The Structure Of Zen Shiatsu (Nobuyuki Fujisaki & Masami Fujisaki)

Zen shiatsu consists of skill (pressure, two point pressure, and total body treatment) and theory (meridians, Ying/Yang, Kyo/Jitsu, Ho/Sha and the Sho diagnosis). This is the academic classification of these terms, but they are all interrelated, not separate. Many practitioners are especially interested in the Kyo/Jitsu of meridians, Sho diagnosis, but they find it useless when they try it on their patients. This is because diagnosis is not separate. We have to perfect all the skills to do Sho diagnosis. Now, how should we learn Zen shiatsu? What are the methods of Zen shiatsu? In order to understand the structure of Zen shiatsu, we must first learn the methods.

3 Prinzipien des Drucks

The three principles of pressing

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From observation, we can separate skill from theory. It is very important to perform shiatsu using the three principles. It is necessary to learn these rules through practice. We can perform shiatsu without getting tired if we use equal pressure. It is very important to perform shiatsu for a long time. These are the basic skills for a shiatsu practitioner. However, there are various situations when working on patients. In fact we are requested to perform shiatsu in various positions and situations, so we must learn them. Performing total body treatment will help us master this skill.

Total body treatment has four positions; sitting, side, prone and back. Your pressing skill will be perfect if you can perform shiatsu in various positions and through using different patterns.

Mr. Masunaga made one of these patterns by considering the route of meridians. You must press hardest on the meridians, so you must follow the meridian and this pattern. It is possible for beginners to practice this correctly, even if they don’t understand Kyo/Jitsu or Sho. Therefore, you can master total body treatment.

Kampo and meridians

You will begin to learn the theory as you practice total body treatment, which will help you understand the function of meridians. Some say that meridians only exist in oriental medicine and that they aren’t scientific. However, you will find that you can observe them. They are similar to other scientific phenomenon, such as when an apple falls from a tree. However, meridians are presumed to be mysterious because they are influenced by religion and ancient Oriental philosophy. You need to sense meridians rather than observe them scientifically. They are abstract and difficult to study, since you cannot see them. However, they have a theory similar to other scientific observations.

You can clearly understand meridians, once you understand the theory, like a manual. The theory of Kampo is the manual for meridians. Kampo is based on Yin/Yang, but Yin/Yang is abstract. So it doesn’t explain meridians directly. Therefore, we use the notion of Kyo/Jitsu, which comes from Yin/Yang, to interpret meridians. If you apply Kyo/Jitsu to a meridian and observe it, you will understand the various situations. This is how we diagnose using Sho diagnosis. Therefore, you will understand the theory of Sho diagnose through practice and observing how the meridian reacts. You cannot understand Kyo/Jitsu, the essence of Kampo, if you don’t have the correct pressing skill, especially Ho/Sha. Understanding the theoretical workings of Sho is the last think that we will do in this coarse and our final goal.

Before, I said that it is not enough for a shiatsu practitioner to learn only Sho diagnosis. I hope you understand the reason now. There are many processes to learn before we understand Sho, and it is necessary to learn them accurately. Kyo/Jitsu or Sho cannot be learned academically, but must be learned through skill. Those are the particular concepts of Kampo, namely oriental medicine. Your Zen shiatsu will be complete when you master the skills and knowledge of Kampo.


© Nobuyuki Fujisaki & Masami Fujisaki (Zen Shiatsu Association)

Nobuyuki Fujisaki is born in 1954 in Tokyo, Japan and Graduate Tokyo Electrical Engineering College after majoring in Tele Communications. He became interested in Shiatsu Therapy at age of 11 and began practiced own method of Shiatsu until the age of 20 , when he joined the Ioh Kai Zen Shiatsu Center, where he studied original style of Zen Shiatsu under the Master Shizuto Masunaga. After graduating from the Institute, he went to the Japan Shiatsu School in Tokyo and obtained a National License for Shiatsu Therapy in Japan in 1987. After obtaining a license, he formed the “Zen Shiatsu Association” to promote this unique method of Shiatsu treatment world-widely. His activities include teaching, seminars, workshops teaching classes for professional Shiatsu therapists.

Masami Fujisaki is born in 1959 in Chiba, Japan. Graduated from Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages. After 2 years of studying psychology in Crafton Hills College, California, Masami graduated from the Japan Shiatsu School. At the same time, she studied Zen Shiatsu in the IOHKAI Shiatsu Center and got a certificate from the institute. She obtained Japanese national license of a professional therapist of western massage, Chinese massage, and Shiatsu therapy in 1987 and started to manage Zen Shiatsu Association with her husband to promote Zen Shiatsu therapy. She is a Zen Shiatsu therapist and instructor.