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The Origins of Shiatsu

Shiatsu was born in Japan around 552 BC. A group of Buddhist monks from China imported traditional Chinese medicine, so Japanese medicine, also known as Campo medicine, was born in Japan. It included Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Anmo manual therapy.

Ishinboh, the book of medicine written by Yasuvori Tamba, along with medicine Campo became the focus of Japanese medicine. With the passing of years we can see its evolution. During the Meiji dynasty (1868 - 1911), with the arrival of western medicine with its manipulation with techniques that varied from Chiropractic, massages, osteopathy etc.) all the disciplines that were not scientifically proven were not accepted or recognized and many therapists’ licenses were canceled. So they continued to practice their arts in secret until the end of World War II when an attempt was made to re-evaluate the strength of some therapies to restore dignity to the practice. During this period, the effectiveness of pure pressure was discovered. Tenpeki Tamai used the word Shiatsu for the first time.

In 1940, Tokuijiro Namikoshi founded in Muroran, Hokkaido (northern Japan) the first Shiatsu institute in the world. After the Second World War, General MacArthur helped the public health department. During this period more than 100 therapies were scientifically studied that were up to that point not yet regulated, including Shiatsu. After about 8 years of research conducted by various universities, it was established that Shiatsu therapy was the only one to have the requisites necessary to obtain scientific recognition, together with acupuncture and Anmo. Shiatsu is a discipline recognized by the ministry of Japanese health.

From this, many illustrious masters were born. One of these was Shizuto Masunaga who, through the Zen Shiatsu style, succeeded in explaining this complex technique to us Westerners in a simple and comprehensive way, opening the doors to new generations.

Marilyn Monroe used Shiatsu to cure her gastritis during her honeymoon in Tokyo. It was also used by the famous boxer Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali).

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