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Shenbodywork describes an attitude whereby the experiences from the most different areas flow into a conscious, mindful touch.

SHEN is Japanese and is mostly translated as "spirit" or "consciousness." (1)

Etymologically, mindfulness comes from the Old High German "ahten" (consider, remember, mind), which is related to the Gothic term "aha" (meaning, reason). Eighth is described as an active behavior. It is always related to something that wants to be expressed as eight.(2)

Touching is considered as communication with the hands,(3) and it is a way to better perceive oneself again and thereby to find oneself and one's own life path.(4)

Masunaga, a professor of psychology at the University of Tokyo, promoted the return of traditional spirituality to shiatsu. The basic principle behind Shiatsu and Zen is, he emphasized, to enable a more resonant life.(5) Zen and shiatsu can not only be explained intellectually, but must be experienced with the whole being.(6)

The resonance principle in physics means the resonances of bodies, molecules or atoms, much like enthusiasm that is contagious.(7) Oschman describes resonance as an electromagnetic interaction between molecules.(8) Resonance takes place in interpersonal communication and forms a basis for the feeling of community. Damping factors for the ability of bodies to vibrate are tensions as a result of stress, anxiety, ambition and so on. Shiatsu's goal is to make people more fluent.(9)

In a study by Schrievers, clients report on their experience of Shiatsu in 90 in-depth interviews. Shiatsu made them more conscious of their own body and made it possible to relate more emotions to their own physical condition.(10)

application fields

The professional profile of the Shiatsu Society Switzerland is rooted in the concept of salutogenesis. Antonovsky's salutogenesis is not a medical but a social concept. Crucial is the sense of coherence, which is based on three factors: comprehensibility, manageability and significance. The principles of salutogenesis are implemented in Shiatsu, for example, as follows:
  • Encourage the understanding of denial: In the treatment by touch and in the conversation to the Selbstwarhnehmung direct and accompany the self-knowledge.
  • Demonstrate manageability in the event of powerlessness: Strengthen the internal and external resources through awareness. Hinleiten to small, manageable steps of change.
  • Encouraging the search for meaning and motivation in resignation: Strengthening the inner focus on loving relationships and joyful activities.(11)

A treatment is no substitute for a visit to a doctor or replacement for medical, psychological or psychiatric therapies.(12)

In addition to the salutogenetic approach, Shiatsu's goal is to balance, restore and maintain the energy balance of the body and prevent the onset of stress. A review of Shiatsu revealed that the most common causes of Shiatsu therapy are musculoskeletal and psychological problems. Health problems include:
  • headache, migraine
  • stiff neck and shoulders
  • Back Pain
  • cough
  • colds
  • menstrual problems
  • respiratory illnesses including asthma and bronchitis
  • sinus trouble and catarrh
  • insomnia
  • tension
  • anxiety and depression
  • fatigue and weakness
  • digestive disorders and bowel trouble
  • circulatory problems
  • rheumatic and arthritic complaints
  • sciatica and conditions following sprains and injuries.(13)

(1) vgl. Beresford-Cooke, Carola (2012): Shiatsu - Grundlagen und Praxis - Mit einem Geleitwort von Thomas Myers. 3. Aufl. München: Urban&Fischer.

(2) vgl. Glatzer, Sylvia (2015): Zur Bedeutung von "Achtsamkeit" für das Stressmanagement - Krisen-Kompetenzen fördern & Resilienz stärken. Deutschland: Trainer.

(3) vgl. Helmbold, Anke (2007): Berühren in der Pflegesituation - Intentionen, Botschaften und Bedeutung. 1. Aufl. Bern: Huber.

(4) vgl. Tinkhauser, Katja (2010): Die Auswirkungen von Shiatsu auf psychische Parameter - Ein Vergleich von Shiatsu und Autogenem Training bezüglich ihrer Effekte auf Befindlichkeit, Stressempfinden und Körperbild. Saarbrücken: Müller.

(5) vgl. Masunaga, Shitsuto; Ohashi, Wataru (1977): Zen Shiatsu: How to Harmonize Yin and Yang for Better Health, zit.n.: Beal, margaret (2000): Acupuncture and Oriental Body Work: Traditional and Biomedical Concepts in Hilistic Care: History and Basic Concepts. In: Holistic Nursing Pracitice 14 (3), S. 69 - 78.

(6) vgl. Masunaga, Shitsuto; Ohashi, Wataru (2006/1977): Das große Buch der Heilung durch Shiatsu - Das Standardwerk über Theorie und Praxis der japanischen Heilmassage. Frankfurt: S. Fischer.

(7) vgl. Tinkhauser, Katja (2010): Die Auswirkungen von Shiatsu auf psychische Parameter - Ein Vergleich von Shiatsu und Autogenem Training bezüglich ihrer Effekte auf Befindlichkeit, Stressempfinden und Körperbild. Saarbrücken. Müller.

(8) vgl. Oschman, James L. (2009): Energiemedizin - Konzepte und ihre wissenschafliche Basis. 2. Aufl. München: Urban & Fischer.

(9) vgl. Rappenecker, Wilfried (2016): Resonanz in der Körpertherapie, Deutschland, Online im WWW unter URL: (Stand: 27.10.2017)

(10) vgl. Schrievers, Joachim (2017): Schätze des Shiatsu. Noderstedt: Books on Demand.

(11) vgl. Itin, Peter (2007): Shiatsu als Therapie. Norderstedt: Books on Demand GmbH.

(12) vgl. Österreichischer Dachverband für Shiatsu, (2017): Vordruck für KlientInnen (rechtlicher Rahmen), Österreich, Online im WWW unter URL: (Stand: 1.11.2017)

(13) vgl. Robinson, Nicola; Lorenc, Ava; Liao, Xing (2011): The evidence for Shiatsu: a systematic review of Shiatsu and acupressure, London, Online im WWW unter URL: (Stand: 19.10.2017)

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