The goal of any massage therapist is to relieve pain clients may experience. By taking a home-study course in shiatsu massage, you can help to accomplish this goal and expand the scope of your practice.

Shiatsu is an ancient Japanese massage technique that can help to ease stress, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety and depression. The massage techniques learned in these home-study courses typically focus on the use of the therapist’s fingers and palm, which are used to apply pressure to sections of the body to correct imbalances. The techniques also are used to maintain and promote the body’s health.

An Internet search revealed numerous home-study courses that are available for any massage therapist to take to fulfill her continuing education requirements.

Home-study courses on the techniques of shiatsu focus on a variety of areas that include the meridians, ampuko, the five elements the tsubo, contracting views of Eastern and Western medicine cultures, taiji and abdominal digestion. The courses also focus on how to apply shiatsu massage to the neck, limbs, body and head.

According to a recent study, researchers found shiatsu massage “contributed to the general promotion of good health among clients.” The study, “The potential of complementary and alternative medicine in promoting well-being and critical health literacy: a prospective, observational study of shiatsu,” was conducted through a survey that was completed by 633 shiatsu clients and 85 practitioners in Spain, Austria and the United Kingdom.

The questions posed to the clients included asking about what they hoped to achieve by receiving shiatsu, the client-therapist relationship, life changes made as a result of shiatsu and what areas of their life they changed. For the therapists, questions in the survey focused on how they practiced shiatsu and what types of advice they provided to clients.

During a six-month follow-up, about 80 percent of the clients reported they had made lifestyle changes as a result of receiving the shiatsu session. The most common trait among those changes included increases in rest and relaxation, as well as exercise.

Make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.