Zen Shiatsu Concepts & Definitions

What School is Zen Shiatsu Based On?

Principles of Zen Shiatsu Bodywork

The Importance of Zen Being

Putting it All Together

Next Steps


Unit 1: Introduction to Zen Shiatsu

Lesson 3: Principles of Zen Shiatsu Bodywork

Consistent with the basic concepts of Traditional Chinese medicine, Zen Shiatsu is grounded in that health theory that health problems are attributed to or involve:

The unique features of Zen Shiatsu, compared to Traditional Chinese medicine techniques such as acupuncture or other shiatsu techniques, are these:

Alex Holland President and Founder, Asian Institute of Medical Studies
Kris Schaefer Zen Shiatsu practioneer
Patrick Heacock Zen Shiatsu practioneer
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system. To develop this condition of heightened awareness and clear intention, the practioneer practices meditation regularly.

Because of its connection to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zen Shiatsu serves as an excellent adjunct to acupuncture therapy as well as Chinese or Japanese herb prescribing, fitting well with the theoretical framework. Further, it serves as a complementary therapy for Western methods of manipulation, including chiropractic or standard massage (e.g., Swedish style), providing an entirely different stimulus to the body.

Although Masunaga's Zen Shiatsu is considered essential reading for practioneer, the main textbook of Zen Shiatsu used today is Shiatsu Theory and Practice by Carola Beresford-Cooke (first published 1996; revised edition 2002). She has outlined five basic principles of Zen Shiatsu as follows: