Zen Shiatsu

How Zen Shiatsu Works


Literally translated, shiatsu means “finger pressure.” Rooted in the traditions of Japanese and Chinese medicine, Zen shiatsu is closely related to acupuncture. The main distinction between Zen shiatsu and acupuncture is Zen shiatsu uses finger pressure, not needles. Zen shiatsu touch is given to specific points and channels in the body to facilitate the innate healing power of the whole human body. Chinese medicine includes manual therapy (Asian bodywork and acupuncture) and Chinese herbal therapy. Zen shiatsu is a form of Asian bodywork therapy.

Benefits of Zen Shiatsu

Health: Every person who regularly receives Zen shiatsu experiences some form of health improvement and meaningful change in quality of life. A regular program of Zen shiatsu increases adaptability to stress.

Harmony: Harmony is the state of free-flowing qi. Stress and illness are signs of qi blocked in its flow. When qi is flowing freely again, the body’s ability to heal itself is restored.

Relaxation: Zen shiatsu touch is enjoyable, generating a deep sense of calm and comfort. It is a safe and effective natural therapy for relaxation.

Prevention: Most major illnesses begin with these common signs of qi imbalance: fatigue; insomnia; digestive disturbances; aches and pains; irritability; anxiety; frequent colds and infections; menstrual irregularities. If you are experiencing any one of these signs and symptoms, regular Zen shiatsu can help. The outcome is the successful prevention of disease. This preventative power is one of Zen shiatsu’s greatest offerings.

What to Expect in a Session

Massage Table

Each Zen shiatsu session lasts approximately one hour. The first session can be slightly longer to allow time to develop a complete picture of your health according to the principles of Chinese medicine. The client stays fully clothed.

Each session is designed to address your current state of health, the symptoms you are experiencing, your constitution and general energy levels. A variety of Zen shiatsu techniques can be used to improve your energy flow. These techniques might include gentle holding; pressing with palms, thumbs, and fingers on the meridians; and, when appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches. Zen shiatsu is a therapy that works on the individual as a complete being — not just the physical body but also on an emotional and/or mental level.

Following a treatment, there can be a feeling of increased vitality and you may feel invigorated yet relaxed.

Treatment fees: M-F: Initial appointment: $135, hourly appointments: $95

Treatment fees: Sat: Initial appointment: $170, hourly appointments: $120

To schedule your appointment, please call Heart of Zen at 231-386-7616.

Download, print, and complete your Initial Intake Form.

Fibromyalgia and Asian Bodywork Therapy Study

Heart of Zen is participating in a Fibromyalgia and Asian bodywork therapy study. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you are invited to participate in a national study to research the benefits of Asian bodywork therapy (ABT) on individuals with fibromyalgia. To schedule an appointment to discuss the study and expected benefits of treatment, or to discuss the opportunity to provide financial assistance anonymously or to benefit someone you know with fibromyalgia, call Heart of Zen, 231-386-7616.

Regulation of Asian Bodywork Therapy

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (www.nccaom.org) offers exam-based certification for Asian bodywork therapists (Dipl. A.B.T.). The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia® (www.aobta.org) recognizes certified practitioners of Asian bodywork therapy (AOBTA®-CP) based on educational standards.