Thanks to mass communications, the name of Shiatsu is widely known not only in Japan but also in foreign countries. Many people have been concerned with Shiatsu recently, but how many people even know what Shiatsu is? Some may be able to explain it while others will disagree in their explanations. In fact there are many schools of Shiatsu Therapy and several kinds of manipulative therapies included in Shiatsu legally. Many people confuse Shiatsu with other kinds of therapy because the techniques seem alike; however, they do not know about it substantially. Because the name became so popular, several kinds of manipulative treatment started to use the name "Shiatsu." As a result, each person has a different image of Shiatsu now, which leads to misunderstanding and confusion in Japan.
"I have received Shiatsu treatment from various Shiatsu therapists, and each one gave me a different style of treatment. Which is real Shiatsu anyway?" This is not a problem with the therapist's technical skill. Each Therapist uses a different technique under the name Shiatsu, which is very confusing. Although there are lots of schools of Shiatsu Therapy, there must be common characteristics which make them Shiatsu.
Shiatsu literally means "finger pressure," so people tend to think that pressing with the fingers somewhere on the body must be Shiatsu. Some say, "You have to remember accu-points or Shiatsu points to give the treatment." Of course, some ways of pressing by fingers are included in the techniques of Shiatsu, but this is only a part of it and is not all of Shiatsu. Also, you may think it is important to master how to use the fingers, how much pressure to apply, which direction to apply it, and where the Shiatsu points are; yet this is merely the surface of Shiatsu. There are more important factors than just technical matters. We human beings have healing power in our hands, and effective Shiatsu is applied with a "mother's touch," healing the psyche as well as the body; however, in order to prove the medical efficiency of Shiatsu therapy, it is necessary to have medical theories.