Zen Shiatsu is a kind of Shiatsu Therapy, which is based on using "Sensitivity". It takes Shiatsu methods as a matter of form, however, the essencial parts of Zen Shiatsu is very instinctive. To put it more concretely, like in sports, there are basic techniques in "the Techniques" of Zen Shiatsu. There are also practical applied techniques over the basic techniques. The "Theories" or "Thoughts"of Zen Shiatsu is similar to an art rather than medicine. There is no mathematical logics in it. In Zen Shiatsu, we can get echoed from the meridian channels when we apply Shiatsu pressure accorging to our sensitivity. Of course, some kinds of special trainings are needed to become a skillful practitioner, but the most important thing is to have good sensitivities. If you have strong sensibilities, you will be able to reverberate the meridian channels very well even if you are not good at doing technical matters. Therefore, there is no text books of Zen Shiatsu for skillful practitioners of advanced class. Like that there is no text books in Arts, skillful Zen Shiatsu therapists can find "Kyo & Jitsu" ( distortions of the meridian channels) by their sensitivities and apply Shiatsu treatment to each patient according to the diagnosis, and he/she finally leads to make the patient recovered from a disease. This is Zen Shiatsu. However, you may have a question like "Is it really possible to cure diseases only by hands techniques of Shiatsu with using such uncertain subjective sensibilities?" And then you may feel uneasy about the effectiveness. However, late Master Masunaga, the founder of Zen Shiatsu Therapy, explained and had kept doing Zen Shiatsu of this level. He talked about this and explained what Zen Shiatsu should be in his lectures just before he died, and also we see the similar explanations about Zen Shiatsu even when we read his books and writings very carefully. Master Masunaga was a a man of genius and a philosopher. So it can be said that his explanation is not scientifical but is philosophical like one in Zen Buddhism. However, this idea is too difficult and too abstract for beginners or unexperienced practitioners to understand. Therefore, here I would like to try to explain what constructs Zen Shiatsu and how to learn it for beginners and unexperienced practitioners.

Firstly, need to know the rules of Shiatsu pressure techniques.
Let's analize Zen Shiatsu Therapy as a study. It can be categolized into two parts, which are technical parts and theoretical parts. Now, let's talk about the technical parts of Zen Shiatsu. First of all, we have to understand the three principles of Shiatsu pressure techniques, which are "Vertical Pressure", "Stationary Pressure", and"Supportive Pressure". Those three principles are the most essencial parts of Shiatsu techniques. Only when we apply pressure satisfying all the three rules, the Shiatsu can be effective. Especially "Stationary Pressure" is the most important because it is the most unique rule what only Shiastu has, which identifies Shiatsu indeed. So don't forget it and do Shiatsu under the rules always. The effectiveness of your Shiatsu really depends on this point.

Also, we use both hands at the same time in Zen Shiatsu. Then you must keep it in your mind "Equal Pressure" as another rule. It means that we have to equalize the body pressure on the both hands. Why "Equal Pressure" is important? Your body weight will be suported by only one side of shoulders and your muscles will be tentioned and get tired easily if you lean toward only left hand or right hand side. Please remember we need to be relaxing when we do Shiatsu. If we strain ourselves, the muscles are tentioned, and the quality of the Shiatsu pressure will be changed. Then the Meridian channels will refuse the stimulation of such stressful pressure. The purpose of Shiatsu techniques is to stimulate the Meridian channels the most efficiently. It will be impossible for you to give a stimulus to the Meridian channels by usinig inefficient pressure. Therefore, for the first of all, we need to master correct techniques of Shiatsu before we start to learn the knowledges of Oriental Medicine.

Secondly, master the forms of Total Body Treatment of Zen Shiatsu.
Did you understand and master the very important three rules of Shiatsu? Yes? O.K. Now, let's learn the basic pattern of Total Body Treatment of Zen Shiatsu as the next step. This is a pattern of Shiatsu which Master Masunaga made from his clinical experiences, which consists of five parts such as "Sitting Position", "Side Position", "Prone Position", "Spine Position" and "Body Adjustment". You will be completing the total body treatment of Zen Shiatsu if you do Shiatsu following the order of this pattern. Practically, we are going to master the correct Shiatsu pressure techniques under the three principles on learning the pattern of the Toatal Body Treatment of Zen Shiatsu.

This pattern is very practical and efficient. This basic pattern can be used for clinical treatments practically. We can expect enough clinical effectiveness by only doing Shiatsu with this pattern because it is made so efficiently that we can give Shiatsu to almost all the Meridian channels of the total body after doing this pattern of Zen Shiatsu. Therfore, you should repeat this pattern for many many times and train your Shiatsu skill, and finally you must master this pattern of Total Body Treatment perfectly. If you can master it, there will be no problems with your Shiatsu techniques.

Please learn this pattern under a good teacher who use correct techniques of Shiatsu if possible. If you cannot find a good Shiatsu teacher, find a company who studies Shiatsu with you and check if the techniques are used correctly or not for each other. And as a next step, find the third person and ask him/her to become your patient. If you get a comment like "Your Shiatsu makes me very comfortable." from the receiver, you can pass the first test. If the receiver's comment is negative like " Your Shiatsu is painful, uncomfortable, suffering, and etc.", you cannot pass the first test. Then you need to do the basic training more. If you study the basic pattern of Total Body Treatment of Zen Shiatsu under a skillful teacher, you will be mastering it within six months.

Thirdly, study the theories of Zen Shiatsu.
Zen Shiatsu is a very Oriental Medicine. Therefore, we need to have enough knowledges of Oriental Medicine in order to do Shiatsu correctly and effectively. First of all, we need to understand the Meridian cahnnels and need to be able to catch them. For, the theories of Zen Shiatsu Therapy is based on the phenomina of the Meridian channels. So, the first thing we should learn is to master the techniques of recognizing the Meridian channels. It must be easier to understand the theories after mastering the techniques.

The core of the theories is "Yin & Yang" theory. The other theories such as "Five Elements" are not so important and they are not "must". We need this "Yin & Yang " Theory in order to judge the condition of each Meridian channel and to check health condition of each patient. The Meridian channels are a kind of phenomina of living things, and the Meridian channels themselves are not Oriental Medicine. However, when we use the "Yin &Yang" theory to explain the condition of each Meridian channel, we can make it understandable and can explain it objectively. "Yin & Yang" is an abstract idea which represents "character" or "nature" of things. On the other hand, "Kyo & Jitsu" is a realistic idea which represents "quantity" or "amount" of things. Speaking of the Meridian channels, "Kyo & Jitsu" is used for explaining the condition of each Meridian channel. If you can catch and understand what kind of condition the meridian cahnnel is, what you do is just to give stimulations properly according to the "Kyo & Jitsu"diagnosis of each meridian. The given stimulation according the "Kyo & Jitsu" diagnosis is called "Ho & Sha". This is the treatment of Zen Shiatsu Therapy. So, "Kyo & Jitsu" is the key point of the knowledges of Oriental Medicine for Zen Shiatsu practitioners.

Well, what is " Kyo & Jitsu"? And what relations are there between "Kyo & Jitsu" and "Ho &Sha"? We need to understand the answer for these questions. You must make it clear here in this step.

Forthly, learn how to get diagnosis and master the techniques.
After you become proficient in doing total body Shiatsu treatment and also you get an outline of the knowledge of "Kyo & Jitsu" in the Meridian channels, then you may go to the next step of Zen Shiats study. Mastering the techniques of diagnosis. The diagnosis of the Meridian channels is represented by the conbination of the most "kyo" Meridin channel and the most "Jitsu" Meridian channel. This is called "Sho", which is the diagnosis of Oriental Medicine. Once you get "Sho" diagnosis, you just give treatment according to the diagnosis, which becomes a very efficient treatment. However, it is very difficult to master the techniques of diagnozing. The techniques of "Sho"diagnosis is the total techniques and knowledges of all you have learned. All of the Shiatsu techniques should be joined together to do that. As we check and decide "Kyo & Jitsu" diagnosis of the Meridian channels with Shiatsu pressure techniques, you will not be able to get correct diagnosis if you have not mastered each step of Zen Shiatsu study methods. When you can make "Sho" diagnosis accurately, you may have learned almost all the techniques of Zen Shiatsu Therapy.

Finally, let me tell you one more important thing. In here, I explained the methods of learning Zen Shiatsu devided into two parts, "technical" parts and "logical" parts, for making it clear to explain. However, the techniques and knowledges should be combined together when you give a Zen Shiatsu session to your each patient. The most difficult thing for learners of Zen Shiatsu Therapy must be that they cannot catch and feel "Kyo & Jitsu" of the Meridian channels directly in the patient's body even if they can understand the theory of "Kyo & Jitsu" and have knowledge of the Meridian channels. In short, the knowledges they have learned hardly can be consistent with what they are doing at their Zen Shiatsu session, which means "theory and practice" cannot be easily one with each other. Especially when you learn Oriental Medicine which has no mathmatical logics, the more knowledges you learn, the more contradictions you will meet. Then the knowledges you have learned will be fallen apart in your brain and you may be suffered by new contradictions. In order to solve this problem, you need to understand that Oriental Medicine is an experiential medicine. So you had better not learn too many theories and knowledges of Oriental Medicine in the beginning of your study, but you had better to make efforts to experience more clinical practice. Then, the things what you can rely on are the right Shiatsu pressure techniques and the patterns of the total body treatment of Zen Shiatsu. If you can master Shiatsu pressure techniques properly, you will be able to understand and feel "Kyo & Jitsu" of the Meridian channels practically and the ideas what were fallen apart by contradictions in your mind will be combined together little by little gradually while you gain your experience in clinical practices. I think you will be puzzled especially when you try to make "Sho" diagnosis. In such a case, I advise you to keep doing your session of Zen Shiatsu on the assumption that your "Sho" diagnosis is correct. And then, you may be able to judge your "Sho" diagosis from the clinical result after the session. Thus, you plan to brush your skills up on having more clinical experiences in Zen Shiatsu Therapy.