A typical Shiatsu treatment lasts an hour, although the first appointment can take a bit longer to get to know the client and their story.
The therapist uses a variety of diagnostic techniques to develop a treatment plan including face diagnosis, hara diagnosis, feeling specific meridian points for their sensitivity, body reading, etc.
A Shiatsu treatment is given on the massage table or on a futon on the floor and the client usually remains dressed in loose, comfortable clothing. A few Shiatsu techniques require partial undressing, such as moxibustion (application of heat using burning mugwort) or application of hot compresses.
After the treatment, the therapist may give the client advice to further support his or her condition such as specific stretching or movement exercises, dietary suggestions, or lifestyle changes.
It's difficult to know ahead of time how many sessions will be required to resolve a problem. The seriousness of the problem and the degree to which the client's body responds to the treatment are the determining factors.
"Hara" is the Japanese name for the center of the body's energy, located in the lower abdomen.