What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork. Literally translated Shiatsu means finger pressure.

Fingers andhands sinking in gently or powerful, stretching the muscles and mobilisation of the joints are central techniques in Shiatsu. Alike with acupuncture meridians (energy pathways) and acupoints are stimulated to harmonise the energy flow of body and mind.

Treatment is given on the clothed body, traditionally on a mat on the floor, alternatively on a massage table or chair. The person receiving can be covered and supported with pillows and cushions.


Zen Shiatsu, which I practise, is one of various directions that have developed since the origins of Shiatsu about 100 years ago. It combines traditional Japanese massage techniques with approaches from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

In Zen Shiatsu it is assumed that everything in nature is connected and interacts with each other as well as that all living things exist in a state of constant change.

The model of the five (Wuxing), to which the meridians are also assigned, describes this change as a constant cycle of different energetic qualities. Examples of this are the change of seasons, the different phases of life we go through from birth to death or the flow of our different emotions. Depending on what your needs are, I can strengthen or balance these different qualities by treating the meridians, for example to come to rest or to move, to let go, to find stability or to set boundaries.

Shiatsu is practised with an attitude of mindfulness that also underlies Zen Buddhism. Mindfulness is based on the principles of non-judgement, patience, keeping the beginner's spirit, trust, non-forcing, acceptance and letting go.

How does Shiatsu work?

Shiatsu works in a needs-oriented way. Symptoms are seen as signposts that draw attention to deeper needs. In a Shiatsu treatment these needs are perceived, accepted and answered at the level of bodywork.

Shiatsu leads to deep relaxation. By shifting the weight and moving from the centre of the body, the intensity of the treatment is sensitively adapted to the respective need. The attentive posture and physical centredness with which I practise create a space in which you can experience security, connection and a respectful approach to boundaries. A feeling of being carried and deep relaxation can arise.

Shiatsu regulates the nervous system. A healthy balanced nervous system oscillates between activation (fight and flight / freeze mode) and relaxation (healing / regeneration). Through constant stress or trauma, the nervous system is constantly in an increased state of activation. Regenerative processes such as sleep, digestion and metabolism can only take place sufficiently if the nervous system regularly returns to a state of rest. Due to its deep relaxing effect, Shiatsu supports all stress-related symptoms such as tension, pain and digestive problems. It supports trauma healing, grounds in times of major changes and activates the self-healing powers.

Shiatsu strengthens body awareness. Our body stores all the important experiences we make in the course of our life. From this memory it draws a knowledge of what does us good and what harms us. Shiatsu helps to connect with this body wisdom and to experience it consciously. Through regular treatments, the relationship with your own body can deepen until it becomes an part of your everyday experience.

Shiatsu connects. Touch and feeling connected is a basic human need and the prerequisite for healing and development. Through mindful touch, a feeling of security arises. You can feel connections between different parts of the body and perceive your body, mind and emotions as one.