What’s the Best Shiatsu Treatment for You?

Shiatsu is a type of massage therapy originating from Japan, and is based on theories stemming from traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM. With centuries of bodywork in its history, it’s no wonder that many early practitioners developed their own styles, eventually leading to the different types of shiatsu treatments available today.

No matter what type of shiatsu treatment you choose, they all involve you being lightly clothed, with minimal use of massage oils, if any. That said, here’s what you need to know to decide on the best shiatsu treatment for you.

Zen Shiatsu

This type of shiatsu treatment was established by Masunaga Shizuto, and some see it as shiatsu properly reunited with its heritage in TCM, to the point that most styles practised in the West nowadays are likely to be based at least partially on Zen shiatsu.

This treatment style focuses on meridians and can be strong or gentle, depending on the needs of the client. Besides using their hands and thumbs to apply pressure, a practitioner may also use their knees, elbows, closed fists, and palms during the massage. If necessary, there may also be some stretching exercises known as makko-ho, which are designed to further correct imbalances in the client’s qi flow.

If you feel you need help loosening your body up a little more than you could on your own, then Zen shiatsu is a good place to start.

Basic Techniques for Shiatsu Massage - The Shiatsu Place


Also known as Nippon shiatsu, this treatment style was developed by Namikoshi Tokujiro in the 1920s and is the form most often found in Japan – hence the inclusion of ‘Nippon’, or Japan, in the style’s name. The emphasis is on acupressure points rather than on the meridians, so this treatment calls for a thorough knowledge of the body’s musculoskeletal structure as well as the nervous system, with particular focus on neuro-muscular points.

This style can be more vigorous than others, and is a thorough whole body treatment. So if you don’t want to focus on just one area of the body, you want to feel more energised, or other treatments aren’t as vigorous as you’d like, then you’ll want to consider Namikoshi.

Macrobiotic Shiatsu

Macrobiotic shiatsu, also called barefoot shiatsu, involves dietary advice, breathing techniques, and home remedies in addition to touch and pressure treatments using hand and barefoot techniques and stretches. There may even be corrective exercises and recommendations for medicinal plant foods.

As you can see, macrobiotic shiatsu goes beyond massage therapies, and that’s because it’s based on George Ohsawa’s belief that all individuals are important parts of nature. If you feel that you need both massage and a change in lifestyle, however slight, then macrobiotic shiatsu is a great option.

These are just three of the types of shiatsu treatment available these days, so you can definitely look up others and choose from those instead of the ones already presented. Just consult professionals for more insights into the benefits of each type, and you’ll be able to find the best one for you.

Want to experience the best shiatsu treatment and therapy in Sydney? Book a session through this website.