Getting into a Shiatsu Massage School

getting-into-shaitsu-massage-school.jpgOne of the best things a practitioner of massage therapy can do to enhance their practice or business is to offer specialized services to clients. This could include additional holistic health services, natural aesthetic treatments or special types of massage, such as Thai massage or Shiatsu massage. But how do you fulfill Shiatsu massage training requirements so that you can offer this modality, or treatment technique, to your practice?

Attending a Shiatsu massage school — or a school that offers a Shiatsu massage certification as part of its program — is a great way to both focus and diversify your massage skills.

Shiatsu massage in a nutshell

So, what is Shiatsu massage anyway? The word itself means "finger pressure" in the Japanese language. The practice was developed in the 20th century by a Japanese massage practitioner who wanted to infuse his practice with ideas from Western sciences, including anatomy, physiotherapy and chiropractic care.

While conducting a Shiatsu session, therapists will use fingers, thumbs, hands, elbows and even knees to apply pressure to different points on a person's body, depending on the health issues that need addressing. This pressure helps improve the flow of the body's life force energy, called qi, along the meridians.

Shiatsu is good for treating a variety of ailments, including but not limited to:

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • PTSD
  • Pregnancy discomfort
  • Nervous system ailments
  • Stress, anxiety and depression

Shiatsu massage school programs

To become a massage therapist, you'll need to enter a massage therapy school to earn a degree or diploma, just as you would for many other careers in the health field. According to the American Massage Therapy Association:

"There are currently more than 300 accredited massage therapy institutions in the United States. Many institutions have multiple campuses. Training programs in massage therapy generally require a high school diploma, though post-secondary education is useful. Previous studies in broad subjects such as science (especially anatomy and physiology), business and humanities are helpful."

Expect to spend anywhere from 330 to 1,000 hours of studying and training to become a massage therapist. Like other colleges and universities, some programs in massage therapy will have a specific focus. If you have an interest in a certain type of massage — such as Shiatsu massage or Swedish massage, which is another technique popular in the United States — make sure the program you want to attend offers instruction at in this type of practice, along with a broad-based foundation in general massage treatment.

Some topics and techniques you will learn in Shiatsu massage training courses include:

  • Treating the back and lower and upeer extremities
  • The Hoshino system of Shiatsu
  • Locating points on the body
  • Palpation and correct body movement using proper finger and hand techniques
  • Yin Yang Theory
  • Eight Principles and Four Examinations
  • Cause of disease
  • Survey of the channels
  • Major concepts in Oriental Medicine
  • Even if you already have a massage therapy degree, you can also take classes to obtain additional training in a new area.
  • Conducting a comprehensive patient interview

Even if you already have a massage therapy degree, you can also take classes to obtain additional training in a new area. Contact your local massage therapy school to inquire about continuing education opportunities, like Shiatsu massage training.

The massage therapy program at the Acupuncture and Massage College includes a Shiatsu massage certification. Learn more about requirements to enroll by contacting (305) 595-9500.

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