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1.  What are the contraindications to receiving Shiatsu?

2.  How many sessions will be necessary before I feel results?

3.  I've heard that receiving Shiatsu hurts -- is that true?

4.  What kinds of reactions are possible after receiving a Shiatsu session?

5.  What should I wear for my Shiatsu session?

6.  Will I ever need to undress during a Shiatsu session?

7.  What is the difference between receiving Shiatsu on a massage table and on a futon on the floor?

8.  I don't have any complaints -- can I still receive Shiatsu?

9.  Does the national health insurance cover Shiatsu treatments?




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1.  What are the contraindications to receiving Shiatsu?

Cancer:
  Many authorities consider cancer an absolute contraindication to receiving Shiatsu on the grounds that increased venous and lymphatic flow may cause the disease to spread.   However, some cancer patients have experienced relief from their symptoms through Shiatsu.   The decision whether or not to pursue Shiatsu therapy can best be made in consultation with your medical doctor.


First Trimester of Pregnancy:  The risk of miscarriage, in general, is higher during the first trimester.  Therefore I recommend avoiding Shiatsu during the first 3 months of a pregnancy.  However, after that time, Shiatsu is quite safe to receive.   With the use of a specially-designed bodyCushion, positioning is possible not only face-up or on your side but also in the face-down position up to the last few weeks of pregnancy. 

Fever:  Any kind of acute illness with fever is unsuitable for Shiatsu treatment as the fever is a sign that the body is already busy fighting off the infection.

Local contraindications:  The following conditions require that Shiatsu be avoided only on the affected part of the body.  Therefore, it's important to share these conditions with your therapist at the beginning of the session:
  • Varicose veins
  • Wounds
  • Fractures
  • Inflamed joints (red in color or especially warm to the touch)
  • Areas of inflamed, red, or raw skin. 
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2.  How many sessions will be necessary before I feel results?

It's very difficult ahead of time to know how many sessions will be required.  Many clients feel results after the first session.     Determining factors include the client's condition and how the client's body responds to the Shiatsu.   Supportive changes in diet and behavior patterns done in concert with Shiatsu can further stimulate results.
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3.  I've heard that receiving Shiatsu hurts -- is that true?

Pain in response to pressure on particular meridian points is symptomatic of a disturbance in the energy flow through that meridian.   Therefore some degree of pain is usually felt during a Shiatsu session.   However, it's usually described as "the good kind of pain", where you can still relax into it, breathe into it, and ultimately feel a sense of release.   Communication between therapist and client is critical to find the depth that can heal rather than only create more resistance.
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4.  What kinds of reactions are possible after receiving a Shiatsu session?

Some receivers of Shiatsu experience reactions to their treatment.   The most common reactions are tiredness and loosening of mucus in the body (runny nose, diarrhea, cold-like symptoms).   Normally such reactions last only a day or two.
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5.  What should I wear for my Shiatsu session?

It's best to wear loose, comfortable clothing for your Shiatsu session.  Tight clothes that restrict movement make it difficult to do some of the stretching and joint rotation techniques. 
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6.  Will I ever need to undress during a Shiatsu session?

A few Shiatsu techniques may require partial undressing, such as moxibustion (application of heat using burning mugwort) or application of hot compresses.  
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7.  What is the difference between receiving Shiatsu on a massage table and on a futon on the floor?

For the receiver of Shiatsu, there's no difference.    All meridians can be treated from either a massage table or a futon and the results are just as effective either way.
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8.  I don't have any complaints -- can I still receive Shiatsu?

Yes!  Shiatsu is great preventive medicine and is deeply relaxing. 
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9.  Does the national health insurance cover Shiatsu treatments?

No, unfortunately not yet.   The Belgian Shiatsu Federation is working towards this.  Hopefully in the future we'll see more support from the government for the vast number of people who rely on alternative therapies such as Shiatsu for their wellness.
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