International recognition

The legal status of Shiatsu

“The regulations of Shiatsu vary according to different national legal situations. The experience shows that Shiatsu is practiced without any risk for the persons treated. Therefore, in some countries or regions of Europe, there are no specific legal requirements or restrictions concerning the professional practice of Shiatsu. France, Italy, Switzerland and United Kingdom are in the midst of a process of getting Shiatsu regulated as a holistic health profession. In Austria, Shiatsu is officially recognized and regulated as a profession by the ministry of Economics. Furthermore ,there are regulations on a regional level (e.g. Catalonia, Tuscany, Swiss cantons). In some countries or regions Shiatsu can also be practised in a therapeutic context.” 

 In the European Union, the legal status is laid down in the Resolution of the use of non-conventional medicine (Resolution on the status of non-conventional medicine Official Journal C 182 , 16/06/1997 P. 0067):

“F. whereas there is a broad range of non-conventional medical disciplines, and some of them enjoy some form of legal recognition in certain Member States and/or possess an organizational structure at European level (common basic training, deontological code, etc.) in particular chiropractic, homeopathy, anthroposophical medicine, Chinese traditional medicine (including acupuncture), shiatsu, naturopathy, osteopathy, phytotherapy, etc.; whereas, however, only a certain number of them meet all the following criteria: a form of legal recognition in certain Member States, an organizational structure at European level and self-regulatory mechanisms.”


Shiatsu and its applications

In a cross-European study on the effects and experiences of shiatsu, long-term experiences and effects of receiving shiatsu of 984 clients in three countries (Spain, Germany and the UK) were investigated. (A. F. Long, 2007, The key policy findings confirm the safety of shiatsu as practised within the three countries, demonstrate interconnected and consistent evidence of client perceived beneficial effects in the short and longer term. These range from symptom change to lifestyle changes. The effects are maintained in the longer term (six months follow-up). Shiatsu benefits in terms of general well-being, health maintenance, health promotion (uptake of advice and recommendations) and health awareness are notable. This suggests a potential role for shiatsu in public health. Shiatsu treatments also show reduction in use of conventional medicine, medication and working days lost due to ill-health are indicative of an added value and potential economic benefit arising from shiatsu treatment