimula su habilidad natural para sanar enfermedades. Dicho esto, terapeutas hábiles pueden contribuir considerablemente en el tratamiento médico y de salud particular.


Los primeros acontecimientos del Shiatsu comenzaron con el TEATE, que traducido literalmente significa “manos encima” en Japonés. En el vocabulario de hoy también significa “tratamiento”. Desde tiempos remotos, los seres humanos sabían instintivamente que se puede suprimir el dolor poniendo una mano en la zona afectada. El registro más antiguo sobre el tratamiento de una dolencia por TEATE es alrededor de doscientos mil años en la era mítica. También hay registrado en un poema japonés antiguo, un incidente donde Sukunahikonakami, el padre de la medicina Japonesa, curaba dolencias con sus manos desnudas. Este tipo de leyendas no sólo se limita a Japón por supuesto, sino que han sido el resultado del desarrollo de terapias manuales por todo el mundo, tales como el masaje en Europa y el Anma en China (llamado Tsui-na en la China Contemporánea).

Después de los tiempos prehistóricos, la medicina Kampo, fue importada desde el continente, China a través de la península de Korea junto con la transmisión del Budismo. En 9…, Yasuyori Tanba escribió lo que es ahora el libro médico más antiguo titulado “Ishinboh”, que actualmente se encuentra en Japón, y la medicina Kampo pasó a ser el centro de la medicina Japonesa. La posición de la medicina Kampo se mantuvo hasta la Revolución de Meiji (1867). La medicina Kampo incluía la terapia manual “Anma” junto con sus prácticas predominantes: acupuntura, moxibustión y medicina China. En el periodo de Edo, los grandes especialistas en terapias manuales (terapeutas de Anma), tales como Ryouzan Goto y Shinsai Ota, aparecieron uno detrás del otro. En los últimos años del periodo Edo, Genpaku Sugita y Ryoutaku Maeno iniciaron la prosperidad de la medicina Occidental del Periodo Meiji al traducir el “Kaitaishinsho” (texto de anatomía procedente de los Países Bajos). Con la influencia de la medicina más moderna de los países occidentales, muchas terapias manuales tales como el masaje, quiropraxia, osteopatía y spongio fueron también importadas. Además de estas terapias foráneas, había más de trescientos tratamientos civiles; éstos eran tratamientos japoneses antiguos importados de China: Anma, Douin, Kampo, Jyujutsu, etc. y sus formas combinadas.

En 1912, con siete años, el fundador de la terapia Shiatsu, Tokujiro Namikoshi, se trasladó al pueblo de Rusutsu, Hokkaido de la prefectura de Kagawa, en la isla de Shikoku. En ese tiempo, el cuerpo de la madre de Tokujiro, Masa, estaba cubierto de dolor debido a la fatiga del viaje y al cambio extremo del entorno. En aquellos días era difícil encontrar médicos y medicinas. Tokujiro no podía soportar ver sufrir a su madre y probó curarla “frotando” y “dándole golpeteos”. Sin embargo, se dio cuenta que su condición mejoraba más cuando presionaba y liberaba la rigidez de su cuerpo con sus pulgares. Basándose en esta observación, desarrolló un método de aplicar presión que dependía de la temperatura y dureza del cuerpo de la madre. Como resultado, la madre se recuperó completamente. Su condición ahora se conoce como “reumatismo”; su recuperación fue el resultado del TEATE de un niño que quería curar a su madre desesperadamente. Basándose en esta experiencia, después de muchas pruebas y errores e investigaciones, el Ministerio de Salud de Japón definió la “Terapia Shiatsu”.

En 1925, se abrió la primera clínica de tratamiento Shiatsu en el mundo, en Muroran, Hokkaido. En 1934, Tokujiro Namikoshi publicó el artículo “La Terapia Shiatsu y Psicología”. En 1940, abrió el Colegio de Shiatsu Japonés. La palabra “Shiatsu” se usó por primera vez en los años 20 por Tenpeki Tamai y sus escritos de “Terapia Shiatsu” se publicaron en 1939.


Hacia finales de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, gran parte del estilo de vida, ideas comunes y valores japoneses dieron un giro de 180 grados, y la actitud hacia el tratamiento médico civil no era una excepción. La Escuela Japonesa de Shiatsu (ahora Colegio Japonés de Shiatsu) fue establecida en 1940 por Tokujiro Namikoshi. La escuela envió muchos terapeutas que fueron certificados por la “Ley de Juntas de la Policía Metropolitana” en 1930. En aquellos días, la mayoría de los tratamientos médico civiles (llamados cuasi-medicina), incluyendo Shiatsu, no tenían licencia basándose en un examen nacional estandarizado. Eran parte de un sistema de evaluación bajo la jurisdicción de la policía. En 1947, justo después de que finalizara la guerra, la “Ley Económica de Anma, Acupuntura, Moxibustión y Jyudo-Alimento” fue promulgada por el jefe de GHQ. Esto ahora se conoce como la “Ley de terapeutas de Anma, Masaje y Shiatsu, terapeutas de Acupuntura y terapeutas de Moxibustión”. Bajo esta ley y hasta 1955, se les dio una condena condicional al Shiatsu y a otros tratamientos medico civiles reconocidos por el sistema de evaluación.

En 1955, durante la 22ª Sesión de la Dieta, el gobierno hizo una enmienda parcial a la “Ley Económica de Anma, Acupuntura, Moxibustión y Jyudo-Alimento”. Un comité del Organismo de Asesores de Trabajo Social fijó una audiencia pública, convocando testigos de cada sector de la sociedad. En el proyecto de ley, se revisó la expresión “Anma” a “Anma (incluyendo Masaje y Shiatsu)”. La intención del proyecto de ley era prohibir los tratamientos medico civiles que no fueran Anma, Masaje y Shiatsu. Los siete temas principales que se discutirían en la audiencia pública eran los siguientes:

  1. Relaciones entre medicina y cuasi-medicina.
  2. Relaciones entre Anma y Shiatsu.
  3. Relaciones entre Shiatsu y medicina.
  4. Valores educativos y económicos para la cuasi-medicina.
  5. Interpretación del periodo de suspensión de ocho años introducido por la “Ley Económica de Anma, Acupuntura, Moxibustión y Jyudo-Alimento”.
  6. Cambiar o cerrar antes de 3 años cualquier práctica de cuasi-medicina, excepto prácticas de Shiatsu.
  7. Prohibición de la cuasi-medicina.

Esta audiencia pública sobre enmiendas fue extremadamente importante en la historia del Shiatsu porque el proyecto de ley se aprobó con la expresión de “Anma (incluyendo Masaje y Shiatsu)”. Esta fue la primera vez en la historia que la palabra “Shiatsu” apareció en las leyes. En 1957, dos años después de la audiencia, el Ministerio de Salud de Japón publicó el libro de texto que ofrece la definición del Shiatsu. Además, los maestros que presenciaron la audiencia pública publicaron muchos artículos acerca del Shiatsu, los cuales fueron ampliamente reconocidos por la sociedad. Fue en ese periodo cuando también el Colegio Japonés de Shiatsu pasó a ser una escuela autorizada por el Ministerio de Salud. A través de este proceso, se hizo otra enmienda en 1964, y el nombre de “Anma (incluyendo Masaje y Shiatsu”) pasó a expresarse como “Anma, Masaje y Shiatsu”. Ese fue el momento en que el Shiatsu obtuvo reconocimiento legal finalmente, como método original japonés de tratamiento médico.

Los testimonios de los testigos de la 22ª Sesión de la Dieta, en la Diputación de Consejeros de Trabajo Social en 1955, sentaron las bases para la “Ley de terapeutas de Anma, Masaje y Shiatsu, terapeutas de Acupuntura y terapeutas de Moxibustión” la cual separaba tanto Shiatsu como Masaje de “Anma”. Durante los siguientes nueve años, se hicieron muchas enmiendas en las leyes lo cual posicionó eventualmente el Shiatsu como una terapia manual independiente. Esa audiencia pública y el movimiento de nueve años que le siguieron fueron críticos para la consolidación, organización y reconocimiento legal del Shiatsu, y durante ese periodo se consolidó la mayor parte de lo que hoy conocemos como la Terapia Shiatsu.

A continuación ofrecemos una lista de los maestros que atendieron esta audiencia pública como testigos y defendieron su punto de vista:

  • Director de la Asociación de Doctores de Japón …… Kunisaku Shimuru
  • Profesor honorario de la Universidad Médica de Tokyo …… Haohisa Fujii
  • Profesor de la Primera Universidad Médica de Yokohama …… Kazumi Yarimotsu
  • Profesor de Formación de Instructores Especiales de la Universidad de Educación de Tokyo …… Katsusuke Serizawa
  • Presidente de la Asociación de Masaje, Moxibustión y Acupuntura de Japón …… Yoshikatsu Komori
  • Presidente de la Asociación de Terapeutas de Moxibustión y Acupuntura deJapón …… Hiroshi Hanada
  • Presidente de la Asociación de Masaje, Moxibustión y Acupuntura de Kyoto …… Mitsuo Kekino
  • Director de la Cooperación Nacional de Técnicas de Tratamiento …… Shigeru Matsumoto
  • Presidente de la Cooperación Nacional de Técnicas de Tratamiento …… Yoshizumi Utsunomaya
  • Presidente de la Asociación de Shiatsu de Japón …… Tokujiro Namikoshi
  • Profesor Médico de la Universidad de Tokyo …… Iyuji Miki

Immune Response in Animal Lymph Nodes

By Electroacupuncture Stimulation
Ben Hatai, M.D.*, Takahashi Hashimoto, Ph.D., Hiroshi Ishizuka, Ph.D., Michio Tany**, M.D. Tokyo, Japan

*Professor, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Toho University, 5-21-16 Omori Nishi, Ota-ku, Japan. ** Director, Tany Clinic, Vice President of MSA Research Group, 2-24-12 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Japan.

Abstract: This paper investigates variations of white blood cell count, morphological changes of the lymph nodes and the influence on the immune mechanism in animals caused by acupuncture stimulation. Although marked increases of neutrophils or pseudoeosinophils were not observed, a decrease of lymphocytes and white blood cells was seen. Results showed that the antibody value in the experimental group of animals was much higher than in the control group. Pronounced histological changes were observed in the axillary lymph nodes in the areas in which acupuncture stimulation was performed. These changes consisted of marked enlargement of the lymph sinuses, notable hemorrhage, increase of mast cells, and a picture of degranulation. A rapid increase of plasma cells was particularly noticed after 48 hrs.

Since ACUPUNCTURE anesthesia was used successfully in tonsillectomy of the palatine tonsil in 1958 in China (*1), it has been applied with good results i various cases in Japan, Europe, and the U.S(*2-6). The pain-relieving effect of acupuncture has been considered to be induced from gate control (*7), inhibition of pain in the thalamus (*8) or the reticular formation of the midbrain (*9), or the production of an inhibitory nervous transmitter. Recently, C. Takeshi (*10) suspected that serotonin, released from serotonin-producing nerve cells in the midbrain by acupuncture stimulation, had an effect on the spinal cord through the descending fibers. He also presumed the existence of a factor in body fluid, by which pain-relieving effects in one parabiotic animal were transferred to another parabiotic animal. On the other hand, the therapeutic effectiveness of moxibustion has been considered to be due to histotoxins produced in the local region on which moxibustion was performed. K. Tatai (*11-13) reported that adrenocortical hormone secreted as a result of the stress of acupuncture stimulation had a therapeutic effect. A great numbe of experiments have been reported on the influence of acupuncture and moxibustion on the body, with special reference to the variation of white blood cell count (*14), the blood pressure (*15) and the effect on the movement of the stomach and intestines. In this paper, variations of white blood cell count, morphological changes of the lymph nodes and influence on immune mechanism by acupuncture stimulation are investigated in animals.

Material and Methods

The animals were rabbits weighing 2-3 kg., and Sprague-Dawley (SD) strain of rats of four weeks of age.

1) Electrostimulation.

The rabbits were placed in supine position on an operating table or in prone position on an operation table for canine aurosurgery. All experiments on rats were performed with the rats in supine position. Short stainless steel needles of 0.18 mm. diameter were used for electrostimulation, and acupuncture was performed on the Tsusanli (ST-36) and the Pang-gu (extra meridian point) of both rear legs. A low-frequency therapeutic apparatus for humans, the Tany Oriental Pulse Mix Type Ⅱ was also employed to carry out needle-to-needle stimulation. he negative pole was connected with the ST-36 point and the positive pole was connected with the Pang-gu point. Electrostimulation of 1.5 to 2.0 volt and 3 Hz. was given. The synchoroscope Jr. Type

Ⅱ was used for monitoring the output.

Acupuncture stimulation was given to the site which anatomically corresponded with the site in humans. The Tsusanli point of the leg in humans was equivalent to the point located one fingerwidth outside the tibial tuberosity in animals, and the Pang-gu point was equivalent to the central point between the third and the fourth metatarsus (Fig.1).


2) Blood Cell Count.

Blood was collected from the vein of the ear in the rabbits and the rete venosum dorsale pedis in the rats. Blood was sucked into a melangeur, and blood cells were counted in the counting chamber. The smear stained with May-Giemsa's solution was prepared for the hemogram.

3) Method of Immunization.

In the control groups of rabbits and rats, 10 mg. of bovine serum albumin dissolved in 1 ml. of a phosphate buffer solution was subcutaneously injected as an antigen into the sole of the legs. In the experimental groups, electroacupuncture stimulation was given to the Tsusanli and Pang-gu points of both legs for 30 minutes after above injection. The antigen was given primarily on the 1st day and secondly o the 9th day in both the control and experimental group of rabbits.

4) Measurement of Antibody Value.

Blood was collected every day from the auricular veins of the rabbits 1 to 28 days after the injection of the antigen. After separation of the serum, antigen value was measured according to the Ouchterlony method and was compared between the control and the experimental groups. In the rats, blood was collected directly from the heart 48 and 72 hours after the injection, and the comparison was made between the control and the experimental groups according to the above method.

5) Histological Examination.

In the control and experimental groups of the SD strain rats, the lymph nodes were removed from the axilla, the groin, the lumber, the mesenterium and the superficial cervical area directly, 24 and 72 hours after acupuncture stimulation. They were fixed in a 10 percent formalin and Helly's solution to prepare paraffin section, which were stained with the Pappenheim method and were histologically examined.



In the rabbits, contraction began to appear by electrostimulation at about 0.5 volt and increased with increasing voltage. After 15 to 20 minutes, the rabbits fell into anesthetic condition, in which no reaction was observed against pinching by hooked forceps on almost all skin areas of the body trunk and the rear legs, and against the prick of the skin with a needle. However, strong reaction of escape was found on the face, particularly on the lip and the tip or the nose. The same experiment was performed in the rats, and almost similar results were obtained on anesthesia.

1) Changes in White Blood Cell Count and Differential Count.

Changes in the count were examined before, during and after electroacupuncture stimulation. In the rabbits, there was a great individual difference in white blood cell count before electrostimulation. The count ranged from 5,000 to 15, 000, and many had counts between 5,000 and 8,000. In some rabbits, the count was higher after electrostimulation than before, but in some others the count increased or decreased according to the duration of electrostimulation (Fig.2). In general, the count dropped during anesthesia 30 minutes' duration and recovered after the suspension of electrostimulation.

As in the rabbits, white blood cell count in the rats showed great individual variation and ranged from 5,000 to 15,000. In many rats, the count was between 5,000 and 9,000.

Differing from the results of acupuncture stimulation in rabbits, no constant tendency was found in the rats. During stimulation, the count dropped in half of the rats and elevated in the other half.

Generally differential count of white blood cells in the rabbits repeated the decrease of lymphocytes and an increase of pseudoeosinophils during and after stimulation. No great variation was observed on basophils, eosinophils and monocytes, as their absolute number was small. However, some rabbits showed increased lymphocyte count and reduced pseudoeosinophil count during stimulation (Fig.4).

Similar results were obtained in the rats. Lymphocytes gradually dropped in number during and after stimulation, but neutrophils increased. Eosinophils, basophil or monocyte count did not greatly change, because their absolute numbers were low (Fig.5).

There was no significant variation in red blood cell count in both rabbits and rats.


2) Immune Experiment.


The antibody value was measured in the rabbits and was compared between the control and the experimental groups. The value began to elevate from the 8th day in both groups. In the control group, the value increased 8 times, reaching a peak on the 14th day, and then sank slightly until the 16th day. Finally, it decreased to 4 times and this value was constantly maintained. In the experimental group, the value increased 16 times to reach a peak on the 16th day, and slightly decreased to a value of 8 times. After the 18th day, this value was constantly kept, which was higher than that in the control group (Fig.6).

In the rats, the antibody value in the experimental group was twice as high than that in the control group at 48 hours, and four times higher at 72 hours.

3) Observation of the Lymph Nodes.


i) Gross Observation: In the experimental groups of both rabbits and rats, differed from the control groups, diffuse hemorrhage was grossly observed in the superficial cervical lymph nodes after 24 hours. After 48 hours, the hemorrhage was slightly reduced and had formed some spots, which had almost disappeared after 72 hours.


ii) Hostological Observation: Hostological pictures of the superficial cervical lymph nodes in the experimental group of the rats revealed extended lymph sinuses containing a great many red blood cells after 24 hours (Photogr.1), and an increase of plasma cells in the medullary cord and of mast cells (Photogr.2). After 48 hours, almost all red blood cells had disappeared, which macrophages had increased, showing phagocytic figures of the red blood cells. Plasma cells, lymphocytes and eosinophils further increased in number. Although phagocytic figures of the red blood cells were rarely observed after 72 hours, plasma cells had further increased (photogr.3).


A great number of cases of acupuncture anesthesia in humans have been reported in China(*16),  Japan (*17/18)

and other countries. Basic studies on animal experiments using dogs(*19), cats(*20), rabbits(*21/22) and guinea pigs have also been published. The purpose of above reports was to clarify the mechanism of the pain-relieving effect of acupuncture anesthesia. However, our reports are intended to find the principles of the therapeutic effectiveness of acupuncture in diseases. In order to maintain a constant stimulation level, electroacupuncture stimulation was employed instead of acupuncture hand stimulation.

According to the experiment on dogs performed by K. Kitazawa(*19) , the point which anatomically corresponded with the point in humans was selected for acupuncture in animals. Although Kitazawa selected theChuchih and the throat point of the front legs and the Tsusanli and Pang-gu of the rear legs, we selected only two points on the rear legs to simplify the experiment. The negative pole was placed on the point Tsusanli of the legs in the proximal area, and the positive pole was placed on the distal Pang-gu point, because the negative pole usually had a stronger effect on the body and the peripheral areas were more sensitive.

Several preliminary experiments showed that electroacupuncture stimulation of 1.5 to 2.0 volt and 3 Hz. minimum was necessary to produce the pain-relieving effect in animals. This condition was similar to that of electroacupuncture in the treatment of humans.

1) Variation of White Blood Cell Count and Differential Count.

In the literature, white blood cell count ranged from 3,100 to 9,200 with an average of 6,400 in the New Zealand white rabbit(*23), and was 8,500 in the domestic rabbit. The average count in the Norway rat was 6,000 with a range of 4,500 to 11,000. In our experiment, the count ranged from 5,000 to 8,000 in rabbits, and from 5,000 to 9,000 in rats.

R. Imura(*24) observed that moxibustion increased white blood cell counts in rats, and T. Tamura(*25) found an increase of about 30 percent in humans. However, no consistency was observed in our experiment on acupuncture stimulation, and the count increased or decreased in each case. In the rabbits, the count tended to reduce during stimulation. On the other hand, differential count of white blood cells in rabbits and rats showed an increase of neutrocytes or pseudoeosinophils, and a decrease of lymphocytes. Imura(*24) found a decrease of lymphocytes and eosinophils by acupuncture stimulation. T. Tamura found an increase of neutrophils and a decrease of lymphocytes(*14). He reported that these variations were caused by increased amino acid, particularly glutamic acid(*25/26).

In our experiments, however, marked increase of neutrophils or pseudoeosinophils was not observed, but we attach importance to a decrease of lymphocytes and white blood cells. Investigations of the causes and the mechanism of the variation of lymphocytes have not been completed and further work is required.

2) Relation to immune mechanism.

B. Terada et al.(*27) observed the inhibitory effect of acupuncture stimulation on the Arthus phenomenon in rabbits. They reported that marked local reddening was observed on the 7th day after the injection of equine serum as antigen in the control group, but that only slight reddening was first found on the 10th day in the experimental group of rabbits, on which acupuncture was performed. N. Igarashi(*28) found that the antibody value in the rabbits on which moxibustion was performed elevated earlier than that in the control group. Our experiments on electroacupuncture stimulation of rabbits and rats for 4 weeks revealed that the antibody value in the experimental group was significantly higher than in the control group. Dramatic histological changes were observed in the axillary lymph nodes in the areas in which acupuncture stimulation was performed. These changes consisted of marked enlargement of the lymph sinuses, notable hemorrhage, increase of mast cells, and a picture of degranulation. Rapid increase of plasma cells was particularly noticed after 48 hours. These changes seemed to be related to the elevation of immune antibody.

B. Hatai et al. (*29/30) injected bovine serum albumin as antigen into the sole of the feet of rats maintained under aseptic or general conditions. In the rats kept in aseptic condition, hemorrhage from a great many lymph nodes and release of histamine without accompanying degranulation of mast cells was observed. The hemorrhage was caused by the dilation of the capillary blood vessels and the invasion of the blood corpuscles into the sinuses. This process was assumed to be due to the effect of histamine. Although special rats maintained under aseptic conditions were used in the above experiment, we used rats raised under general conditions in our experiment on acupuncture stimulation. Therefore, there was a difference in quality. Hemorrhage was, however, observed in both experiments, which was considered to be induced from the increase of mast cells, the degranulation and acceleration of the transformation from lymphocytes to antibody productive cells. Postoperative infection need not be taken into consideration in acupuncture anesthesia, because these immune mechanisms may be present.


  1. Talking About Acupuncture Anesthesia. People's China, 10:16-24, 1971.
  2. Shirota, F., et al.: Electric Acupuncture Anesthesia, J. J. Anesth., 22(1):73-78, 1973.
  3. Shirota, F., et al.: Acupuncture Anesthesia. Ido No Nippon. 32(9):5, 1973. (In Japanese.)
  4. Hyodo, M., et al.: The Experience of Acupuncture Anesthesia, J. J. Anesth., 22(3):251-258, 1973.
  5. Hyodo, M., et al.: Acupuncture Anesthesia with Special Reference to Cranial Nerve Surgery. I. Izumi, 20(12):10-11, 1973. (In. Japanese).
  6. Hyodo, M., et al.: Acupuncture Anesthesia with Special Reference to Cranial Nerve Surgery. II. Izumi, 21(2):8-9, 1974. (In Japanese).
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  10. Takeshige, C.: Mechanism of Acupuncture Anesthesia Observed from Brain Waves of Animals. Clinical and Basis of Acupuncture. Anesthesia, p. 162-174. Kokuseido, Tokyo, 1975.
  11. Tatai, K., et al.: Experimental Observation on the Effect of Moxa Burn - a medical treatment of oriental medicine - on the Adrenal Cortex of Mice. Bull. Inst. Publ. Health, 2(3): 11, 1952.
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  13. Tatai, K., et al.: The Effect of Acupuncture Therapy to the Site of Nephro-Stimulation on the Adrenal Cortical System in Healthy of Uropepsin and Urinary 17-hydroxy-Corti-coids. J. of J.S.O.M., 8(1): 1-5, 1961. (In Japanese).
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  16. Department of Anesthesiology, Hsuan Wu Hospital, Peking: Acupuncture Anesthesia in neurosurgery, Chin. Med. J., 53(2): 15, 1973.
  17. Kakizaki, K., et al: Caesarean Section by Acupuncture Anesthesia. Am. J. Acupuncture. 1(3): 108-111, 1973.
  18. Tany, M., et al.: Acupuncture Analgesia and Its Application in Dental Practice. Am. J. Acupuncture, 2(3): 287-295, 1974.
  19. Kitazawa, K., et al.: Studies on Electroacupuncture Analgesia in the Dog. I. Confirmation of the Effect. Jap. J. Veterinary Anesth., 6: 7-14, 1975.
  20. Aikawa, T.: Electrophysiological Consideration on the mechanism of Acupuncture Anesthesia - With Special Reference to the Effect of Acupuncture Stimulation on the Activity of Nonspecific Nuclear Neuron in the Thalamus. Clinic and Basis of Acupuncture Anesthesia, p. 175-189, Kokuseido, Tokyo, 1975. (In Japanese).
  21. Medoki, T., et al.: Basic Investigation on so-called Acupuncture Anesthesia (The First Report - Summary). J. J. Anesth., 22(10): 1055, 1973. (In Japanese).
  22. Acupuncture Anesthesia Research Group, Human Medical College, Changsha: The Relation Between Acupuncture Analgesia and Neurotransmitters in Rabbit Brain. Chin. Med. J., 53(8): 105, 1973.
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  24. Imura, S., et al.: Effect of Moxibustion on the Adrenal Cortex (Summary). Nippon Naibunpitsugakkai Zasshi (Folia Endocrinologica Japonica, 31(2): 106, 1951. (In Japanese).
  25. Tamura, T.: Pharmacological Studies on the Mechanisms of Acupuncture. II. Amino Acids in Blood of Acupunctured Animals. Medicine & Biology, 29(3): 91-95, 1953.
  26. Tamura, T.: Pharmacological Studies on the Mechanism of Acupuncture. V. Influence of Amino Acids Upon Blood Picture of the Rabbit. Medicine & Biology. 30(4): 150-153, 1954.
  27. Terada, B., et al.: Studies on Acupuncture (The second report - Summary). Nippon Yakurigaku Zasshi (Folia Pharmacologica Japonica). 48: 178-179, 1952. (In Japanese).
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  29. Hatai, B., et al.: Relationship Between Mast Cells and Immunological Response. Acta Anat. Nippon. 49(1): 19-20, 1974.
  30. Hatai, B., et al.: The Role of Mast Cells Upon the Hemorrhage in Lymph Sinus of Immunized Germ-Free Rats. 10th International Congress of Anatomists, Tokyo, p. 379 (abstract), 1975.

The Popularization and Dissemination of True Shiatsu

Kiyoshi Ikenaga, Shiatsumaster, SPR

The original form of Shiatsu arose out of "Teate".  Shiatsu, which is a unique hands-on therapy in Japan, was developed by the founder, Tokujiro Namikoshi sensei, almost a century ago. Today, the Japanese word “Shiatsu” has become familiar in English speaking countries as well as in countries throughout the world where different languages are spoken.  The original meaning of, and a direct translation of, "Teate" is "hands-on". Nowadays it is understood to mean "Treatment".  This helps us understand the fact that from ancient times in Japan, people, in their everyday lives have found that pain and other unpleasant symptoms can be relieved by placing their hands on the affected area.

Shiatsu Therapy has two distinct effects on the body. Firstly, applying pressure to the shiatsu points with one's fingers and palms, has a stimulating or adjusting effect on the body structures such as the integumentary system (skin and soft tissues), the muscular, nervous, skeletal, circulatory, endocrine, digestive systems and so on. It enhances the body's "natural healing ability" (immune system) which people already possesses, and prevents and treats illnesses. Secondly, we have the "Teate" effect on the affected body part upon which the hands are placed.

Presently we know that small amounts of  "chi", or energies such as a "negative ions" and "magnetism" are radiated from the skin of human beings.  This has been proven scientifically.  These energies, or "chi", are especially concentrated in the palms of experienced Shiatsu practitioners. We know the human body is controlled through electrical impulses generated by the brain and nervous system.  This "chi", radiating from an experienced practitioner's palms, works on the autonomic nerves to help normalize body functions and enhance the immune system. Therefore, Shiatsu, which does not require any equipment and has no side effects, is very effective in maintaining and improving health.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan acknowledged shiatsu in Japanese law in the 1950's. As a result, it is accepted as one of the most effective preventative alternative medicines in Japan. Today, upon completion of a program of about 2200 hours at a school authorized by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, practitioners are able to obtain a license to practice Shiatsu after writing a government examination, just as doctors and nurses do.

Unfortunately in Canada, Shiatsu is not regulated by any of the provincial Ministries of Health. However, several years ago, Traditional Chinese Medicine, such as acupuncture, came under regulation by the Ministry of Health in BC. The Canadian Shiatsu Society of BC (CSSBC) is taking the lead in BC and has been promoting the regulation of a high educational standard for Shiatsu, similar to the one in Japan. The CSSBC's 2200-hour educational standard for Shiatsupractors is already recognized as an index for issuance of Business Licenses at the Municipal level, for instance, the City of Vancouver.

As you are well aware, the 2010 Winter Olympics will be held here in Vancouver.  Shiatsu for health maintenance was given a positive reception by the athletes and staff of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Nagano, as well as at the Summer Olympics in Torino this year.  Shiatsu made a positive contribution to both events. The Canadian College of Shiatsu Therapy expects to gain a foothold in the growing involvement of organizations with the 2010 Winter Olympics.  In cooperation with the Canadian Shiatsu Society of BC we hope to popularize the true Shiatsu throughout Canada, North America, and the world. We welcome everyone who is would like to join us in this activity.

“Shin-Ryo”performed by a Shiatsupractor

Written by Kiyoshi Ikenaga, Shiatsupractor®, Translated by Noriko Nishie Edited by Judy Thompson

The founder of Shiatsu Therapy, Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei (1905 - 2000) stated that the essence of Shiatsu Therapy is “Diagnosis and Therapy Combined”.  Literally, this means “Teate” as well as “Shin-Ryo”  in Shiatsu Therapy.

The essence is the most important point to pass down to future generations in Japan .  It is also important to distinguish the original Shiatsu when introducing it around the world to newcomers to Shiatsu Therapy.

In the “Theory and Practice of Shiatsu”, published in 1957, the definition of shiatsu states “Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and the palm of one’s hands to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body and for maintaining and promoting health.  It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses. It is clearly stated that one’s fingers, mainly thumbs, and palms are used to apply pressure (no rubbing or stroking) with no use of elbows, feet and legs.  (no “bony” parts)

The book also states that Shiatsu Therapy does not require the use of any devices such as   needles used in acupuncture.  In each specific region on the surface of the body there are definite Shiatsu pressure points (tsubo) which are different from Chinese “Meridian points” used in acupuncture and moxibustion.

The Shiatsu pressure points are determined by irregularities, abnormalities or imbalances of the body such as referred pain in the anatomical and physiological perspective.  Consequently, in order to understand the essence of Shiatsu Therapy, there are two principle concepts.  First of all, a treatment is performed using only the thumbs, fingers and palms.  Secondly, one should understand Tsubo theory, or the pathological reflex points.  Only with a full understanding of these two principle concepts can one bring “Shin-Ryo’s” capabilities into full play.  To apply pressure to the correct Shiatsu points with one’s fingers and palms is called “Kihon-Shiatsu”.

In the final analysis, the essence of Shiatsu means “Kihon-Shiatsu”.  It leads us to a conclusion that “Kihon” means “the essence”,  as well.  This concept constantly reminds Shiatsu practitioners of the importance of practicing the basics over and over during the time spent in shiatsu school.

Now, what is “Shin-Ryo” in Shiatsu Therapy?  In Western medicine as well as Chinese medicine, the “treatment” is done following the “diagnosis”.  In other words, the diagnosis and the treatment are separate actions.  But “Shin-Ryo” is the combining of diagnosis and treatment.  In shiatsu Therapy, we can say that the treatment itself, encompassing the two, is “diagnosis and therapy combined”.

This means it is possible to do a shiatsu treatment without a preliminary diagnosis and it is most unlikely that there is no cure for an unknown illness unless there are obvious contraindications to treatment.  Shiatsu therapy can treat any illness including sicknesses or symptoms of unknown origin.  To   apply “Kihon-Shiatsu” correctly leads to proper “Shin-Rryo”.  It should result in improvement of symptoms since the immune system will be improved.  Incidentally, to diagnose with the hands is called “shokushin”  in Western medicine and “setsu-shin” in Chinese medicine.  These are different from the “Shin-Ryo” of Shiatsu Therapy because these are actions resulting only in a diagnosis and are based on their individual theories.

To stimulate “Meridian points” in Chinese medicine using thumbs and elbows instead of a  needle or moxacautery is called acupressure in North America.  The concept of “Diagnosis and Therapy combined” does not exist within the     theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine upon which acupressure is based.

Acquiring the skills implied by the slogan, “Diagnosis and Therapy combined”, namely “Shin-Ryo”, in Shiatsu Therapy, is the ultimate goal which is accomplished by an extensive educational      foundation and considerable hands-on experience with a large number of patients.

Only Shiatsupractors® acquire their distinguished skills through this unique combination of education and experience.

The Benefits of Shiatsu

by Jule Webb

My introduction to Shiatsu occurred early in 1996 when I was attending a home show in Toronto. At the point of leaving the home show I noticed a group of soon-to-graduate Shiatsu students giving "sample" treatments. For most of my adult life I had been having chiropractic treatments to treat migraines and backache with limited relief. I had previously read articles about Shiatsu therapy, some positive and some negative, the negative explaining how some practitioners used elbows, knees and sometimes full body weight to exert pressure. The negatives ones influenced me against seeking this type of treatment. I later found out that Namikoshi's Shiatsu method uses only thumbs, fingers and palms. But at that time, feeling extremely fatigued and with lower back aching from all the standing I decided to take advantage of the students' offer. The session lasted about 20 minutes, at the end of which time I felt such rejuvenation it was difficult to believe the extent of relief. My back was no longer aching, fatigue had vanished and I was left with a pleasant feeling of relaxed tiredness and a lightness of body as though it had, to a certain extent, been released from the pull of gravity.

This experience led me to seek out a permanent therapist whom I found in Kensen Saito of the Shiatsu Academy of Tokyo. I have been having regular therapy since then and the benefits have proven to be numerous: fewer and less severe headaches; relief of backaches and tension in the neck and shoulder area; lowering of high blood pressure; less insomnia; ability to breathe more deeply; fewer episodes of short term memory loss that come with aging, and a corresponding increase of powers of concentration.

My husband was in an automobile accident a few months after I began therapy. As a result of this collision his lungs, already weakened from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, suffered severe bruising. He had never been in favor of alternate therapies but his suffering was such that he agreed to Kensen administering Shiatsu therapy. After only one treatment he said the relief he felt was nothing short of miraculous. Unknown to us he was also in an advanced stage of prostate cancer, diagnosed six months later during a general medical examination. He continued having regular Shiatsu therapy until the time of his death in 1999 and it gave him enormous help in coping with all of the discomforts of two major illnesses. He looked forward to the days when he would have Shiatsu therapy and was always able to fall into a deep, restful sleep following the treatments.

I believe if Shiatsu were at least partly subsidized by government the overall benefit to the health of people in treating existing and preventing future problems would be considerable, not to mention the resulting savings in medical costs.

The Effectiveness of the Hand

Kiyoshi Ikenaga, Shiatsupractor

In the correct form of Shiatsu Therapy, one's hands and fingers are utilized. This is clearly stated as the definition of Shiatsu in "Theory and Practice of Shiatsu" published by the Ministry of Health in December 1957. Therefore, any method that applies force by the use of elbows, knees or feet cannot technically be called Shiatsu.

For your reference, below is a definition quoted from the Japan's Ministry of Health:

"Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and the palm of one's hands to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health, and it is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses."

Then, why is it so important to only use hands and fingers?

"Diagnosis and Therapy Combined = Essence of Shiatsu" describes how hands and fingers are indeed excellent sensory instruments that can recognize and treat 'trouble spots' in the body. Yet there is also a mystery hidden in the mechanism of the hand itself.

In Japan today, people still use the word for 'treatment', 'te-a-te', which literally means "hands-on". This means that by laying hands on the body, we can cure illnesses. Historically, this refers to the hands-on technique of healing, and in a broader sense, this can be traced back to the origins of "Shiatsu".

In fact, Hands-on healing methods are not exclusive to Japan; as suggested in historical documents in many parts of the world. Hands-on Therapy have been an integral part of peoples' lives as an effective treatment method. In Japan, up until TCM was imported around the period when Buddhism was introduced, Hands-on Therapy would have most likely been the main medical treatment. However, in the year 984, in what is considered as Japan's oldest existing medical document called "Ishinbo", compiled and edited by Yasuyori Tamba, in this document, he introduced the Chinese system of Meridian Line and Meridian Point along with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Also, until so-called Western Medicine was imported during the Meiji Restoration Period, methods introduced from China such as TCM, acupuncture, and moxibation took over center stage in Japan's medical practice for approximately 1000years.

However, during the Meiji Era, the simplest and most effective form of Hands-on Therapy was practiced under the guise of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine by historically renowned doctors such as Ryozan Goto and Fuzai Ohta. Needless to say, until Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei developed Shiatsu, the only form of Hands-on Therapy used was not Shiatsu, but Anma Acupressure technique based on the theory of the Chinese Meridian Line, Meridian Point system.

Today, Anma Acupressure derived from China, western forms of massage, and uniquely Japanese Shiatsu are each accredited byJapan's Ministry of Health as distinct methods of Hands-on Therapy.

During the initial stage of policy restructuring, Shiatsu, along with massage, was categorized as a branch of Anma Acupressure for some period of time. For that reason, still today, some people tend to make such assumptions. However, based on its history and theory, Shiatsu differs completely from Anma Acupressure. In fact, Shiatsu can be categorized in the spectrum of treatment methods somewhere between massage and chiropractic.

Therefore, while both techniques effectively use the hand, Shiatsu does not rely on the TCM theories of Meridian Lines or Chi Gong in the same way that Anma Acupressure does.

The effectiveness of the hand in Shiatsu therapy is extremely connected with blood circulation. Medical Doctor, Fumimasa Yanagisawa clearly explains the relationship between Shiatsu Therapy and blood circulation.

There are numerous negative ions in the palm of a person's hand, which react with the positive ions within the bloodstream, which in turn help to improve the circulation of the blood. In other words, while calcium is the main component of the positive ions in the bloodstream, when the palm of the hand adheres closely with the surface of the skin, this increases the calcium component in the bloodstream. When the percentage of calcium in the blood increases, Potassium, interfering with blood circulation, in turn, decreases. This brings a fresh new blood supply to the whole body and acts to promote the natural healing powers innate in the human body, helping to prevent and heal illnesses. Moreover, with Shiatsu, the pressure penetrates to deeper regions compared to massages which may merely rub the surface of the body with oils etc., thereby bringing forth greater effectiveness.

The treatment of my brain Infarction by Shiatsu as told.

Written by Sakae Io,
Translated by Hikari Ikenaga,

I became paralyzed on the right side with hemiplesia because of a brain infarction and was admitted to the hospital where I stayed for fifty days to recover. The doctor told me, “the problem is inadequate blood flow to the left forehead”. First, I had intravenous drips for one week. For the next two weeks, I. took medicine. Still there were no signs of recovery. I worried about my condition. At that time, I had a vision of Tokujiro Namikoshi sensei who came up said to me, "Mr. Io, your left hand is free." I realized then that I should do self shiatsu immediately. However, I could use only my left hand. I tried using my fingers in many ways to do self shiatsu from the cervical to the head. As the doctor had indicated, I tried especially to improve the blood flow to the left side of the head. As a child, when I had a headache, my mother used to press my head (from the top to the side). After that I slept very well. Anyway, I did shiatsu for two weeks, and then, what a surprise I had! My fingers began to move, next my toes, and two or three days later, the elbow and knee could flex! I was very happy. It was like dream come true. I was very thankful for shiatsu. After three weeks in bed, I could walk with crutches. After four weeks, I could climb the stairs. My doctor was very surprised that I recovered so quickly. I said to him "that is because I did rehabilitation, but also, I did my best with self shiatsu". It seemed as if the doctor didn’t believe my explanation. After six weeks, my condition was very good and I didn’t need crutches to walk. Another thing, there was a forty two year old man next in the bed next to mine. He stayed there for three months and walked somehow with an artificial limb and crutch. I sympathized with him and asked if I could try shiatsu without consulting the doctor. I did thirty minutes of shiatsu followed by a ten minute break, repeated for a total of three hours. After that, he could stretch the knee joint. He was very happy and thereafter, he did self shiatsu and stretched the knee that night and the next morning. Then he practiced walking with only crutches. (without the artificial limb).  I said to him "please be careful walking because, if you slip, you might get a fracture." The doctor told him to wear the artificial limb when walking. However, he forgot our promise of confidentiality and told the doctor, "Yesterday, Mr. Io gave me shiatsu and then my leg could move!" At last the doctor believed in the effectiveness of shiatsu. He also asked me to teach thru Shiatsu to the rehabilitation doctors.

How wonderful shiatsu is!!

Shiastu teratment for Asthma

Toru Namikoshi, Translated by Hikari Ikenaga, Shiatsupractor & Judy Thompson, Shiatsupractor

It is best to do shiatsu for the asthma suffer when they are calm and not experiencing an acute attack. When the person is calm, shiatsu will improve their condition and help prevent asthma attacks.

Patient in Ouga position

Start from the left anterior Stenocleidmastoid to relieve the tension in this area as well as the Vegas Nerve. With the patient lying on their right side in Ouga position and the head resting on a pillow, place your le\ft hand on the forehead. Hold the posterior cervical spine with the thumb on the patient’s left side and the four fingers on the right side. Gently pull the head (pushing against the base of the skull), to stretch the neck for five to eight seconds. This will relieve the narrowing of the bronchial tubes as well as spasms. Next, perform Shiatsu on the lateral cervical, medulla oblongata, posterior cervical-as well as the entire neck region, as well as in the basic treatment. Then Seiza (Kneeling) at the top of the patients head, with the left thumb perform Shiatsu on the anterior, lateral and posterior cervical areas, as well as on the Supraspinatus and muscles Infraspinatus. Next, from behind the patient, place one hand on the left scapula with the other on top (hand-on-hand). Using the two hands and cupping (slight suction) motion make counter clock wise circles ten times, then make clock wise circles ten time. Then repeat the treatment from the beginning on the right side.

Patient in Fukuga position

Treat both sides, Suprascapular, and Infrascapular regions. Place both hands on either side of the spine with the thumbs touching (hands made a “W”) and the heel of the hand at the level of the diaphragm. With cupping action (Kyuin-Appo), push up and down (similar to the adjustment for back position in the basic treatment) ten times. Then spread the fingers open and repeat the up and down motions ten times. Then open a space between the thumbs (move the hands slightly to the lateral) and repeat the up and down motion again ten times. Repeat this up and down pattern (using the three hand positions) several times.

Patient in Gyoga position

Kneel at the head (Seiza), hold both shoulders with the four fingers of each hand on the deltoid muscle and the thumbs in the Delto-Pectral region. Press 5 or 6 points in the Delto-Pectral groove. Then, with the thumbs, treat the pectoral region (intercostals muscles) and the sternum. Treat this area with palm pressure as well. Next, do the basic Shiatsu treatment for the abdomen. Next, treat the area of the abdomen just under the ribs, 5 or 6 points on each side.

Patient in Seiza position (Kneeling position)

First, treat the whole neck (anterior, lateral, posterior, cervical), the supra scapular and Infrascapular areas. Have the patient clasp her/his hands behind their back, holding them at the sacrum. Stand behind the patient and place the hands around the shoulders. Pull the shoulders back and hold for ten seconds. Do this several times to open up the chest area.

Why Shiatsu is effective for Cerebral palsy

Written by Toshifumi Hirashima,
Translated by Chiharu Sato, Edited by Samantha Orr Levrat,

This is not unconditional, but Shiatsu therapy is very effective in treating the variety of disorders faced by a child suffering from Cerebral Palsy. For instance, it is effective in relieving the excessive muscle tension which is a particular symptom of a child suffering from Cerebral Palsy. Most of the children suffering these symptoms are not hypersensitive, but under pressure from this excessive muscular tension. It is hard for a healthy person to imagine the difficulties faced by a child suffering from this disorder. Among the difficulties faced is a feeling of helplessness, due to the fact that they cannot move. For a healthy person, reading a book in a park is an enjoyable pastime, but for a sufferer of Cerebral Palsy, this simple action is made impossible due to the fact that it feels as though they have casts on their arms and legs. If the patient’s condition includes a speech impediment, it makes the aforementioned condition even more difficult because it feels as though they have cotton in their mouth and are wearing a mask. These feelings are some of the contributing factors that lead to excess muscular tension in a patient suffering cerebral palsy. Shiatsu treatment quickly affects the nerves to make you mentally and physically relax. One of the principles of Shiatsu treatment is not to create any tension or pain. If we do not abide this principle, not only it is ineffective, but also can be dangerous. The moment when the body receives pressure, the body unconsciously reacts defensively. Moreover if the pressure is unsuitable, the body will exhibit a stronger defensive reaction. “No pain, no gain” is not a treatment. This is not a test of wills whether the Shiatsu practitioner’s thumb wins or not.

Diagnoses and Therapy Combined - Shiatsu Spirit.

We call the spirit of Shiatsu treatment “Diagnose and treat immediately” This means we do not separate the diagnosis from treatment, but we diagnose from each pressure point and treat at the same time. From the moment we apply pressure, we are able to pick up the body’s reaction and tension levels, and based on these findings, we are able to skillfully and correctly apply the correct technique. When the correct technique is applied, we reduce the defensive reaction and are able to manipulate the muscle to a tensionless state. We call this technique “tension unluckier” During treatment, Shiatsu practitioners will continuously assess the condition and reaction of the patient’s body, and modify treatment based upon these findings. If we unlock the defensive nature of muscle tissue, we can press further into the abdominal region as you can see in the picture, and we can get a smile from the patients. Truly, this is the advanced Shiatsu treatment technology at work. The ultimate technique of Shiatsu treatment is to release the unease and fear felt by the patient toward the Shiatsu practitioner, as when this apprehension is overcome, the patient’s muscle tissue relaxes to an almost unconscious level of relaxation. Shiatsu’s ultimate expression is the very dramatic result, achieve by the use of this very technique. To tell you the truth, it is meaningless to talk about Shiatsu treatment without understanding or acquiring this skill.

All mothers must be witch for their Children, all mothers have magic hands.

You need a driver’s license to drive a car. Once you get a license, you can gain experience by driving public road afterwards, but just as the race car driver cannot improve his skills on a public road, a Shiatsu practitioner can not learn his skill from anyone but a professional Shiatsu master. In the same way as race car driver, you need to understand the methods of treatment and also you require special training from a certified Shiatsu master. We guide a method of the Shiatsu treatment to mothers. Do not hesitate to learn because it is very advanced skill even for the professional. Mother’s hands are magic hands.

Children never refuse their mother.

Even for an expert in Shiatsu treatment, it is difficult to give a treatment to a new baby. Everyone feels unease and fear toward strangers. Once you understand the purpose of treatment, it will lessen the feeling, but it is hard for a baby to understand it. No one but their mother can easily release the baby’s mental defense.

Mother’s powers of observation are the Best.

Shiatsu practitioners observe the reaction of the muscle with their finger tips and adjust the pressure and power accordingly. This is vital because there is not much information to gain from the patient’s facial expression. It is far more accurate to receive this information by touch, than it is to ask the patient about the reaction of unconscious tension in muscle tissue. In cases of children with cerebral palsy, we have learned from experience that things are slightly different. The difference between a healthy adult and a child suffering from cerebral palsy are that the child exhibits unusual excessive muscle tension, and another noticeable difference between a healthy adult and a child is that we can see the reaction immediately on the child’s face. However only a mother can truly read this change of expression accurately, so we ask a mother to stay with a child and confirm the expression change by muscle defense.

Shiatsu treatment for your child.

Shiatsu treatment is an original hands-on skill. To master the skill, you have to repeat the steps accurately one by one from the beginning. To receive a dramatic result of Shiatsu treatment, you need to master this skill of unlocking the excess defensive muscle tissue and release the unease and fear of the patient, and make the patient feel totally relaxed mentally and physically. Even for a master who has government certification, acquiring the Shiatsu treatment skill is not very easy, but the effectiveness of Shiatsu from ones mother is an amazing fact. As it happens, a child always reacts without any muscular defenses from their mothers’ touch, as the level of trust causes the muscles to be very relaxed. When the correct technique is applied, the patient should not feel any pain during the entire treatment. As a result of minimizing the patient’s discomfort, the overall effectiveness of the treatment is improved. Being the patient’s mother, you can achieve great result with very little guidance and only a few words of advice.

Shiatsu treatment for Knee Pain

Written by Masanori Funatsu,
Translated by Hikari Ikenaga, Shiatsupractor & Judy Thompson, Shiatsupractor

In day to day life, there are many people suffering from knee or lower back pain. There are many different causes of knee pain. In standing, walking and kneeling, the burden of the upper body weight is borne by the knee joints. There can be upward as well as downward pressure and an injury easily happens during flexion, extension and rotation. Lateral pain used to be common but now medial pain is more common.

How to knee Function

The knee joint is the most complex joint in the human body. It dose not have just one pivot point. In the case of flexion, the pivot point can change. This adjusting allows complexity of movement.

Dislocation is caused when the joint rotates over 70 degrees and there is no sliding. With no movement of the pivot point, the knee joint can only flex to 120 degrees. No kneeling is possible.

  1. If the joint can flex only 0 to 20 degrees, only rotation is possible.
  2. If the joint can rotate and side, the knee can flex from 20 to 150 degrees without dislocation. Kneeling is possible if the knee flexes 150 degrees.

Causes and Conditions

Knee pain can be caused by over exertion. Tightness of the knee joint can be caused by lack of exercise. Injuries to muscles, ligaments and tendons and fatigued muscles as well as lower back and limb pain are all connected to knee pain. Aging (arthritis knee deformities), accidents (contusion, sprain, fracture), chronic rheumatism of the joint, injury to the patella, too rapid growth during adolescence, fluid in the joint and sports injuries, gout knee arthritis can all cause knee pain.

There are subjective as well as objective symptoms. Such as: inability to walk due to pain, starting to walk is painful, standing up is painful, standing for an extended time is painful, kneeling is painful, when lying on the stomach the knee is painful, there is continuous pain, there is pain when ascending or descending stairs.

Shiatsu treatment of Knee Pain

Conditions related of the knee pain.

Chronic fatigue, Osteoporosis
Diabetes, Arteriosclerosis, Myocardial infarction, Stroke, High blood pressure
Stomach pain, Feeling of cold, Low blood pressure
Muscle and joint rheumatism, Hip joint dislocation
Headache, Frozen shoulder, Gout
Herniated disk, Sciatica, Low back pain
Sprain, Contusion, Fracture
Others accident, too much exercise

Muscles and Nerves need for treatments

Quadriceps femoris
Rectus femoris, Femoral nerve
Vastus lateraris, Femoral nerve
Vastus intermedius, Femoral nerve
Vastus medialis, Femoral nerve
Adductor magnus, Obturator nerve
One part of adductor magnus, Sciatic nerve
Sartorius, Femoral nerve
Biceps femoris, Sciatic nerve
Semimembranosus, Tibial nerve
Semitendinosu,s Tibial nerve
Illiotibial tract, Sup.gluteal nerve

Lower limb

Tibialis anterior, Deep peroneal nerve
Extensor digitorum longus, Deep peroneal nerve
Extensor hallucis longus, Deep peroneal nerve
Peroneus longus, peroneus brevis Superficial peroneal nerve
Gastronemius, Tibial nerve
Soleus, Tibial nerve
Flexor hallucis longusk Tibial nerve
Flexor digitorum longus, Tibial nerve
Tibialis posterior, Tibial nerve

Shiatsu treatment of knee pain

(may be associated with shoulder pain)

Full body basic Shiatsu treatment


Standard pressure, Sustained pressure, Interrupted pressure, Palm pressure


Fukuga position

sacral region, gluteal region, femoral region, popliteal fossa

Gyouga position

femoral region, patellar region, lower limb

Ouga position

gruteal region, Namikoshi pressure point

Stage of pressure intensity

light pressure, medium pressure, strong pressure

Step 1

left side of body- strong pressure to the sacral and gluteal regions as well as sustained pressure to the Namikoshi point. Apply standard pressure to the posterior femoral region. To the reaction Points of the shyoufu, lnmon tusbos, apply strong, medium pressure. Then, grasping the posterior femoral region with the fingers, treat the lateral femoral region with thumb-by thumb pressure.


Treating the reaction points of ichiyuu, gouyou, shouzan tsubos, using standard pressure. (light, medium pressure). Treat the calf of the leg with the thumbs on the lateral side and fingers on the medial side, “squeezing” as in the basic treatment using light and medium pressure and the sole of the foot with strong and sustained pressure. If there are sensitive points, we can use strong, sustained presser on then.


Continuing with the patient in fukuga position, flex the left knee 45 degrees. Treat the reaction points of hikan and ryoukyuu using standard and sustained pressure. Move to the inryousen and sanlee tsubos of the lower limb applying sustained pressure. Treat any sensitive points in the same way. Then apply pressure to the right side ofinryousen. Return the leg to straight position.

Step 4

Holding the posterior femoral region with the fingers, apply pressure with the thumbs to the anterior femoral region. Using strong and sustained pressure, treat ryoukyuu and kekkai reaction points. Using interrupted pressure, treat reaction points of cyuutoku, youkan. Then, bend the knee at a 45 degrees angle and treat the reaction points of gori, shitsukan, kyokusen using light but sustained pressure.

Step 5

Extended knee. Behind the knee treat sensitive points with interrupted and sustained pressure. Using standard pressure, treat youryousen, sanlee and inryousen. Then using strong, sustained pressure on any sensitive points. Treat the toes as in the basic treatment.

Step 6

Ouga position- treat the Namikoshi point, lower back and legs.

My Shiatsu Story

Written by Kensen Saito,

"Shiatsu" sounds simple enough. The word "Shiatsu" literally means " Thumb & Finger Pressure", in Japanese. The technique involves a trained Practitioner, pressing with his thumbs and palms, on a pattern of certain points spread over the body. "Shiatsu" relieves Pain, promotes Relaxation; and gives people a wonderful sense of their body.

"Shiatsu" can be especially effective in relieving Back Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis, Whiplash, Stiff Neck and Shoulders, Headache, and Insomnia. It speeds recovery after illness. It cultivates Mental Focus and Concentration. In some way, "Shiatsu" also stimulates creativity in individuals. I have seen this repeatedly on people at my Clinic. I am about to tell you, how today's "Shiatsu" developed; how I learned to practice it; and how I have become able to help Actors, Singers, Professional Athletes, Members of Parliament, Lawyers, Homemakers and many others. I will also give you my observations on how it works, based on more than twenty five years of experience; as well as sharing a few ideas about how to practice "Shiatsu" on yourself. I will illustrate how "Shiatsu" , as a technique, can have such a wide variety of uses.

"Shiatsu" is not an Oriental form of Medicine. Nor is a Western Medicine. Rather, it has been classified as "Natural and Preventive Health Care" There are so many chemicals and so much pollution these days; but "Shiatsu" , as a Therapy, uses only the body own natural chemicals for healing, causing no pollution at all.

"Shiatsu" works for people of all ages and stages of life. It can soothe an infant; and cease thpain of aging.

"Shiatsu" is pretty amazing; but it is not magic. It is not some spaced-out "New Age" spiritual theory. It has nothing to do with Meridian Lines. There is nothing mystical or incomprehensible about it. "Shiatsu" Therapy is scientifically valid. It is based on sound, concrete, scientific reasons.

"Shiatsu" works where it is needed, because it stimulates the body to use its own forces at its best. It triggers the release of Hormones and body chemicals necessary to heal, to soothe; to allow your body and mind to perform at their peak. This gives it an extraordinary range of operation. It sends its message, to reach the different parts of the body, through the largest sensory organ we have The Skin. Part of its effectiveness comes from the fact, that it uses Skin-to-Skin contact in the form of the human touch. This is a very basic human need, which we have all too often forgotten, in our mad rush towards bigger and better microchips.

Touch is an important kind of communication. We need it in the process of Healing; and we also need it to maintain our Personal Health.

I love to work with "Shiatsu" , because it is completely natural. Its effects come drug-free. There are no Side-Effects. Side-Effects from the drugs which people take, actually make the human body systems weaker. We need to concentrate our energies more on stimulating the body's own Natural Healing Power.

Today, we rely too much on drugs and surgery, in our search for Health. We go looking for Health Care; and get sick care instead. We need to focus more on preventive techniques like "Shiatsu" , rather than waiting until we get sick and then rely on operations and chemicals to address the disease.

Doctors should not be expected to be drug-dealers. They should be taught in Medical School, about the effectiveness of things like Nutrition, Tai Chi, Yoga; and "Shiatsu", as Preventive Health Care.

Since Physicians are not taught about these things, many people are supplementing their doctor-visits by consulting a Naturopath; and with other ways of using Natural Healing. Our whole society needs to spend more money, education and energy on Preventive Health Care.

In days gone by, there were many Natural Medicines and Therapies in use. We are coming through an era devoted almost exclusively to conventional Medicine. The next generation will have the opportunity to use the best of both worlds. It is important for the young generation, to know the natural ways, the alternative approaches to Health as well as the conventional ones.

I learned "Shiatsu" from the man, who developed it as it is practiced in Japan today, namely from Tokujiro Namikoshi. He developed the technique as a child, to ease his mother's pain.

Tokujiro was born in 1905, joining a family of four children. His father had an Umbrella Business on Shikoku Island, in the southern part of Japan. One year, the weather was so rainy and wet, that the glue would not dry on the umbrellas in time to meet the deadline for some large orders from China, forcing his father into bankruptcy. His father decided to restart his life; and the family moved to Hokkaido, the northern Japanese Island.

It was a long, tough trip in late autumn; from the hot weather in their old home, to extremely cold, harsh weather at their destination. When the family reached the end of their journey, they found that it was a wild place; only a hut, with no heat or running water. The parents and their five children settled in as best they could in these stressful circumstances; but soon Tokujiro's mother was suffering terrible from aches and pains in all her joints. She had developed Rheumatoid Arthritis.

They had moved to such a small village, into such a primitive area, that there was no Doctor. Nothing could be done for her; so the five children took turns rubbing her painful joins, in an effort to do something to help. After some experience with this, their mother said, that Tokujiro's hands were the best at relieving her pains. He took on the job as her physical therapist, while his brothers and sisters divided up their mother's chores as it concerns cooking and cleaning.

Tokujiro's mother told him, that it felt better when he pressed on her body, rather than stroking or rubbing. So he concentrated on doing exactly that. One day he was pressing different areas, when he found a point, which was very cold and stiff to his touch. He spent some time and effort to press on that point. His mother said that this eased her pain. He pressed that point daily; and the more this hard spot softened under his finger pressure, the more pain was relieved; and the faster his mother recovered.

Eventually, with the help to Tokujiro's treatment, his mother's Rheumatoid Arthritis was gone. She lived to be 88, in good Health.

It evidently came naturally to Tokujiro, to be a therapist. In his small village, the message spread quickly through word of mouth, that this boy was something special. When his school principal's wife, who had recently given birth, found that she was unable to produce milk to nurse her baby, the principal asked Tokujiro to help. He used his pressure technique; and the woman was freely able to produce milk for her child.

During a special assembly at the school, when the principal spoke in public about the wonderful job Tokujiro had done, in helping his mother and the principal's family, the body felt proud and happy. He decided at that moment, that he would spend his life using the pressure technique to help people.

A Buddhist Monk living in the village, became aware of Tokujiro's deeds; and after meeting him, said that this boy is the reincarnation of a high ranking Buddhist Monk who healed many people. He began to take Tokujiro on his rounds to visit villagers who were having problems with aches and pains. Tokujiro used his pressing technique; and used his natural skill at locating and working out stiff points; to great and good effect.

When Tokujiro was in his late teens, the Monk went with him to the nearest City, where they planned to have him try his pressing technique on City dwellers. They were soon arrested by Police, for practicing without a License. They stayed overnight in jail; then returned to their own village.

Tokujiro told his family about his experience. His older brother suggested, that he go to Tokyo; and get a License to use his technique. He decided that his brother's advice was good; and he followed it.

In those days, there were only two kinds of natural therapy in Japan. A "western-style" (Swedish) massage; and an ancient Chinese (Acupressure) massage technique called "Anma" . Tokujiro studied Anma under an expert; and earned his License. He then returned to Hokkaido; and opened his first Clinic, offering neither Anma, nor Massage; but the pressing technique, which had developed by himself.

As he practiced in his own way, he wondered what he should call his Method. He saw the word "Shiatsu" in a magazine article, referring to "finger pressure" . He liked it. Although he was mostly using his thumbs for pressure at the time, in Japan, the thumbs are called "fingers" just the same. Thus, the word "Shiatsu" described very well what he was doing. Therefore, he decided to call his technique "Shiatsu" .

As he practiced "Shiatsu" , Tokujiro studied Anatomy; and developed a scientific theory, which explains "Shiatsu". He learned that when he pressed certain points on his mother's body, it was like giving her natural cortisone shots, because he was stimulating her adrenal glands. On other results, he found out, that they have similar scientific explanations.

The more he studied and thought about it, the more Tokujiro came to realize, that the human body has everything it needs: It produces all the chemicals it needs to heal itself. Under stress, the body is put into a state of imbalance, when it does not produce the right kind and amount of chemicals. Instead, it can produce destructive substances. "Shiatsu" can reduce the effects of stress on the body; and nudge it back towards a healthy state of balance.

Tokujiro took the following words as a Slogan for Shiatsu: "The heart of Shiatsu is a mother's love." This sets out the importance of the caring, healing attitude of the person who performs "Shiatsu" on someone else.

He said, that modern society depends too much on drugs and surgery. It is possible, through "Shiatsu", for a person to develop tremendous Health and Strength. "Shiatsu" stimulates a person's inner healing power, so that the body can work to heal itself. It is like a switch by which the body's healing power is turned on.

When Tokujiro was in his mid twenties, practicing at his Sapporo Clinic, a famous philosopher called Gohei Ishimaru, came to Hokkaido by train one day, to deliver a lecture to a sold-out audience of 2,000 people; an event, sponsored by the local newspaper. Ishimaru was in a weakened condition; and would deliver his lecture sitting down, instead of standing.

When he arrived at the Sapporo railway station, he collapsed on the platform. His assistant had to help to the Inn; and a Doctor was called. The Doctor recommended that he cancel his speech for that evening. The sponsors from the newspaper were in panic, but one writer had heard of Tokujiro Namikoshi's reputation, so they called on him to help.

Tokujiro came to the inn where the philosopher was staying; did "Shiatsu" on him until he appeared to be much better. On that evening, instead of canceling, Ishimaru presented a two-hour speech, standing up. He was amazed himself, at his heightened physical strength and well being, after Tokujiro's treatment.

Your hands are very precious, he said to Tokujiro. I want to insure your thumbs.

He insured Tokujiro's thumbs for 100,000 yen. In today's Dollars, this would be $10 million. This was a tremendous amount of insurance. In those days, in Japan, the highest amount of disability insurance was carried by a famous baseball pitcher, Miyataka, who had his right arm insured for 20,000 yen. So, 100,000 yen for Tokujiro's thumbs, was a tremendous amount of insurance. Needless to say, this story made the national newspaper.

Ishimaru urged Tokujiro, to practice his "Shiatsu" in Tokyo, where a large number and variety of people could benefit from it. By that time, Tokujiro was married; and had children; but he took the philosopher's advice. He left his Hokkaido Clinic; and moved his family to Tokyo, at the age of 28. Ishimaru introduced him to many important people; but "Shiatsu" was so new and unknown, that it took many years before he successfully established his expanded practice.

He had to move seven times, usually because he could not pay the rent. When he moved the eighth time, he told himself: "This is where I stay, fail or succeed, I will not move again." His "Shiatsu Collage" of today is still in that very place. This is where I studied "Shiatsu" myself, years ago.

In his early years of practice, Tokujiro did mostly house-calls; and was thus limited to helping only seven or eight people a day; but he had come to Tokyo, to spread the practice of his method; to help people. In 1940, he established his school; and began to train "Shiatsu Practitioners". Eventually, the practitioners got together and approached the Government, asking for legal recognition of "Shiatsu".

After World-War II, U.S.-General Douglas McArthur directed the Japanese Health Ministry. There were more than 300 unregulated therapies in Japan at that time. McArthur ordered all 300 to be researched by scientists at the Universities, to document which ones had scientific proof of merit; and which did not.

At the end of eight years, the Universities reported back; and "Shiatsu" was the only one therapeutic practice, which received scientific approval. In 1955, the Japanese Health Ministry legally recognized "Shiatsu" and it became a licensed therapy.

Unfortunately, massage, "Shiatsu" and traditional Anma massage, come under one license Japan, which is very confusing. It enables people who get a license in one of the therapies, to hang out a "Shiatsu" sign, when they have no "Shiatsu" training at all.

Tokujiro is not a big person; but his thumbs are unusually large; almost twice the size of the thumbs of a person with average-size hands. He says, that the hands are very important; and that touch is one of the crucial elements, which make "Shiatsu" so powerful. I know that this is true, from my own experience with thousands of "Shiatsu" patients over the years.

When we practice "Shiatsu" regularly, the tips of the thumbs and fingers get really soft. This is good, because they need to be extremely sensitive, to pick up messages from the patient?fs body. Our thumbs are the best place on our body, from which to release energy. When we practice "Shiatsu" , we release something from ourselves; and we absorb something from the other person.

Since my hands are so sensitive and so important in my work, I have given them a lot of thought. I have often wondered what fingerprints are made for. Why do we have these little twirls of skin on our fingertips? My own ideas are that these twirls can release invisible energy particles; and absorb others.

There is something there; I feel it in my work. After a treatment, I have some discomfort; an irritable sensation in may hands, if I fail to wash them within three minutes of finishing a treatment. I know, that our skin breathes; but there is more than this. There is more coming in and going out, than the mere breathing of the skin.

The human hand is a wondrous thing. It is the most sensitive part of the body. There are many sense receptors in the fingers, thumbs and palm area.

It is important, that "Shiatsu" is not performed with any mechanical devices, but only by human hands. When someone, in practicing "Shiatsu" , finds a point of tightness, pressure from the elbows would not ease it. Pushing with a pen or stick would not be useful. Our hand is sensitive and precise enough, to provide exactly what is needed. They can unknot little muscles, tendons and ligaments, one by one.

To get a good result, the patient needs to be relaxed. Our hands; and a proper amount of pressure, can keep a patient relaxed. It is only the hands, which can do this. The amount of pressure in a "Shiatsu" treatment has to be comfortable for the patient and the practitioner.

Nothing is forced, in a "Shiatsu" treatment. The pressure is gentle and comfortable. It took me almost seven years to understand the right level of pressure in "Shiatsu" . The practitioner has to give exactly the right amount of pressure, in exactly the right place. If the pressure is too strong, it is uncomfortable. It is too soft, it does not work. It has to be very precise. The placement of thumbs and hands has to be just right. There are many important nerves and arteries running through our body. Pressing on the right point will encourage production of the appropriate body chemicals, to help with a particular problem. This is also true, in a "Shiatsu" treatment for someone who does not feel any particular physical discomfort. The proper amount of pressure in the right places, will help the patient to relax into a positive and healthy state of mind and being. Thus, "Shiatsu" can be a key to preventive Personal Health Care.

It can be similar to a state of good meditation, or a 'runner's high.' Positive chemical changes in the body can make you feel good; "Shiatsu" can put you in that state. This is useful and pleasant, not only to people who are already in excellent Health. Being relaxed, is a key to human Health and Recovery? Research shows that when people are relaxed, their immune system is stronger.

When someone is under heavy stress, such as is brought about through divorce or a death in the family, the functions of the immune system are lowered. The cardio-vascular system is affected, likely resulting in higher blood pressure. Such people probably have more digestive upsets and stomach problems; and are more at risk of developing an illness.

Stress and discomfort are the direct opposite to that good, relaxed feeling, which is the key to the healthy functioning of the body.

For an effective "Shiatsu" treatment, the mind of the practitioner needs to be concentrated on the treatment. Giving "Shiatsu" is not something, which you can do while you are watching your favored Sit-com on TV it is very important to focus on helping this person, who is presently your patient.

There is a trust between the practitioner and the person who is receiving the treatment. Your hands and your mind are connected. This is crucial to the effectiveness of the treatment. If your mind is not with your hands during treatment, the patient can feel that.

It can be difficult for a "Shiatsu" practitioner, if he is worrying about his own personal problems, or is thinking about what to have for dinner; such is no good. You really need that concentration on the patient's well being.

"Shiatsu" is a Science, because everyone can learn it. "Shiatsu" is also a real Art, because it depends on the personality and personal ability of the practitioner. "Shiatsu" is a great boon to the person who decides to get the treatment.

Shiatsu and Its Overseas Diffusion

Written by : Kiyoshi Ikenaga, Shiatsmaster
Translated by : Yumi Yabuta
Edited by : Samantha Orr Levrat, Shiatsupractor


  • The Definition of Shiatsu
  • The Essence of Shiatsu
  • The History of Shiatsu (The Beginning- The Origin of Shiatsu)
  • The History of Shiatsu (The Middle - The Path to Legal Recognition)
  • The History of Shiatsu (The Latter Part - Derivative Shiatsu and Other Derivatives)
  • Shiatsu Diffusion--Conditions Overseas and Problems
  • Shiatsu World Standardized Licenses--Shiatsupractor
  • Shiatsu and Derivative Shiatsu
  • 2200-Hour Standard Curriculum for Shiatsupractor Status
  • Bibliography & References

The Definition of Shiatsu

When I practice Shiatsu abroad, the question of defining Shiatsu becomes extremely important. Japan is the place of origin of Shiatsu and most people in Japan know what Shiatsu is. Even if people do not understand the exact definition of Shiatsu, they can assume the general meaning from the Kanji (Japanese updated Chinese characters) used to describe the word. Recently, however, while Shiatsu has become known in foreign countries, the word itself does not have meaning in Latin alphabet characters. An explanation is, therefore, needed. To translate the meaning of Shiatsu in English, “SHI” is finger and “OYAYUBI” is thumb. “ATSU” is pressure, so Shiatsu literally translated means “finger pressure” or “thumb pressure”. The definition seems simple. The problem, however, is not the word. To diffuse Shiatsu, Japanese original hands-on therapy, accurately, it is very important to give instructions based upon the legal grounds of Shiatsu Therapy as recognized by Japan’s “Anma, Massage and Shiatsu practitioners, Acupuncture practitioners, and Moxibustion practitioners Act.” Shiatsu was first recognized in Japanese law in 1955, and in the text book “Theory and Practice of Shiatsu” published by the medical department of the Ministry of Welfare (Current Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) in December 1957, Shiatsu is defined as follows:

“Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and the palm of one’s hands to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses.”

The above translation of the definition of Shiatsu can be found on the CSSBC website. This being said, the following three points were set as the major premise of Shiatsu therapy:

  1. To use the bare hands. (No tools, elbows, knees, feet etc.)
  2. To press the surface of the body. (No rubbing, stroking, or pulling)
  3. To aim for the maintenance and enhancement of health or recovery of illnesses.

These three concepts are the most important when explaining Shiatsu overseas.

The Essence of Shiatsu

The characteristic of Shiatsu is to practice using only the fingers, palms and especially the thumbs, but the essence of Shiatsu is “Diagnosis and Therapy combined.” “Diagnosis and Therapy combined” is the ability of the practitioner to use his sensory organs (palms, fingers and thumbs) to detect irregularities, such as stiffness of the surface of the body, and to promptly correct or heal these problems. To acquire this amazing skill takes considerable experience. The defining difference between Shiatsu therapy and modern and Kampo medicine (also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine, such as acupuncture and moxibustion) is this “Diagnosis and Therapy combined”; the fact that Shiatsu does not always require previous diagnosis before commencing treatment. In modern medicine, the course of treatment can only be decided after a diagnosis has been made. In TCM, it is also necessary to diagnose before treating. In Shiatsu Therapy, practitioners promote the prevention and recovery of illnesses by stimulating the immune system and natural healing power that people already possess. Therefore, even without a diagnosis or with a language barrier, practitioners can, to quote Toru Namikoshi Sensei, treat patients with “thumbs and thin futon” at any time. Treating the body as a whole helps to restore the physical functions of the nervous system, circulatory system, bone structure, muscles, and internal secretion and stimulates its natural ability to heal illness. That being said, skilled practitioners can contribute considerably to regional health and medical treatment.

History of Shiatsu (The Beginning- The Origin of Shiatsu)

The first occurrences of Shiatsu began with “TEATE, which literally translated means 'hands-on' in Japanese. In today’s vocabulary it also means “treatment”. Since ancient times, humans have instinctively known that pain can be suppressed by putting a hand on the affected area. The oldest record of sickness being treated by “TEATE” is about two thousand years ago in the mythical age. Also, recorded in an old Japanese poem, is an incident in which Sukunahikonakami, the father of Japanese medicine, cured sickness with his bare hands. These types of legends, of course, are not only limited to Japan and have resulted in the development of hands-on therapies throughout the world, such as massage in Europe and Anma in China (called Tsui-na in contemporary China). After the prehistoric times, Kampo medicine, was imported from mainland China through the Korean peninsula with the transmission of Buddhism. In 984, Yasuyori Tanba wrote what is now the oldest medical book, entitled “Ishinboh”, that currently exists in Japan and Kampo medicine became the center of Japanese medicine. The position of Kampo medicine was maintained until the Meiji Revolution (1867). Kampo medicine included the hands-on therapy “Anma” in addition to its mainstream practices: acupuncture, moxibustion, and Chinese medicine. In the Edo period, great hands-on therapy practitioners (Anma practitioners), such as Ryouzan Goto and Shinsai Ota, appeared one after another. In the last years of the Edo period, Genpaku Sugita and Ryoutaku Maeno started the Western medicine prosperity of the Meiji Period by translating “Kaitaishinsho (an anatomy text from the Netherlands)”. With the influx of the newest medicine from western countries, many hands-on therapies such as massage, chiropractic, osteopathy and spongio therapy were also imported. In addition to these foreign therapies, there were more than three hundred civil treatments; these were ancient Japanese treatments imported from China: Anma, Douin, Kappo, Jyujutsu, etc. and their combined forms. In 1912, at the age of seven, the founder of Shiatsu Therapy, Tokujiro Namikoshi, moved to Rusutsu Village, Hokkaido from Kagawa prefecture, in Shikoku Island. At that time, the body of Tokujiro’s mother, Masa, was riddled with pain due to the fatigue of the trip and the extreme change in environment. In those days, medicine and doctors were hard to find. Tokujiro could not stand to watch his mother suffering and he tried to nurse her by “rubbing” and “stroking”. He noticed, however, that it was by pressing and relieving stiffness from her body with his thumbs that her condition showed the most improvement. Based on this observation, he developed a method of applying pressure that was dependent upon his mother’s temperature and stiffness. As a result, his mother made a complete recovery. Her condition is now termed “rheumatism”; her recovery was the result of “TEATE” from a child who desperately wanted to cure his mother. Based on this experience, after much trial and error and research, “Shiatsu Therapy” was defined by the Health Ministry of Japan.
In 1925, the world’s first Shiatsu treatment clinic was opened in Muroran, Hokkaido. In 1934, Tokujiro Namikoshi published the article “Shiatsu Therapy and Physiology.” In 1940, he opened Japan Shiatsu College. The word “Shiatsu” was first used in the 1920s by Tenpeki Tamai and his writing “Shiatsu Therapy” was published in 1939.

The History of Shiatsu (The Middle - The Path to Legal Recognition)

By the end of the Second World War, much of Japanese lifestyle, values, and common ideas had done a 180 degree turn, and the attitude toward civil medical treatment was no exception. The Japan Shiatsu School (now the Japan Shiatsu College) was established by Tokujiro Namikoshi in 1940. The school sent out many practitioners who were certified by the “Metropolitan Police Board Act” in 1930. In those days, most civil medical treatments (called quasi-medicine), including Shiatsu, were not licensed based on a standardized national examination. They were part of a reporting system under police jurisdiction. In 1947, soon after the war ended, the “Anma, Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Jyudo-Aliment Business Act” was enacted by the leader of the GHQ. This is now known as the “Anma, Massage and Shiatsu practitioners, Acupuncture practitioners and Moxibustion practitioners Act.” Under this law, Shiatsu and other civil medical treatments that were recognized by the reporting system were given a suspended sentence until 1955. In 1955, during the 22nd session of the Diet, the government made a partial amendment to the “Anma, Acupuncture, Moxibustion, and Jyudo-Aliment Business Act”. A public hearing, with witnesses summoned from every sector of society, was held by a committee of the House of Social Labor Councilors. In the bill, the expression of “Anma” was revised to “Anma (including Massage and Shiatsu)”. The intention of the bill was to ban civil medical treatments other than Anma, Massage, and Shiatsu. The seven main subjects for discussion at the public hearing were as follows:

  1. Relations between medicine and quasi-medicines
  2. Relations between Anma and Shiatsu
  3. Relations between Shiatsu and medicine
  4. Educational and business standards for quasi-medicines
  5. Interpretation of the eight year suspension period introduced by the “Anma, Moxibustion, Jyudo-Aliment Business Act”
  6. Change or close any quasi-medicine practices, except Shiatsu practices within three year Banning of quasi-medicines

This public hearing of amendments was extremely important in the history of Shiatsu because the bill was passed with the expression of “Anma (including Massage and Shiatsu)”. This was the first time in history that the word “Shiatsu” appeared in law. In 1957, two years after the hearing, the text book that provides the definition of Shiatsu was published by the Health Ministry of Japan. Moreover, the senseis who were the witnesses at the public hearing published many writings about Shiatsu which were widely recognized by society. That was also the period in which the Japan Shiatsu College became an authorized school by the Minister of Health. Through these processes, another amendment was made in 1964, and the name “Anma (including Massage and Shiatsu)” became the expression of “Anma, Massage and Shiatsu”. That was the point at which Shiatsu finally obtained legal recognition as a Japanese original method of medical treatment. The testimonies of witnesses from the 22nd session of Diet at the House of Social Labor Councilors in 1955 were the basis for the “Anma, Massage and Shiatsu practitioners, Acupuncture practitioners, and Moxibustion practitioners Act” that separated Shiatsu, as well as massage, from “Anma”. Over the next nine years, many amendments were made to the laws which eventually positioned Shiatsu as an independent hands-on therapy. That public hearing and the nine year movement that followed were critical in the establishment, organization, and legal recognition of Shiatsu, and most of what we recognize as Shiatsu Therapy today was established during that period. The following is a list of the Senseis who attended this public hearing as witnesses and defended their point of view:

  • Dr. Kunisaku Shimura, Director of the Japan Doctors Association.
  • Dr. Naohisa Fujii, Honorary Professor of Tokyo Medical University.
  • Dr. Kazumi Yarimotsu, Lecturer of the Former Yokohama Medical University.
  • Dr. Katsusuke Serizawa, Special Instructors Training Lecturer of Tokyo Education University.
  • Yoshikatsu Komori, President of the Japan Acupuncture Moxibustion Massage Association.
  • Hiroshi Hanada, President of the Japan Acupuncture Moxibustion Practitioners Association.
  • Mitsuo Kekino, President of the Kyoto Acupuncture Moxibustion Massage Association.
  • Shigeru Matsumoto, Director of the National Treatment Technique Cooperation.
  • Yoshizumi Utsunomiya,Chairman of the National Treatment Technique Cooperation.
  • Tokujiro Namikoshi, President of the Japan Shiatsu Association.
  • Dr. Iyuji Miki, Medical Professor of Toyo University.

On behalf of the government, the Health Ministry of Japan, the Chief of the Public Health Bureau, the Chief of the Medical Bureau, and the Chief of the Pharmaceutics Bureau were in attendance. While the testimony of each sensei was recorded word for word, the following is a selection of some of the most important comments. First, the Director of the Japan Doctors Association, Shimura Sensei, stated that he considered Anma, Massage, and Shiatsu to be the same no matter what the origin and the theory because they are all hands-on therapies; this was a common perception among doctors (and society) in those days. Next, the Honorary Professor of Tokyo Medical University, Fujii Sensei, who, as requested by the Health Ministry of Japan, spent two years (1949-50) at Tokyo Medical University researching and comparing the terms “Shiatsu”, “Anma” and “Massage” concluded that Shiatsu is a reflex experience treatment based on Western medical knowledge--like American Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Spongio Therapy, and German Natool Therapy, etc—and is therefore different from Anma which is part of Kampo medicine. Fujii Sensei wrote “Shiatsu Theory and Outline”. Serizawa Sensei, who represented Acupuncture, Moxibustion, and Anma, asserted that Shiatsu (and Massage) were forms of Anma. In 1957, however, he published “Shiatsu Theory and Practice”. In the book, he stated that Shiatsu drew on a stream of old-style Anma, but also Japanese original hands-on therapy. Namikoshi Sensei went to the US in 1953 to research many kind of hands-on therapy, including Chiropractic, in addition to Shiatsu which he originally developed. He also tried to outline “Shiatsu Therapy” to establish the Japan Shiatsu College. He attended the public hearing to represent the Shiatsu society as a President of Japan Shiatsu Association. He strongly asserted the originality of Shiatsu. His theory, along with the results of Tokyo Medical University’s research for the Health Ministry of Japan from 1949-50, would become the basis for legalization of Shiatsu. His theory also defined the today’s form of “Shiatsu Therapy”. Serizawa Sensei, who was an authority on Kampo medicine and wrote many books relating to Shiatsu, was strongly influenced by Namikoshi Sensei’s Shiatsu theory. Even years later, at the celebration party of Namikoshi Sensei’s eighty-eighth birthday, Serizawa Sensei expressed his belief that Namikoshi Sensei is the founder of Shiatsu by stating, “Japanese Shiatsu is Namikoshi Shiatsu, Namikoshi Shiatsu is Japanese Shiatsu”

The History of Shiatsu (The Latter Part - Derivative Shiatsu and Other Derivatives)

In many regions of the world, including sometimes Japan, people associate Shiatsu with Eastern medicine. However, as previously stated, Shiatsu has been established as a Japanese original hands-on therapy that is different from Anma of Kampo medicine’s hands-on therapy. The Father of Shiatsu Therapy and the founder of the Japan Shiatsu College, Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei, declared, “My Shiatsu does not have any influence from Kampo medicine.” Also, as previously mentioned, this statement was supported by the 1949-50 research results of Tokyo Medical University lead by honorary professor Naohisa Fujii Sensei. The practice of combining Shiatsu with Kampo medicine theory is called Keiraku Shiatsu or Meridian Shiatsu. In the 1972 book “Meridian and Shiatsu Therapy” written by Tadashi Izawa, there is a quote from Katsusuke Serizawa Sensei, who was the leading expert of Kampo medicine in those days. Serizawa Sensei stated, “From what I have heard, Shiatsu Therapy is a new, modern hands-on therapy based on chiropractic and balancing hands-on therapies , and it is different from the time-honored Anma method in the region of Kampo medicine. I am sure that the meridian theory of Kampo medicine started being combined with Shiatsu therapy is a derivative Shiatsu that came about after the war.” As this quote indicates, around the 1960s, Keiraku Shiatsu, which uses mainly thumb pressure applied to the meridian points of Kampo medicine, appeared and rapidly became popular after the Carina boom of 1972, which happened with the restoration of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. Tadashi Izawa Sensei, one of the graduates of the Japan Shiatsu College and a disciple of Namikoshi Sensei, noticed that the basic pressure points of Shiatsu Therapy tend to be consistent with Keiraku (Meridian) points of Kampo medicine and compiled “Illustration of Anpuku (the time-honored Anma method) and Shiatsu Therapy” (Illustration of Anpuku was written by Shinsai Ota, Anma practitioner in 1820s). After that, Namikoshi disciples developed many original theories. For example, Iwajiro Sato Sensei wrote “Shiatsu Therapy and Sho-atsu (palm pressure) Treatment” in 1994, and Shizuto Masunaga Sensei wrote “Zen Shiatsu”, in 1974; which relates Meridians and Shiatsu. And I published the writing “Tsubo Shiatsu (in English)” in 2003; I explain Tsubo (Keiketsu/meridian points) anatomically and physiologically, distinguishing them from the meridian lines used in Kampo medicine. Currently, both overseas and in Japan, there seems to be a trend toward creating derivative forms of Shiatsu by combining Meridian theory and Qi-gong theory with Shiatsu Therapy.

Shiatsu Diffusion - Conditions Overseas and Problems

Presently, interest in Japanese Shiatsu is spreading rapidly overseas, gaining support for its safe and effective method. There are, however, some problems. The most serious problem is that educational standards are all different and sometimes stray away from the original definition of Shiatsu. When I practice Shiatsu overseas, I am often asked, “What form of Shiatsu do you teach at your college?” indicating that derivative forms of Shiatsu are mistakenly believed to be equally defined as Shiatsu Therapy. More specifically I am asked, “Do you teach Namikoshi Shiatsu or Masunaga Shiatsu?” This is a very important question as “Namikoshi Shiatsu” indicates the 2500-Hour Shiatsu Therapy course as taught at the Japan Shiatsu College and recognized by the Health Ministry of Japan for licensing as a professional practitioner. On the contrary, “Masunaga Shiatsu” (also known as “Zen-Shiatsu” overseas) was developed by a Namikoshi disciple (graduate of the Japan Shiatsu College), Masunaga Seneei. The lectures of the Ioh-kai Shiatsu Center established by Masunaga Sensei are two and half hours per week and total of thirty hours for twelve weeks. This program is not certified by the Health Ministry of Japan to become a professional practitioner. Many other short courses and programs on derivative forms of Shiatsu are available throughout the world, but not unlike Masunaga Shiatsu they do not qualify participants to write the nationally recognized exam to become professional practitioners. To become a professional practitioner in Japan, one must learn Shiatsu Therapy as defined by the Health Ministry of Japan. Regardless of which derivative form of Shiatsu one wishes to practice, one must first become a licensed practitioner (Anma, Massage and Shiatsu Practitioner). For that reason, practitioners of all forms of Shiatsu have a basic standardized knowledge level. Overseas, however, in countries where Shiatsu is not regulated by law, it is possible to introduce oneself as a professional practitioner without having studied any of the basics of Shiatsu or medical basics of anatomy and physiology; all that is required is a short course on meridian theory or another derivative of Shiatsu. As a result, the standard of all practitioners is lowered which could be a critical problem as Shiatsu therapy gradually gains worldwide recognition. To maintain the reputation of Shiatsu and its qualified practitioners, it is imperative that an international standardized license for practitioners of Shiatsu Therapy be introduced.

Shiatsu World Standardized Licenses “Shiatsupractor®”

Shiatsupractor® is the name given to the recently introduced international standardized Shiatsu license. This international standardization will not only ensure quality by setting guidelines for the practitioners of Shiatsu therapy, but also for the instructors, worldwide. In the past, in countries where Shiatsu has not been regulated by law, instructors often have not learned the medical basics, such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, which are require subjects in Japan, and those instructors often focus entirely on their knowledge of Kampo medicine. The name Shiatsupractor® was first used in British Columbia, Canada in 1990’s has since been recognized by the International Shiatsu Association as the official name for the of the international standardized Shiatsu license. Presently, at the end of 2003, in the regions of North America (United States and Canada), Europe (member nations of the EU), and Japan, the use of Shiatsupractor® is officially protected as a registered trademark. In Japan, the educational standard for Shiatsupractor® approval corresponds to that of the licenses for Anma, Massage and Shiatsu Practitioners. In other regions, if there are no regulations by public officials in the country or states, the requirements are two years and 2200 hours in North America and two-to-three years and 1600 hours in Europe.

Shiatsu and Derivative Shiatsu

1. Original Shiatsu Therapy

The Road to the Recognition of Shiatsu:

  • 1912 Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei invented the prototype
  • 1940 Creation of the Shiatsu school that later became known as the “Japan Shiatsu College”
  • 1955 The Health Ministry of Japan officially recognizes Shiatsu, Anma, and massage in the same category
  • 1957 The Health Ministry of Japan is sued over the legal definition of Shiatsu
  • 1964 The Health Ministry of Japan reviews the regulations and acknowledges Shiatsu, massage therapy and Anma as unique and independent therapeutic methods

In conclusion, because Shiatsu Therapy as developed by Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei has been recognized on a civil and a government level, he is known as the father of Shiatsu. And, though many of his disciples developed their own forms of Shiatsu that have become known throughout the world and thus the original Shiatsu is often called “Namikoshi Shiatsu” to distinguish it from its derivatives, history proves that “Japanese Shiatsu is Namikoshi Shiatsu.” Shiatsu is Shiatsu.

2. Derivative Shiatsu Techniques & Theories

There are many Shiatsu workshops held in Japan. These workshops are mostly organized by graduate students from the Japan Shiatsu College, who learned Shiatsu directly from Tokujiro Namikoshi sensei. In some cases, the workshops become very popular not only in Japan but throughout the world. A good example is Zen-Shiatsu created by the late Shizuto Masunaga sensei. The techniques taught at these workshops, however, are not recognized as Shiatsu treatment according to government regulations. Consequently, if a person only has a certificate from attending a workshop, s/he is not eligible to take the government examination to become a professional Shiatsu practitioner. The techniques taught at these workshops are called 'Derivative Shiatsu' to distinguish them from the original Shiatsu taught at the school that is registered with the Ministry of Health of Japan.

The Following Are Well-Known Forms of Derivative Shiatsu:

Tsubo Shiatsu

Some of the accredited schools of the CSSBC teach Tsubo Shiatsu in the Advanced Shiatsu course. This course investigates Tsubo points from an anato-physiological point of view. Around 1980, Dr. Hiroshi Ishizuka M.D. (current principal of the Japan Shiatsu College) first introduced this theory in his seminars. In 2003, Kiyoshi Ikenaga sensei published the book “Tsubo Shiatsu” and finally presented the theory to the world. Ikenaga sensei studied Shiatsu directly from Namikoshi Sensei and graduated from the Japan Shiatsu College in 1986.

Keiraku (Meridian) Shiatsu:

This Shiatsu treatment is based on TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory. Tadashi Izawa sensei published his book “Meridian and Shiatsu Therapy” in 1964. Meridian is the joining of the points which represent the energy (ki) of the organ, body parts or body materials. In Meridian Shiatsu, practitioners press the Meridian points with their thumbs therefore some believe that this technique should be deemed as a form of Acupressure. There is no set theory with regards to the treatment. (Some use the Root-Branch Treatment theory, some just press the Meridian points which are close to the problem area). Izawa sensei studied Shiatsu directly from Namikoshi Sensei and graduated from the Japan Shiatsu College in 1946. Later, he became an instructor at the college.

Zen (Ioh kai) Shiatsu:

This form of Shiatsu was derived by Shizuto Masunaga sensei. Because “Zen” is a religious word, this form of treatment was not called “Zen Shiatsu” in Japan. This is a part of Meridian Shiatsu, but follows a separate Meridian theory from that of TCM. In Zen Shiatsu, practitioners use their elbows, knees and bony parts of the body to apply stronger pressure to the Meridian points instead of using their thumbs, fingers or palms. For this reason, some believe that this technique should not be defined as “Shiatsu”. A three-month long, non-credit workshop is available at the “Ioh-kai Shiatsu Centre”, opened by Masunaga sensei in Japan. Masunaga sensei studied Shiatsu directly from Namikoshi Sensei and graduated from the Japan Shiatsu College in 1958.

Tao Shiatsu:

Ryukyu Endo sensei introduced this form of Derivative Shiatsu. He followed Zen Shiatsu theory, but left “Ioh-kai” after Masunaga sensei died. This theory contains religious and spiritual practicum, for example reciting a Buddhist prayer before lectures. There are several one- and two-day workshops available in Tokyo and Kyoto. Endo sensei studied Shiatsu directly from Namikoshi Sensei and graduated from the Japan Shiatsu College.

Oha Shiatsu:

OHASHIATSU is a registered trademark. This technique was derived by Ohashi sensei, who did not graduate from the Japan Shiatsu College. He took a three-day Shiatsu workshop, which was held by Tokujiro Namikoshi sensei when he came to U.S.A in 1973. This derivative contains less thumb pressure application to the body and focuses more on balancing the body through the “Seitai” technique. Seitai is type of stretch or manipulation done to the body to maintain the best balance of the body.

Macrobiotic Shiatsu:

The Macrobiotic Diet is well known in the world right now. Michio Kushi sensei is the developer of the Macrobiotic Diet. He mainly practices complementary medicine which is based on diet, acupuncture, meditation, Shiatsu and Chinese Herbal Medicine. They teach Macrobiotic Shiatsu as part of the Macrobiotic Career Training course at the Kushi Institute (non-profit educational organization) in Vermont, U.S.A. Kushi sensei was not trained in Shiatsu therapy at the Japan Shiatsu College. Some of the accredited schools of the CSSBC teach the Macrobiotic Diet in the Nutrition course.


Shiatsu treatment technique is enhanced and learned through experience and thus different Shiatsu techniques will exist with each Shiatsu practitioner. There should, however, be a minimum of Shiatsu training and education completed in an appropriate Shiatsu training college or school. (The standards of such an institution should be the same as those set by the Ministry of Health of Japan. These standards include Basic Shiatsu training; basic medical sciences such as Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology; and clinical practicum. There should be a minimum of 2 years (2000 hours) of training. A practitioner who completes a short-term workshop should not be called a professional “Practitioner”.

2200-Hour Standard Curriculum for Shiatsupractor Status

Reference from the minimum standard of the Canadian Shiatsu Society of British Colombia:

1. Compulsory Section - 1600 hours


Basic Shiatsu / Shiatsu Foundation - 150 hours

Theory & Practice

Advanced Shiatsu -150 hours
Treating specific pathological conditions
Derivative Shiatsu techniques & theories (optional)
Clinical experience - 500 hours

Medical Foundations

Anatomy - 300 hours
Physiology - 300 hours
Pathology - 100 hours
Kinesiology - 50 hours

Others - 50 hours

Ethics and Professionalism
First Aid and CPR
Medical Lows

2. Optional Section - 600 hours

Kampo Medicine (TCM)
Japanese Culture
Business Management


浪越 雄二



1955(昭和 30)年に、初めて法律に「指圧」の語彙が記載されて免許制度になり、指圧療法を研究した文献がメディアなどで採り上げられるようになってから、指圧は国内で認知されるようになった。国外でも指圧に興味を持つ人が増え、国際的に指圧学校や指圧治療院が設立、開院されている。国内の指圧治療院では、現在でも幅広い年代が来院し定期的に施術をうけている。このような指圧療法の普及には、国内外の地道な指圧の講習活動、国内での法制化とともに、指圧治療をうける患者の認識が大きく関わっていることが明らかになった。




私達は指圧刺激の効果について、心拍数、末梢循環(脈波波高、皮膚温、筋血液量)、血圧、脊柱の可動性を指標に研究を進めてきた。その反応は刺激後における心拍数の減少および刺激中の指先脈波の波高値減少1)、刺激中および後での血圧下降2)、刺激後に踵部の皮膚温上昇3)、刺激直後における皮膚温が上昇しているものは筋血液量が低下し、皮膚温の下降しているものは筋血液量が増加するといった報告をした4)。また、脊柱の柔軟については背部指圧刺激によって指床間距離(FFD)が改善し5)、腹部や鼠径部の指圧刺激によっても立位体前屈が改善した6)。私達は指圧刺激が循環器系への作用および立位体前屈への影響を確認してきた。 脊柱の動きは屈曲、伸展、左右側屈、左右回施といった自由度を持っている。それら個々の椎間は小さな可動域であるが、関与する関節で総合的に大きな可動域になることが知られている6)。その関節を補助・補強している筋は背部および腹部の指圧刺激で筋緊張の緩和により脊柱可動域が高まることを示してきた6、8、9)。











測定原理は上下の棘突起間を結んだ線に対する垂線がなす角度をSegmental angleとし、スパイナルマウスRが記録したデータをコンピュータに入力し、前屈・後屈の矢状面彎曲を抽出した。


  1. 脊柱傾斜角度: 第1胸椎と第1仙椎を結んだ直線で、総合的可動域の尺度を示す。その直線が鉛直線に対してなす角度で表せる。
  2. 胸椎後彎角度: 第1~第12胸椎まで、つまり胸椎全体の彎曲を表す。
  3. 腰椎前彎角度: 第1~第5腰椎まで、つまり腰椎全体の彎曲を表す。
  4. 仙骨/骨盤傾斜角度: 仙骨の傾斜角度が計測されるが、仙骨は仙腸関節により骨盤の一部となるため、骨盤傾斜角度に相当する。










無刺激群と刺激群の群間に対する刺激前後では、各測定角度(脊柱傾斜角度、胸椎後彎角度、腰椎前彎角度、仙骨/骨盤傾斜角度)を一般線型による二元配置分散分析、Bonferroni多重比較で解析した。無刺激群及び刺激群の刺激前後では、各測定角度を一元配置分散分析、Bonferroni多重比較で 分析した。また、解析ソフトはSPSS Ver.15を用いて危険率5%以下を有意とした。












刺激種類では無刺激群   と刺激群に差がなく(p=0.823)、刺激前後については差がなかった(p=0.413)。








前屈による刺激群では刺激前64.00±16.31度に比べて刺激後64.90±17.57度に変化がな   かった(p=0.585)。





指圧刺激群の脊柱の可動域は刺激前32.87±8.60度、刺激後―35.37±9. 73度で有意に可動域が増加した(p=0.008)。


後屈による刺激群では刺激前2.10±13.50度に比べて刺激後2.20±15.23度に変化がなかった(p= 0.947)。


後屈による刺激群では刺激前-14.67±8.30度に比べて刺激後-13.17±9.52度 に変化がなかった(p=0.292)。


後屈による指圧刺激群の刺激前後では刺激前-19.27±7.66度に比べて刺激後-23. 70±11.55度が増加した(p=0.006)。


本研究は鼠径部に対する指圧刺激が脊柱可動域変化を検討するものであった。その結果、後屈時による脊柱可動域では刺激間での刺激前後に相違(交互作用)を示した。指圧刺激による変化では脊柱可動域が増加し指圧刺激を行わない脊柱可動域は減少するものであった。また、後屈時の骨盤(仙骨傾斜角度)では刺激間での刺激前後に相違(交互作用)を示し、指圧刺激で骨盤可動域が増加し指圧刺激を行わない骨盤可動域には変化がなかった。 脊柱可動域は胸椎、腰椎、骨盤といった個々の関節が関与し、その関節の屈曲および屈伸の累積可動域が250度に柔軟性のある人で得られる最大可動域になると示している7)。


白田ら12)は18歳から28歳の89名を対象にスパイナルマウスを用いて立位姿勢を分析している。前屈時の男性97.1±16.0度、女性96.1±18.2度で、後屈時の男性-40.1±12.8度、女性-38.0±9.0度であった。本研究の前屈時では無刺激時の刺激前」113.97±13.87度、指圧刺激時の刺激前113.83±13.14度であり、後屈時は無刺激時の刺激前-34.47±8.66度、指圧刺激時の刺激前-32.87±8.60度であった。このことから先行研究である宝亀らや白田らと本研究の対象者へ前屈時による脊柱可動域が高かった。また、後屈時による脊柱可動域では先行研究による宝亀らや白田らと類似していると思われた。 本研究の刺激対象部位である鼠径部では腰部横突起から起始する大腰筋、腸骨から起始する腸骨筋が大腿骨小転子に筋が停止している。この筋作用は股関節の屈曲(前屈作用)が起こるが、それら筋の緊張緩和は後屈時を助長できると考えられる。このことから鼠径部指圧刺激では骨盤可動性の増加に伴い、脊柱後屈可動域の増加が惹起されたと考えている。



健常成人30名を対象とした今回の実験でスパイナルマウスRを用いて計測した脊柱と各部位の前屈可動域および後屈可動域を指標に検討した結果を得た。 鼠径部指圧刺激は骨盤可動性の増加に伴い、脊柱後屈可動域の増加が起こった。



  1. 小谷田作夫他:指圧刺激による心循環系に及ぼす効果について、東洋療法学校協会学会誌22号:40~45、1998
  2. 井出ゆかり他:血圧に及ぼす指圧刺激の効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌23号:77~82、1999
  3. 月足宏法他:腰背部の指圧刺激による下腿部・足部皮膚温の変化、東洋療法学校協会学会誌31号:133~137、2007
  4. 蒲原秀明他:末梢循環に及ぼす指圧刺激の効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌24号:51~56、2000
  5. 衛藤友親他:指圧刺激による筋の柔軟性に対する効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌27号:97~100、2003
  6. 宮地愛実他:腹部指圧刺激による脊柱の筋の柔軟性に対する効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌29号:60~64、2005
  7. 萩島秀男(監訳)、嶋田智明(訳)、I.A.Kapandji:カンパンディ関節の生理学 体幹・脊柱、医歯薬出版株式会社:38~39、東京、1995
  8. 浅井宗一他:指圧刺激による筋の柔軟性に対する効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌25号:125~129、2001
  9. 田附正光他:指圧刺激による脊柱の可動性及び筋の硬さに対する効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌28号:29~32、2004
  10. 石塚寛他:指圧療法学、国際医学出版株式会社:40~102、東京、2008
  11. 宝亀登他:スパイナルマウスによる日本人健常成人の姿勢分析、東日本整形災害外科学会雑誌16巻2号:293~297、2004
  12. 白田梨奈他:スパイナルマウスを用いた青年期の立位姿勢の評価、山梨大学看護学会誌5巻2号:13~18、2007


(特)日本指圧協会理事 師範 原田隆弘

昔あんま「上(かみ)・下(しも)」と云う言葉が良く使われて、その言葉通りの施術が行われていたと云われる。 我々指圧師の治療は全身指圧、局所指圧と云う言葉があり、昔の上・下に良く似ている。しかし我々の治療は原則として全身指圧と云うことになっている。 その方法は上(仰)臥、横臥、座位、立位などがあり、その状態によって臨機応変に施術することが肝要である。 即ち我々の指圧は相手方(患者)に治療を施し、自分の治癒能力を喚起させることが最大の目的であるため、おのずと全身治療が必要となってくる。 人間の体を上下に分けると上体と下体、左右に分けると右半身と左半身と云うことになる。左右の場合はほぼ同じ場所に同じ骨・筋肉・つぼが位置するが、上下の場合は流れが重要となってくる。

  1. 上半身とは臍を中心として上部、従って頭部、頚部、肩、腕、胸部、脊柱部(背部)、腰部、上腹部等である。
  2. 下半身は臍を中心に下側、下腹部、臀部、恥骨部、大腿部、下腿部、足などがそれである。



  1. 頭痛
  2. 頚部痛
  3. 肩こり、肩はり
  4. 肩甲間部痛
  5. 胸部の痛み
  6. のどの痛み
  7. 背中の痛み
  8. 上腹部の痛み
  9. 肩、腕の痛み
  10. 上腕、前腕、手の痛み



  1. 頚部については、むち打ち症、捻挫、寝違い、頚部をとおる諸器官の反射痛
  2. 肩、腕については、五十肩(肩関節周囲炎)、石灰質の沈着症など
  3. 肩甲間部については、ギックリ背中(激痛)など
  4. 胸部については大胸筋から三角筋にかけての痛み、胸骨のゆがみ等
  5. 上腹部の痛み(胃痙攣)、内臓反射痛等
  6. 肩頚腕症候群、慢性疲労症候群等

A) この症状は上半身に関連することが大であるが、下半身にも関連することがあるので注意が必要である。

B) 症状としては後頚部、横頚部の痛み、肩から腕にかけての痛み、指先へのしびれなどが主たるもので、これを肩 頚腕症候群、これに似た症状で慢性疲労症候群と云う病名がある。これは全身に症状が出て特に脊柱を中心とし た背部に強い硬直(硬結)と痛みが出る。別名ストレス症候群とも呼ばれる現代病で、自律神経と疲労に非常に深く 関連する。

C) 原因は非常に複雑で、疲労(過労)頚椎の変形やずれ等によって筋肉や神経の圧迫により血流が悪く、リンパ液 の働き、神経の働きが正常でなくなる症状である。

D) 関連する部位は特に上体の各部位、頭部、頚部、肩、腕、脊柱の骨や筋に出ることが多いとされている。従って 我々指圧師にとって非常に重要で、且つ治療の対象となる病変であると思われる。




  1. 変形性肩関節炎または症
  2. 肩関節の拘縮
  3. 石灰質沈着症
  4. 頚腕症候群からくるもの
  5. 軟骨の付着





前述の骨の場合と同様、頭、頚、肩、腕、肩甲間部、胸部などの部位にすべて関連する、特に指圧師はこの部位の 筋肉、腱、靱帯が治療の対象となる。


胸部 胸鎖乳突筋、広頚筋、大胸筋、上腕二頭筋、大円筋、烏口腕筋などがあり、これ等筋肉のほかに腱、靱帯にも深く関連をしている。


頚部肩から上腕、肘関節、手首迄の筋肉腱靱帯、それに胸部の大胸筋、肩甲側の棘 上筋、棘下筋、脇の下(えっか部)が大切である。


  1. 帯が結べない場合; 腎兪、大腸兪、肩貞、天宗、ひじゅ、臑兪
  2. 上と横にあがらない場合; 天柱、肩井、肩髃、ひじゅ、肩貞
  3. 髪とかせない場合; 肩井、肩髃、ひじゅ、天宗、中府
  4. 腕に痛みとしびれがある場合; 風池、天柱、完骨、天てい、缼盆、中府などで
    1. 親指側; 肩髃、曲池、手の三里、合谷
    2. 中指側; 曲池、曲沢、げき門、内関
    3. 小指側; 少海、神門





本校ではこれまで第22回~31回の本学会誌において、循環器系1~4)(心拍数及び血圧の減少、末梢の筋血液量の増大及び皮膚温の上昇)、筋骨格系4~8)(筋の柔軟性の工場・脊柱の可能性の工場)、消化器系9~10) (消化管運動の亢進)への指圧刺激による効果を報告してきた。 佐藤ら9)、黒澤ら10)は下腿部及び腹部への指圧刺激により消化管運動が促進すると報告している。その結果をふまえ、今回は刺激部位を前頚部とし、消火管運動及び循環器へどのような影響を及ぼすかを検討したので報告する。












心電図第Ⅱ誘導を導出し、心電図のR波をトリガーとした瞬時心拍数(以下、心拍数)を心拍タコメーター (AT-601G' 日本光電製)によって算出した。


蠕動運動の際に伴う、胃平滑筋細胞の電位(ERA)の大きさを示す指標。胃電図(二プロ社製)により計測される 生データをWBFA法でスペクトル解析し、遅波(0~2cpm)、正常波(2~4cpm)、速波(4~9cpm)、の3群に分類 し、それぞれの周波数帯の電位の変化を表した。





被験者の頭部後方より、頚動脈三角内にある頚動脈上に近い胸鎖乳突筋の内側縁を左母指圧で1点圧3秒5分の通常圧法を行った。(図2) 圧の程度は被験者が気持ちいいと思える程度(快圧)で実施した。




a) 安静15分(仰臥位)
b) 施術5分
c) 安静15分(仰臥位)


a) 覚醒状態であること
b) 体動がないこと
c) 周囲が静寂であること





刺激前1分間の平均値をコントロール値(cont.)として、刺激中1分(St.1')、2分(St.2')、3分(St.3')、4分(St.4')、5 分(St.5')、刺激後1分(Af.1')、3分(Af.3')、5分(Af.5')、10分(Af.10')、15分(Af.15')、をそれぞれ比較した。


刺激前5分間の平均値をコントロール値(cont.)として、刺激中(st0-5')、刺激直後(Af.0-5')、刺激5分後(Af.6- 10')、刺激10分後(Af.11-15')の平均値と比較した。


血圧、心拍数、胃電図の経時的な変化を一般線形型による一元配置分散分析、Bonferroni多重比較で解析した。また、解析ソフトについてはSPSS Ver.15を用いて危険率5%以下を有意とした。














遅波、正常波、速波ともに有意な経時的な変化はみられなかった。 指圧刺激による胃電図の遅波、正常波、速波に交互作用はなかった。(図7)









また、小谷田ら1)、井出ら2)は下腿部、腹部の指圧刺激において血圧および心拍数が低下することを報告している。 今回の前頚部指圧刺激において血圧、心拍数は低下するが、DPの上昇は認められなかったことから、DPに対する指圧刺激の反応は下腿部及び腹部への刺激と、前頚部への刺激では異なることが明らかになった。 今井ら11)は鍼刺激によるヒトの胃、心臓、汗腺への影響はそれぞれ独立した自律神経性の調節機構の元にあることを示唆している。今回の実験における循環器、消火器の反応も同様と考えられる。 以上の事より、前頚部指圧刺激は血圧、心拍数には影響を与えるが、胃運動には影響しないという事が明らかとなった。



  1. 前頚部への指圧刺激によって、血圧は刺激中に有意に低下した。
  2. 心拍数は刺激中に有意に低下した。
  3. ドミナントパワー(DP)の有意な変化は見られなかった。また、周波数は正常波内で推移し影響は少なかった。



  • 小谷田作夫他:指圧刺激による心循環系に及ぼす効果について、東洋療法学校協会学会誌22号:40~45、1998
  • 井出ゆかり他:血圧に及ぼす指圧刺激の効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌23号:77~82、1999
  • 蒲原秀明他:末梢循環に及ぼす指圧刺激の効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌24号:51~56、2000
  • 浅井宗一他:指圧刺激による筋の柔軟性に対する効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌25号:125~129、2001
  • 菅田直記他:指圧刺激による筋の柔軟性に対する効果(第2報)、東洋療法学校協会学会誌26号:35~39、2002
  • 衛藤友親他:指圧刺激による筋の柔軟性に対する効果(第3報)、東洋療法学校協会学会誌27号:97~100、2003
  • 田附正光他:指圧刺激による脊柱の可動性及び筋の硬さに対する効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌28号:29~32、2004
  • 宮地愛実他:腹部指圧刺激による脊柱の筋の柔軟性に対する効果、東洋療法学校協会学会誌29号:60~64、2005
  • 佐藤広大他:下腿指圧刺激による胃電図の変化、東洋療法学校協会学会誌30号:34~38、2006
  • 黒澤一弘他:腹部指圧刺激による胃電図の変化、東洋療法学校協会学会誌31号:55~58、2007
  • 今井賢治他:鍼刺激が引き起こすヒトの胃電図、瞬時心拍数および交感神経性皮膚反応の変化とその機序に関する研究、明治鍼灸医学19号:45~55、1996


3期 稲場哲夫 日本指圧専門学校同窓会「会報」 第33号 平成24年5月1日発行

母 指圧操作は指圧の主体であって、片手母指圧、両母指の外側の先端をそろえて 行うハの字形両手母指圧と重ね母指圧とがある。前頚部は必ず片手母指圧で行う。また幼児の場合、全体に片手母指圧を用いる場合がある。通常、ハの字形の両手母指圧を行うが、集中圧の場合に重ね母指圧を行う。ハの字形両手母指圧は、左右5分・5分の圧でおすと皮膚を挟むことがあるので人とか入字形が良い。人、入という字の角度は45度の斜線で、一番安定感のある水平、垂直に次いで、見る人に安心感を与える、45度をあらわしているのである。指圧おいても人・入字形両手母指での垂直圧が一番姿勢が安定して良くきくのである。

上・中・下とおす場合に、中は人・入字形の45度垂直圧がいいのだが、上部をおす場合に人・入字の角度を鋭角(母指をタテ目にそろえる)この指の構えをかまきり型、また人・入字の角度を鈍角(母指を横にそろえる)指の構えをがま型とし、指圧のおし方として、かまきりおし、がまおしとする。かまきりおしでは肘を脇腹から遠ざける肘をはったおし方である。(上:かまきり 中:45度 下:がま)







指圧を理解しない人々の中には、指圧はあん摩の中の圧迫法だと誤解しているようだが、これは根本的な間違いである。圧迫法だと思うから強くおせば良いと考え、遂には棒切れでも良いという考えになるのである。 指圧はあくまでも読んで字のごとく指でおすのである。指は生命であり人間に意思と実行を代表するものである。修練された指圧師の一圧の中には、おすことも、揉むことも擦ることも或いは引くことさえも含まれていて、患部の状況に応じ千差万別化の診断即治療が行われるものである。

この指圧の極意を会得し指圧の醍醐味を満喫できる境地に達するには、ただただ一心不乱・・・指圧の真髄を求め行ずることである。是非ガンバッテ勉強していただきたい。 指圧療法は、病気を癒してくれるばかりでなく、健康力と生命力をよみがえらせ安静を要する病人にはそのような手当てを、軽い病気にはそのような治療を、また病気の予防にはそのような健康法を、随時随時適宜に施すことができる理想的な予防医学でもある。






身も心、耕す技(わざ)に意味あふれ 生きて行く道光りかがやく



単純、徹底、極限、無我・・・我を忘れておす指に ひびくは奇しき力ぞや

指圧のスローガンに、指圧の心 母ごころ おせば生命の泉わく というのがある。この母ごころというのは、相手の身になって思いやる心である。思いやりの心が大切なのである。指圧療法はこうした「愛」のしるしから出発している。ゆえに指圧する心には愛がなければならない。それは人と人の心のふれ合いである。




本校ではこれまで第22回~34回の本学会誌において、循環器系1~4) (心拍数及び血圧の減少、末梢の筋血液量の増大及び皮膚温の上昇)、消化器系4~6) (消化管運動の亢進)への指圧刺激による効果を報告してきた。 そして、昨年度7)より電子瞳孔計を用い、瞳孔直径に及ぼす指圧刺激の効果の検討を開始し、その第1報として、腹部の指圧刺激の効果について報告した。
その結果、腹部指圧刺激によって瞳孔直径が有意に縮小することが明らかとなった。本年度はこの結果を踏まえ、瞳孔直径に及ぼす指圧刺激部位の違いを検討す る目的で、前頚部・下腿外側部に指圧刺激を行い、瞳孔直径に及ぼす効果について見当したので報告する。














被験者に対し、事前に実験内容を説明し同意の上で、体調、眼の疾患などについて問診した。21名の被験者が、前頚部指圧刺激を行う者(以下、前頚部刺激 群)と下腿外側部指圧刺激を行う者(以下、下腿外側部刺激群)、指圧刺激を行わない者(以下、無刺激群)の3種類の介入を、日を変えて実施した。電子瞳孔 計の測定は被験者を仰臥位にして、床から高さ250cmの天井に設置した直径1.5cmのマーキングを実験中に目視させた。


被験者を仰臥位にて、3分間の開眼安静とし、安静後、前頚部に3分間の指圧刺激をした。刺激後、再び3分間    の安静を行った。計測は計9分間、瞳孔直径を測定した。











前頚部刺激ではcont(Bf.60)に比べて、刺激後30秒(Af.30)(p=0.002)、60秒(Af.60)(p=0.004)、90秒 (Af.90)(p=0.00)、120秒(Af.120)(p=0.001)、150秒(Af.150)(p=0.00)、180秒(Af.180)で 有意に縮瞳した。
前頚部刺激ではcont(Bf.60)刺激後30秒(Af.30)(p=0.004)、60秒(Af.60)(p=0.012)、90秒(Af.90)(p=0.00)、120秒 (Af.120)(p=0.00)、150秒(Af.150)(p=0.001)、180秒(Af.180)(p=0.012)で有意に縮瞳した。


瞳孔直径は、交感神経(頚部交感神経)支配の瞳孔散大筋と、副交感神経(動眼神経)支配の瞳孔括約筋によって調節される。本実験で観察された指圧刺激によ る縮瞳反応は瞳孔括約筋支配の副交感神経の興奮、瞳孔散大筋支配の交感神経の抑制の両方またはどちらか一方の結果、生じたと考えられる。
高位中枢 の関与する瞳孔反応においては交感神経が関わることが指摘されてきたが9~10)、Ohsawa H11)、志村ら12)は、麻酔下のラットへの鍼通電刺激やピンチ刺激による反射性散瞳は頚部交感神経切断によって影響されないことから副交感神経が抑制 されて散瞳が起こることを確認しており、体性感覚刺激に対する瞳孔反応において副交感神経が重要な役割を果たしていることもまた報告されている。種差、麻 酔の影響、明順応・暗順応下の違いなどもあるため、今後、詳細な検討が必要である。




  • 小谷田作夫、他:指圧刺激による心循環系に及ぼす効果について、東洋療法学校協会学会誌22号;40~45、1998


愛泉治療道院院長 愛泉指圧学校校長 因泥徳彦氏
「PacificPress」 491号 May1,2008



「先生には大変可愛がっていただきました。日本の学園に残り、教師になる道もあったでしょうが、海外で指圧を広めたいという先生の願いを素晴らしいと思い、お役に立ちたかったのです。浪越先生の息子さんの徹先生とわたしは仲が良く、彼と一緒に世界各地で指圧のセミナーを行っていました。1974年にバンクーバーで指圧のセミナーがあり、彼が使節団長、私が副団長でした」 1994年に死去した徹氏は、海外での指圧指導のネットワーク作りに熱心で、今夏で15回目になる国際指圧大会の礎を築いた人物だ。同大会には毎回アメリカを含む世界中から、600人もの指圧師が集まる。 「再びバンクーバーで開かれたセミナーに呼ばれ、その帰りにハワイを訪れたのです。1975年でした」。その時、ハワイには指圧が無いから広めたらいいという薦めを受け、一旦帰国して、同年永住を覚悟して再びハワイに。 「本当にお世話になり、後で永住権のスポンサーになってくれたのは山崎菊代さんという方でした。面識もなかったわたしに『たくさんの人のスポンサーになってきましたが、あなたが最後です』といって、スポンサーになってくれました。菊代さんのお嬢様の、ハワイ大学のビートレス山崎博士も、心配して指圧のクラスを手伝って下さいました。もう一人、ダニエル松陰さんもスポンサーになってくれました。

この方たちのご恩は忘れられません。人間は絶対に恩を忘れてはいけない。平井隆三さん(ハワイタイムス元編集主幹)、当時の有吉知事にもお世話になりましたね。それから指圧に世界で始めて保険をかけて下さった、野口アンド・アソシエーツの野口英夫氏にも御恩を感じています」 指圧業を営むためには、まずアメリカのマッサージ師技術試験に合格し、資格を取得しなければならない。「1回目はね、落ちちゃいました」と笑う。試験の英語がわからなかったからだ。2度目で合格した。「つまり、やる気の問題なんですよ」という。その後、山崎さんらの助力を得て、1976年に永住権を取得した。1977年には、手技療法講師資格者にも認定された。

「こうして助けてくれる人が居たのも、わたしが指圧を広めるという一つの道に思い定めて、他に目もくれず一心不乱にやってきたからだと思います」と、この道を歩いてきたことに運命的なものを感じているという。 「そのころ教えをいただいていた、八神道の日野尊元先生(道主)という方が居ましてね。『君は、指圧一筋にやっていけば、その道では世界で何人と勘定される部類の人になれる。そして日本に居らず、デカイ国に行きなさい』と言われた。スポンサー探しなども言われた通りになりましたよ」 ホノルルでの施療者としても指導者としても、出発点になったのは、同年にハワイ大学マノア校のキャンパスセンターで、ノンクレジット(学位取得外)の講座で指圧を教えたことだ。 「たいへん好評をいただいたんですよ。それで、言葉が通じなければ通訳をいれればいい。ここでやっていける、という気持ちになりました」 「77年3月に愛泉治療道院を開設しました。ぼくはこのインターステイトビルの1番古いテナントですよ。出来たばかりの時にはいって、このフロアには誰もいなくてがらんとしていた。しかも最初は、広告の電話番号が間違っていたため誰もお客が来なかった。仕方ないからビーチに泳ぎに行っていましたよ。開業を知っている人たちも、電話が通じないのは、きっと3月3日の開業が間に合わなかったから、4月3日に開業なんだろうとのんきに構えていたのです。そのうちに、山崎さんの姪御さんが、『あなたの電話、連絡が取れないわよ』と血相変えて駆けつけてくださった」 1977年9月には愛泉指圧学校も開校した。

「治療だけに専念したほうがお金を得るためには良かったかもしれませんが、浪越先生の教えを広めたいという気持ちがあったので、学校もすぐ開きました」 前年のハワイ大学での講座の生徒の口コミで、すぐに生徒が17人も集まった。それ以来、今日まで同校には、460人余りが入校してきている。入学した人のほとんどは、州の免許を取得した。開校当時は120時間を3ヶ月程度で終えるカリキュラムだったが、州の免許のために学ばなければならない事項が増えたため、現在では200時間以上のコースになっている。この学校の卒業者は、州免許の実技試験は免除されている。 「しかし免許をとったといっても、指圧を施療して、お客さんの身体に実際に効果があって、はじめてその人の仕事がビジネスになるわけです。だから、治療道院で見習い期間を設けています。実質、全部で10ヶ月から1年ぐらいのコースになっていますね」 また、他のマッサージ学校で習うなどして、州のマッサージ師資格を取っている人は、実技のみのコースを取ることもできるという。愛泉指圧学校のコースの一部には、ハワイ大学医学部と共同でのセミナー部分があり、セミナーの修了書が発行される。

因泥院長は指導者としての責任を重んじ、積極的に教え子に関わっていく姿勢を強く見せる。 「教えるということは、『教えて』『育てる』というこですからね。種を撒き、その人たちが育ち、枝を伸ばしていく。ぼくは指圧はどうあるべきかということを、いろいろうるさく言うから、敬遠して来ない人も居ます。逆に入学したいと言われても、事情を聞くと真剣さが足りないとこちらからお断りする方もいますね。日本から、ここで指圧を学び、州の免許を取りたいという若い人も来ます。でもわたしは受け入れません。ハワイで過ごしたいだけという動機の人が多いからです。断るとほかのマッサージ学校などに行って学ぶ人も居ますが、免許を取っても、実際にその仕事を続けることは難しいと思います。わたしは指導者として、お金もいただくのですから、無責任なことはしたくないのです。指圧の心とは人を癒す心であり、生徒の成長が自分の満足になります」 「ここで免許を取った人には、免許をとってからもいろいろ教えを求めてくる人も居て、その人たちとは互いに協力しています。でも音信不通になってしまう人も居ますね」 卒業生のうち、100人ほどがハワイで開業している。因泥院長自身は「シアツ・マッサージ」という呼び方は、不正解だからしない。手技療法として、指圧と、マッサージや按摩、骨接ぎ、灸などがあるが、それぞれに異なった種類の療法だからだ。だが仕事として指圧専門だけでやっていけないので、双方をやっている人も居るという。

「指圧とは、手指と掌を使ってするものです。また、たとえば按摩は、静脈を心臓に向けて、血液を心臓に送り返すように押すものですが、指圧は動脈を、心臓から離れる方向に、心臓から流れ出す血液の力を増すように押し、身体の生命力を増進するもので、押す場所も押し方もみな違います」 院長の座右の銘の一つは、『指圧の心、母心、押せば命の泉湧く』だという。恩師浪越徳治郎師の言葉で、母校の校訓でもある。 愛泉指圧学校の卒業生のうち本土に移って営業している人も多い。

「軍隊で働いたあと、手に職をつけようと、ここに習いにくる人も居ますからね。生徒も、最初は日本人・日系人が多かったですが、ハワイアン、サモア系、黒人、白人とすべて居ます。職業も看護婦あり、建築家あり、弁護士の人まで居ますよ」 指圧で開業しなくても、自分の職業に生かしている人も多い。「また、軍人の奥さんで一生懸命に習いに来た方も居ますね。イラク出兵などで、旦那さんが任地に行き、ここに帰ってきたとき、指圧をしてあげるという人も居ます」と院長。

因泥院長の活動は、これまでにホノルルの各機関や団体と協力し、ボランティア活動を行うなどして、指圧への理解を深めてきたことに大きく支えられている。 「1978年から、ホノルル・マラソンで、米国指圧師協会と一緒に毎年指圧のボランティアをしています。完走者のみに指圧をする。今年で30回目になる予定です。ボランティアとして以前の生徒らが70人から80人手伝いに来てくれます。この人数で、700名以上、多いときには900人から1000人に指圧をするので、みんなふらふらになりますね。去年(2007年)は天候のせいで芝生が水浸しでね。開催者が『できるか』というから『できるよ。板と担架を持ってこい』といって、ちゃんとやりましたよ。誰からも苦情はでなかったですね。このボランティアを見て、東京柔道整復専門学校・学校法人杏文楽員の生徒たちも、日本からホノルル・マラソンのボランティアのために来てくれるようになりましたよ。スタディ・ツアーの一部に組みこんでいるようです」 「ハレマレマラマ老人ホーム」で1978年から13年間指圧のボランティアを行った。クアキニ病院でもボランティアを行っている。 ライオンズクラブの世界大会で施術したり、ホノルル日系商工会議所が市内の生徒を招いて行ったセミナーで、子供たちに指圧について教えたこともある。また日系第100大隊、第442部隊の退役者のためにも指圧クラスを開いた。


「一人は、なんといっても何清(ホー・チン。イリカイホテルなど数多くの事業を経営)さんです。はじめて来たときはどういう人だか判らないから、ボティーガードがあちこちに立っていてびっくりしましたよ。効果はあるか?というからじゃあ10回チャンスをくれと言いました。最初は車椅子で来ましたが、1ヶ月したら杖をついて歩いてきた。3ヶ月めからは一人で歩いて来て、半年後にはゴルフに誘われましたよ。数年して亡くなられる前にも、入院中の病院からわたしのところに直接やって来られてね。施術後に、自宅に帰ってしまうので、わたしが病院まで送っていったりしたことがあります。ほかにも、元知事やカジノのオーナー、かつての国民党政府の将軍、世界的な学者の方などいろいろな方がおいでになりましたね。石原裕次郎さんがカハラの別荘に居らしたときも、車でお迎えが来まして、週3回、4ヶ月ぐらい通いましたよ」 また、本土からハワイに来る際にアポイントメントを取って、毎年やってくる客も居る。あるニューヨークの老婦人は、1990年から毎年愛泉治療道院を訪れていると、院長はいう。

「もとはヨーロッパの方なんですが、ヨーロッパから家族が訪米中にいつも一緒にハワイに来て、彼らにも指圧を薦めてくれましたよ」 お客には因泥院長の評判を口伝えで聞いてくる人が多いが、病院から送られてくる人も居る。「ペンキを塗っている途中で、はしご上で身体が完全に固まってしまった人が居ました。救急車で病院に運ばれたんですが、そのままこちらに送られてきまして、身体をほぐすのに時間がかかりました」。その人は、あとで山のようなアンパンを差し入れてくれたという。

病院の医師が処方を指定すれば、指圧も保険の対象となる。因泥院長は、クアキニ病院で指圧のボランティアもしており、医師や看護婦も指圧を受けているので、効果をよく知っているのだということだ。 因泥院長は埼玉県人間市の出身で、ハワイ埼玉県人会の会長を1980年から務めた経験もある。また、1987年にハワイ州とホノルル市から表彰を受け、1998年にも州、市とハワイ民族衣装文化普及協会より「日本文化普及賞」を受賞した。



日本指圧専門学校編 「浪越式指圧療法 基本実技」 より抜粋








(特)日本指圧協会理事 師範 佐々木 重 雄












(特)日本指圧協会理事 指圧道師範 木下 誠



























  1. 棘突起と脊柱起立筋の一番盛り上がった所の間を、第7頚椎と第1胸椎の間から第7胸椎の棘突起の高さまで5点3回
  2. 脊柱起立筋の一番盛り上がった所を、第7頚椎と第1胸椎の間から第7胸椎の棘突起の高さまで5点3回
  3. 肩甲骨の内側縁を、内上角から下角まで5点3回
  1. 棘突起と脊柱起立筋の一番盛り上がった所の間を、第7胸椎の棘突起の高さから第5腰椎の高さまで10点3回
  2. 脊椎起立筋の一番盛り上がった所を、第7胸椎の棘突起の高さから第5腰椎の高さまで10点3回
  3. 10点を3回
  1. 放射状の一本目は、解剖学的に上方に向かって6点
  2. 2本目は、30°の角度で腸骨稜に向かって6点
  3. 3本目は、60°の角度で腸骨稜に向かって6点
  4. 4本目は、90°の角度で腸骨稜に向かって6点
  5. その後、①の6点目から④の6点目まで円の4分の1の弧を描く様に10点

[伏臥位] 基本の押し方

  1. 棘突起と脊柱起立筋の一番盛り上がった所の間を、第7頚椎と第1胸椎の間から第7胸椎の間から第7胸椎の棘突起の高さまで5点3回
  2. 脊柱起立筋の一番盛り上がった所を、第7頚椎と第1胸椎の間から第7胸椎の棘突起の高さまで5点3回
  3. 肩甲骨の内縁を、内上角から下角まで5点3回
  1. 棘突起と脊柱起立筋の一番盛り上がった所の間を、第7胸椎の棘突起の高さから第5腰椎の高さまで10点3回
  2. 脊柱起立筋の一番盛り上がった所を、第7胸椎の棘突起の高さから第5胸椎の高さまで10点3回
  3. 10点を3回


  1. 仙腸関節の所を一列目として、上方から下方へ8点
  2. ひと指外側を2列目として、上方から下方へ8点
  3. もうひと指外側を3列目として、上方から下方へ8点


池永 清 著




それでは、具体的に指圧独自の『診療』とはどういう事でしょう? 西洋医学においても又は東洋医学(中国医療)においても、まず『診断』があって『治療』があります。つまり、診断と治療は別々の行為であり診断と治療の2つの行為を総称して診療と呼びます。又、通常治療の為には事前の診断が不可欠で診断がついてはじめて治療することが出来るということになります。ところが、指圧療法の場合は、『診断即治療』ですので、施術そのものが診断であり治療です。これは事前の診断が無くても治療が可能な事を意味し、原因不明で治療法なし、ということも普通は有り得ません。禁忌症で無い限りは診療出来ます。例え病名や症状などの原因がわからなくても、基本指圧を正しく行いさえすればそれが正しい診療となり、その結果からだの免疫力が高まって症状の緩和が可能です。




池永 清 著


海外で指圧をしておりますと『指圧とは何か?』という問題が非常に重要になってまいります。日本は指圧発祥の地ですので、ほとんどの人が指圧を知っている事でしょう。又、その定義まで正確に理解していなくても、日本語(漢字)の場合指圧という単語から大体の意味は想像することが出来ます。では、海外ではどうでしょうか。現在、日本の指圧は海外でもそのまま『SHIATSU』として普及しておりますが、ローマ字になってしまうと言葉自体には意味を持たなくなってしまいますので、正しい説明が必要となります。指圧を英語に訳すと、まず『指』はfingerですが、これが『親指』となるとthumbになります。『圧』はpressureですので、finger pressureあるいはthumb‐pressureという事になり、この時点では別段難しい事はありません。





  1. 徒手を用いること。(道具はもちろんやヒジ、ヒザ、足等は使用しません)
  2. 体表を押圧する事。(もんだり、撫ぜたり、引っ張ったりはしません)
  3. 健康維持増進や疾病治療を目的とする事。(医療の一環です)


"Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and the palm of one's hands to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses."














  1. 医療行為と医療類似行為の関係
  2. あん摩と指圧の関係
  3. 指圧と他の医療行為の関係
  4. 医療類似行為の修得方法と営業の情況
  5. 『あん摩、はり、きゅう、柔道整復等営業法』に伴う8年間猶予期間の解釈
  6. 指圧を除くの療術3年以内の転業又は廃業
  7. 医療類似行為の禁止

この法改正にむけての公聴会は指圧の歴史上きわめて重要なものでした。なぜならば、政府原案では『あん摩(マッサージ・指圧を含む)』という表現で、この時の法改正では政府原案通り可決されたのでありますが、ともかく史上初めて法律上に『指圧』という言葉が登場しました。そして、はやくも2年後の昭和32年には、指圧の定義を定めた厚生省の教本が発行され、更にこの時の公聴会に出席した参考人の先生方によって指圧に関する著書が次々と出版され広く世間に認知されていきました。又、日本指圧学院が正式に『厚生大臣認定・日本指圧学校』となりましたのもこの時期です。このような過程を経て、最終的には昭和39年あはき法は再び改正され、名称は『あん摩(指圧を含む)』から『あん摩マッサージ指圧師』という表現に修正されました。ここにおいて、遂に『指圧』は、日本独特の反射療法・経験療法として法的にも認知を得たのです。 昭和30年第22国会参議院社会労働委員会における、『あん摩、はり、きゆう、柔道整復等営業法』の一部改正のための公聴会での参考人の先生方の証言は、それから9年後の法改正によって『指圧』を『マッサージ』とともに『あん摩』から切り離し、それぞれ独立した別個の手技療法として改めて位置付けた、現在の『あん摩マツサージ指圧師、はり師、きゆう師等に関する法律』の根拠となっており、現在の『指圧療法』のかたちはだいたいこの9年間でほぼ決定付けられたと言えます。従いまして、この公聴会の議事内容とその後の9年間の一連の動きは、日本国内はもちろん海外での指圧普及活動におきましても、その法的裏付けも含めて指圧成立の最も重要な箇所となるに違いありません。


  1. 日本医師会専務理事          志村 国作
  2. 東京医科大学名誉教授         藤井 尚久
  3. 元横浜医科大学講師          槍物 一三
  4. 東京教育大学特設教員養成部講師    芹澤 勝助
  5. 全日本鍼灸按マッサージ師会会長    子守 良勝
  6. 日本鍼灸師会会長           花田 溥
  7. 京都府鍼灸按マッサージ師会会長    関野 光雄
  8. 全国療術協同組合理事         松本 茂
  9. 全国療術協同組合理事長        宇都宮 義債
  10. 日本指圧協会会長           浪越 徳治郎
  11. 東京大学医学部教授          三木威 勇治


この度入手いたしました議事録には、各先生方の証言が一字一句記されておりますが、その中でも注目すべき発言を挙げていきたいと思います。 まず、日本医師会常任理事の志村先生(急きょ会長の代理として出席)ですが、この当時の医師(あるいは世間一般)の一般的な認識だったのかも知れませんが、まずあん摩とマッサージが同じものであり、従って指圧も同類、つまりそれぞれの手技療法はその発生や理論に関係なく手技は手技で同類とみなされた様子です。







井沢正先生は、日本指圧学院の卒業生、即ち浪越門下生のひとりでありますが、はやくも昭和39年には、指圧治療の基本圧点が、漢方医療の経絡経穴に一致することが多いことに着目され、『按腹図解と指圧療法』を編述されました。(按腹図解は江戸時代の按摩師・太田晋斎の著) その後、同じ浪越門下生(日本指圧学校卒業生)から、『指圧療法と掌圧療法(平成6年出版)』の著者・佐藤岩冶郎(さとういわじろう)先生や、『指圧(英語版の表題は禅指圧)(昭和49年)』の著者・増永静人(ますながしずと)先生が経絡と指圧、又は経穴点と指圧のツボを結びつけた独特の理論を展開されております。又、平成15年に北米で出版された私自身の著書TsuboShiatsuでは、いわゆるツボ(反射点)を漢方医療に使われる経絡から切り離して、解剖生理学的に解明しております。




1番深刻な問題は、その教育水準がまちまちであり、更に本来の『指圧の定義』から著しく逸脱している場合があるという事です。海外で指圧をしていますと、『流派は何か?』といった意味合いの質門をよく受けます。これは、日本において、それぞれの応用指圧が本来の指圧療法とは別に並び立って定義されているかのごとく誤解されていることを意味します。もう少し具体的に言いますと、1番多いのは『浪越指圧か増永指圧か?』という質問なのですが、これは非常に的外れな質問です。なぜならば、この場合『浪越指圧』は、日本指圧専門学校で教えている厚生労働省認定の『指圧療法』を指し、このプログラムは卒業後国家試験を経て免許を受ける為のもので、合計2500時間程度の修業時間を要求されます。対して『増永指圧』は、その日本指圧専門学校の卒業生のひとりである増永静人先生によって考案された応用指圧で、海外では俗にZen-Shiatsuと呼ばれてます。 増永先生の開院した『医王会指圧センター』で開催されている講習会は、現在でも週1回/2時間半、計12週/30時間程度のもので、もちろん、プロの施術者を目指すための厚生労働省認定プログラムではありません。その他にも、日本や世界の各地で様々な応用指圧を含めた民間療法の講習会が盛んに開催されておりますが、それらの講習会は、たいてい数時間から数ヶ月程度のもので、『増永指圧』と同様、国家試験に合格してプロの施術者になるためのプログラムではありません。

ご存知のごとく、日本におきましては、プロの施術者になるためには厚生労働省に定義された『指圧療法』、つまり日本指圧専門学校等の厚生労働大臣認定校において所定の基準に沿った指圧を学ばなくてはなりません。例え、どのような応用指圧による治療を目指すのであれ、臨床の為にはまず国家試験を通った『施術者(あん摩マッサージ指圧師)』となる事が先決ですので、その為にすべての施術者がある一定の知識能力を有している事が保障される事となります。しかし法的規制の整備されていない海外では、基本となる定義された指圧の基礎や解剖生理学等の医療基礎をほとんど勉強しないままに、あるいは経絡理論を中心とした数日から数ヶ月の応用指圧の講習会を受けただけで、プロの施術者を名乗ることが可能です。このことは、施術者のレベルの低下を意味し、世界各地で(その多くは未だ民間レベルではありますが)徐々に認知されつつある指圧療法にとっては致命的な問題になりかねません。 このような状況の中、世界中の指圧施術者共通の切実な問題として浮かび上がってきたのが、世界統一資格の構築です。




指圧プラクターの名称は、1990年代後半にカナダのブリティッシュ コロンビア州(バンクーバーの位置する州)で使われたのが最初です。その後、ISA/国際指圧協会(本部・日本)の協力により、指圧資格の世界基準確立のための公式名称に認定されました。2003年末現在に於きましては、北米地区(アメリカ合衆国、並びにカナダ)、ヨーロッパ地区(EU加盟諸国)及び、日本において、登録商標としてその使用が正式に保護されております。 指圧プラクター認定のための教育水準は、日本では、あん摩マッサージ指圧師免許に準じます。その他の地域で、その国や州等の公的機関の規制が無い場合、北米では2年間2200時間、欧州では2年から3年で1600時間程度のものが指標となっております。




1912年 浪越徳治郎先生によって、その原型が創案される。
1940年 日本指圧学校が創立される。
1955年 参議院・厚生労働委員会で法制化のための公聴会が開催される。
1955年 『あん摩(マッサージ・指圧を含む)師』として法制化される。
1957年 厚生省(現厚生労働省)より『指圧の定義』が認定される。
1964年 『あん摩マッサージ指圧師』と改正される。

このように、浪越徳治郎先生によって創案された指圧を基幹として、日本の『指圧療法』が発達し民間レベルでも政府レベルでも認知されて来たことが、浪越先生をもって指圧の創始者と呼ぶ所以であります。尚、下記に述べるように昭和の中頃から多くの応用指圧が考案されましたが、その考案者のほとんどは浪越門下生(日本指圧専門学校出身者)でありした。 海外においては、他の応用指圧と区別する為『浪越指圧』と呼ばれることがありますが、上記の指圧の歴史でもわかるようにように、本来『日本の指圧イコール浪越の指圧』であるので、これは正しい表現ではありません。指圧は指圧です。




Tsubo Shiatsu(ツボ指圧)

日本で古来から『ツボ』と呼ばれる押圧点、反射点を、経絡理論から切り離して解剖生理学的に解明することを目的にしております。本来漢方医療のものであった経穴(メリディアンポイント)の科学的解明は、1980年頃に、石塚寛先生(医学博士・前徳島大学教授、現日本指圧専門学校校長)によって提唱されたのが最初ではないでしょうか。その後2003年に指圧カレッジ校長池永清(1986年日本指圧学校卒業)によって著書『Tsubo Shiatsu』が発表されました。

Meridian Shiatsu(経絡指圧)


Zen (Ioh Kai)Shiatsu(ゼン(医王会)指圧)


Tao Shiatsu(タオ指圧)


Oha Shiatsu(大橋圧)


Macrobiotic Shiatsu(マクロバイオティック指圧)

九司道夫先生(1926年生まれ)の提唱する『Kushi Macrobiotics』では、食事療法と共に、鍼灸、指圧、瞑想、漢方等の代替療法を積極的に取り入れております。アメリカバーモント州にある『Kushi Institute(non-profit educational organization)』において、Macrobiotic Career Trainingコースの科目の一つとして『Macrobiotic Shiatsu』を教えいます。





必修科目 計1700時間
指圧基礎 150時間 指圧理論・指圧実技
指圧応用 150時間 症状別施術 その他の手技療法
臨床実習 650時間
基礎医学 解剖学 300時間 生理学 300時間 病理学 150時間
その他 救急法・禁忌症・医療倫理・関係法規等
選択科目 計500時間



  • 完全図解・指圧療法 浪越徹著   日貿出版社(昭和47年)
  • 指圧の理論と実技  芹澤勝助著  医歯薬出版(昭和32年)
  • 経絡経穴と指圧療法 井沢正著   日本指圧協会(昭和47年)
  • おやゆび一代    浪越徳冶郎著 日本図書センター(平成13年再販)
  • 指壓療法      玉井天碧著  福永敷間(昭和14年)
  • 会報・指の光特定非営利団体    日本指圧協会
  • 第22回国会・参議院社会労働委員会会議録・第29号(昭和30年)