Professional Standards

The S.T.A. recognizes educational programs in Shiatsu Therapy that meet or exceed the minimum requirements as set forth in the S.T.A.’s standard curriculum for professional certification. The designation R.S.T. is awarded to members that meet the minimum requirements of the S.T.A.’s educational standard and practice in accordance with the S.T.A.’s Code of Ethics. Included in this standard are:

  • Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
  • Traditional Oriental Medicine
  • Specific Shiatsu theory and practical training
  • Clinical experience
  • Contraindications
  • Personal development
  • First Aid and CPR


for a S.T.A. Certified Shiatsu Practitioner (R.S.T.)


  • Essential Shiatsu techniques – the principles of breathing, movement, and pressure application
  • Treatment sequences in prone, supine, sitting and side positions
  • Hara assessment – location and palpation of reflex areas in the abdomen
  • Back assessment
  • Introduction to Kyo and Jitsu energy conditions
  • Methods of tonifying and dispersing energy
  • Meridian stretching
  • Integration of advanced techniques into the basic treatment
  • Treatment design: responding to each client’s needs
  • Developing a unique style and flow of treatment
  • Corrective exercise
  • Specific treatments for musculo-skeletal disorders
  • Specific treatment approaches for various health issues
  • Chair Shiatsu
  • Table Shiatsu

SHIATSU THEORY 1  (144 hours)

  • Introduction to eastern medical theory: Qi, Yin-Yang, the Vital Substances, the 5 Phases and Organ theory
  • Meridian theory: locations and functions of 14 major channels
  • Locations and functions of the major acupuncture points for Shiatsu practitioners
  • Introduction to Zen Shiatsu Theory
  • Contraindications for treatment
  • The Masunaga extended meridian system
  • Five Phase archetypes in assessment
  • The causes of illness from an eastern perspective
  • Facial assessment
  • Meridian assessment
  • Taking a case history
  • The front and back associated points
  • Ethics
  • Case study discussions


  • Introduction to Energy Awareness
  • Therapeutic Relationship: communication skills
  • Business & Marketing fundamentals for business
  • Qi Gong/Tai Chi

SHIATSU CLINIC  (100 hours)

  • Students develop confidence offering treatments to members of the public under the supervision of an instructor
  • Integration of theory, assessment and treatment deepens understanding of Shiatsu  therapy and its benefits


  • A practical and theoretical exploration of human anatomy for students of Shiatsu and other complementary therapies


  • Theoretical and practical foundation of knowledge of the physiology of the human body useful for students preparing for careers in health related professions


  • The principles and mechanisms of disease
  • Common specialized medical terms
  • Basic knowledge and skills important in the prevention of certain diseases and medical conditions


  • Basic concepts and terminology concerning the anatomical, physiological and biomechanical bases of human movement
  • Common orthopaedic injuries and basic prevention and treatment plans
  • Evaluative techniques to determine whether a common injury to joint function is present and assess relative strengths and weaknesses


  • Any level of CPR & First Aid certification