Derived from traditional Japanese massage, shiatsu is a popular modality that combines the concept of energy meridians with comprehensive massage. The word “shiatsu” means “finger pressure” and refers to the practitioner using fingers, thumbs and palms to alter energy flow along meridians, or channels for life energy along the body. The modality also incorporates assisted stretching and joint mobilization.
You can expect to invest about 100 credit hours in continuing education to become a shiatsu practitioner. Forms like Zen shiatsu emphasize mind-body balance while Thai shiatsu teaches more comprehensive stretching. Once you know the core modality, you can branch out into techniques like cupping, end-of-life care, and cosmetic facial shiatsu.