How do I Become a Shiatsu Therapist?

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  • Written By: Donn Saylor
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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In order to become a shiatsu therapist, you should possess a natural passion for healing and an interest in alternative medicine, graduate from an accredited shiatsu training program, join up with shiatsu and other massage-related organizations, and build your client base. Shiatsu massage is a highly popular form of bodywork, and practitioners are able to address a number of health problems and offer deep relaxation to their clientele. Most regions require that any type of massage therapist be certified and licensed through local health authorities.

The foundation you need to become a shiatsu therapist is rooted in your own desire to help people and facilitate the healing process. You should have a keen interest in alternative healing modalities of all varieties but especially awareness of and aptitude for massage. Researching shiatsu through books, magazines, academic papers, medical journals, and the Internet can help you form a solid basis for your career as a shiatsu therapist.


Another step you will want to take to become a shiatsu therapist is to find the right school or training program to perfect your skills and attain the necessary requirements for certification. Massage schools specializing in different approaches are prevalent throughout the world; you should thoroughly research the ones that interest you most as not all massage training is created equal. If possible, talk to current and former students as well as faculty members to gain a fuller understanding of the type of training an institution offers. You will want to choose training that teaches the latest shiatsu techniques, the different types of shiatsu massage, and the most up-to-date information on health benefits and potential risks. After schooling, most areas will require you take a licensing exam to become legally certified to practice in your region.

Once you have completed learning shiatsu through an accredited program and passed any subsequent testing, it is a wise idea to join a professional shiatsu organization, society, or union. This can help you network with other shiatsu massage therapists, be they seasoned professionals or individuals who, like you, have just completed their shiatsu coursework. An established organization can also help you find work to become a shiatsu therapist and will commonly offer leads for employment through spas, salons, and hotels. Some groups may even post ads from individuals looking for a shiatsu massage, thereby helping you start your own healing business.

The final step you can take to become a shiatsu massage therapist is one of the most important for establishing a long and healthy career. You will want to connect with as many potential clients as possible. This might entail advertising your services, building your own website, and offering special deals to get clients in the door.


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