zen shiatsu school logo.jpg (41856 bytes) Shiatsu Courses, Classes and Training with Open (click) Evenings and Intensive Courses
from Absolute Beginner right through to fully qualified Professional registered and insured with the Zen Shiatsu Society.
Call 0700 078 1195 Mon-Wed-Fri 12 noon to 3 pm or leave a message anytime, or click to email us

Zen School of Shiatsu

19 Phipp Street
London EC2A 4NP
Tel: 0700 078 1195

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
12 noon to 3 pm or
leave a message anytime
or Email us

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COURSES - overview

Shiatsu Course Management Tutorial


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FAQs - Frequently Asked Shiatsu Questions

Find a Shiatsu Practitioner

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SHIATSU Open Evenings

Healing Tao

Kathy's Story


Meet the Shiatsu Teachers


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Shiatsu Student Testimonials

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WHATS NEW Shiatsu News

Zen Shiatsu Society

ARTICLES on Shiatsu and other interesting matters

May I be the doctor and the medicine

And may I be the nurse

For all sick beings in the world

Until everyone is healed

Unique among UK Shiatsu Schools Zen School of Shiatsu UK

How to find Clients - and keep them coming back

Tell everyone you know that you do shiatsu - make a list and tick them off as you tell them. Important - you are just letting them know. Leave the rest to them.

Dress the part when you give a treatment. Wear special shiatsu-clothes, unmistakeable shiatsu clothes - they don't have to be any particular colour, justwhat you wear only for shiatsu. It makes you feel special, and your client/receiver/participant feel special.

Make sure your answerphone/voicemail ison when you're not available on the phone. A mobile phone is a worthwhile investment. And ALWAYS return calls right away.

Choose one day a week to give treatments. Just one day. When that day is fully booked, add another day.

Here's a good rule of thumb - spend as much time seeking out new "customers" as you spend on giving treatments but REMEMBER that your best chance of building your practice is repeat treatments.

The Rule of 3

Keeping your client/receiver/participants - the Rule of 3 In that wonderful book Nourishing Destiny, Lonny Jarrett discusses the idea that each of us is a unique individual,and that Oriental Diagnosis is really of the relationship between two unique individuals, giver (practitioner) and receiver, as much as of the condition.

To me, the key word is relationship. A close, personal relationship evolves in a shiatsu session. Masanuga's student WataruOhashi describes how to extend that relationship beyond the treatment-occasion and use it for "client-retention" by applying the Rule of 3.

Contact your receiver 3 days after the treatment-occasion, and ask how they've been and how they are feeling. Spend time talking (and that means listening!) to them. Show an interest (be interested!) in their life and any conditions or situations they mentioned at the treatment-occasion. This is not the time to re-book them for another treatment - I will discuss this later.

Get in touch again after 3 weeks. Find out how they are getting along. Have there been any changes in their condition? Take a genuine interest in whatever is going on in their life. You are sustaining the relationship that evolved in the shiatsu session. If they mention not having been able to follow recommendations/advice, let your attitude be supportive rather than judgemental. They are giving you valuable diagnostic information.

Make contact again after 3 months. They willappreciate your interest even if - perhaps especially if - they cannot afford more shiatsu or if life has taken over where they had other plans. None of your follow-ups are to re-book them for treatments. If they want one they will ask you for it. Let your focus be on sustaining the relationship between you, so that they know where and who to come back to in time of need.

Your last contact should be after 3 years. They will remember you and be glad you called. They know they have a shiatsu-friend if they need one.

Yes, the Rule of 3 means you'll spend a lot of time on the phone.And following the Rule of 3 means you'll be able to afford it!

Finding new people

Go into your local healthfood shop/restaurant. My friends and I talk a lot to healthfoodpeople, owners, managers, checkout operators. I was surprised to hear how many customers ask them about complementary health practitioners and treatments.

What does this mean to us - obviously you can ask to put your card or flyer (and soon I'll talk about how to write one) on their notice-board along with all the others.

AND develop a relationship with the owners, managers, checkout operators. Talk to them.....have you ever had shiatsu/? what do you think of it? would you like to try it? Give them a free-sample treatment -session. Just sit them on a chair or stool and do it, right there and then. And even if its only a 5-minute session, apply the Rule of 3.

They might be interested in you giving sitting-treatments to customers in the shop, one lunch-time a week perhaps....it will attract business for them, and generate enquiries for you. You could charge a modest 10 for a 15-minute treatment, as we do at festivals and exhibitions. Perhaps add a pound or two for the shop?

You will certainly be the one they remember when customers ask about therapists.

Visit the shop/restaurant every 2 or 3 weeks. Talk to the people. Give treatments to new staff.

Wherever your enquiries come from - follow up every lead immediately.

Something to be - so far I've focussed on things to do. Here's something to be, that will help you find and keep clients/receivers/participants more than any other single quality - - - * BE ENTHUSIASTIC * - focussing your enthusiasm on your client/potential client rather as much as on yourself or your shiatsu.

Here's a question for you - Why have I put the section on Keepingbefore the section on Finding?

The Popsy Principle - Asking Diagnosis to bring your client/receiver/participants back

The Asking-Diagnosis is a wonderful way to get to understand the people who have come to you for a shiatsu treatment. As you progress through your shiatsu-learning the basic "How're you doing? any aches or pains?",evolves into a 15-minute focussed conversation.

The way you present this questioning-diagnosis to your receiver can determine whether or not they become a regular client. Launchingstraight into a series of intimate personal questions might lead to a initial resistance.

If you start with a little explanation, you can put the Popsy Principle into practice.

Why does your participant want shiatsu? Curiosity? Serious condition? Whatever you hear,do explain why you need to asksome questions- it always helps to get specific permission for the Asking Diagnosis. I have found somethingalong these lines quite effective:

"Shiatsuis a holistic treatment, soI'd just like to ask you a few questions to help me understand you as a whole person...." wait for their agreement ".....then we can get on with the treatment and perhaps look at working out some kind of plan that's right for you...."

Please, please, start your asking-diagnosis with relatively neutral questions. I find it helps to focus down the body, asking head-things like job, working down to heart-things like stress, relationships, down to diet, digestive system, down to reproductive issues etc

Often a person wants to know how many treatments it would take to relieve the symptoms of their condition. I would hesitate to give much of an answer before the treatment. I would suggest we may come to a clearer idea afterwards.

The treatment follows, with questions about pain, sensitivity etc.

Allow your receiver plenty of time to return to this dimension following the treatment-experience. Often they will ask you what you found - explain, in everyday language avoiding shiatsu jargon, the imbalances you found during the treatment. Relate these imbalances to what your receiver told you during the asking diagnosis, so they can understand the connection.

Then apply the Popsy Principle, suggesting a course of treatments related to their condition. At least three, perhaps, followed by a review of the situation.

I remember taking my cat to the vet. Whateverher condition, he would always say "And I want to see Popsy again in two weeks, so please make an appointment with June (the receptionist) as you go out."

He did not sit there anxiously hoping I would want to rebook. He told me to. By doing so, he gave me the reassurance that he was treating Popsy properly.

You have a duty of care to your client/receiver/participants. If you think they'd benefit from more treatments, tell them to book in (you don't need a receptionist). Leave it up to them to say no - don't do it for them. Give them the chance and remember - they don't have to be ill to feel better!

Making it with AIDA - How to tell the world about you and what you do

Walk into a community centre, library, surgery, healthfood shop, anywhere that displays sales literature. Take what catches your eye. Note, for example, the leaflets in racks that show their message in the top two inches, so you can easily read them. Ignore the others, where you have to actually take the leaflet out to see what its trying to say. Look at what attracts your ATTENTION

Glance down each of the leaflets, flyers, cards and ads. Which ones excite your INTEREST? What are the benefits of what they are offering? Does it appeal to you? Do the words/pictures make you want the product or service? Do they arouse your DESIRE? And is the next step clear – are you told how to satisfy this desire? Does it say what ACTION to take?

Think about what you want to say about yourself and what you have to offer. See it from the other person’s point of view. Do they know what the letters after your name mean? Do they care? Maybe, maybe not, but they do care what are the benefits to them.

Be clear - decide who you are (today!) and what you want to present.Vague ("Therapist" or "Bodyworker") or Confused? I have seen flyers and ads listing a dozen different therapies offered by one practitoner, from reiki to soul retrieval via holistic massage and moon dancing. Are youa Jill or Jack of all trades...and Master of Some? Are you focussed, or scattered? Think of the person reading your stuff, the person who is looking for someone (you) to give them the benefits of training and experience, someonethey can trust to look after them properly, someone they can think knows their therapy thoroughly!

Take a step back from your self: write what you have to say as if you were writing about someone else. Make it with AIDA - Attention Interest Desire Action, then put your ego in your pocket and ask someone else to read it before you go to print. And it doesn't matter whether its a business card, a leaflet flyer, a magazine listing, advertisement or brochure - put AIDA in it.

Where do you put it - well, all the above-named places to start with. Take some of their leaflets to put in your clinic - even if its just the spare room, its still your clinic.

Keep some flyers/cards with you to give people. And then look for opportunities to give out: festivals, events, exhibitions....every opportunity that comes up, take it! and watch your practice grow. (ps don't be choosey - you'd be surprised where you can find potential clients/receivers. exclude no-one.)

Finally, please don't waste your creative efforts and distribution legwork- BE AVAILABLE when they call.... what is your purpose? to get clients, to give treatments, to make a living....all of this but right here and now you want someone to make an appointment, so you want them to call you. Your aim is to get the phone call, yes?

Do you know how often I've heard, after enough rings totest my patience, BT1471 answer..."the person you are calling is not available..." Hmm! Professional?I don't think so.

Best voicemail ever...."Thank you for calling the Shiatsu Practice....etc"

Get a mobile, get a good message and, if you are serious about being a shiatsu person, say so!

And answer every call right away without delay

Flyer/card Example A:


Shiatsu can help relieve symptoms of many common complaints

Free Initial Consultation

Tel: 020 7123 4567

Example B:


From Qualified Practitioners


Call Jack or Jill 020 7123 4567 before 12 noon

Make your message yours, and make friends with AIDA.

Thanks for reading, now start writing

Doing it with Doctors

You can get work through Doctors and Hospitals. You need the three Pers: perception, persuasion and persistence.

Perception Do yousee the NHS as illness-orientated, rather than wellness-orientated? Do you see Doctors as overly-busy rather impatient people whose help is restricted to cutting, burning and poisoning, and Hospitals as places where more die from being in hospitalthan from the conditions which put them in there?

However you see it,the NHS is political:it is something everyone is concerned about, whether their interest is in a) getting votes, or b) getting cured, or c) getting painkillers.

Because of

  1. the system tends to be tinkered with by whoever is currently trying to get votes so they have the most influence,

  2. means most of us at some time come into contact with it,

  3. means people can become dependent on it.

So when thinking of working within the NHS get used to the idea of using the system the way it is. Learn to understand it.

NHS people, from doctors to administrators, are well aware that many of their patients now have experience of complementary medicine. Anddoctors have told me that people do ask them about other ways (other than the above-mentionedcutting burning and poisoning) to restoring and maintaining health.

Strategic Health Authorities (StHA - there are 28 in the country, with the task of NHS "performance management") NHS Hospital Trusts, and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs - local organisations with the tasks of improving community healthcare, integrating health and socialcare, provision of high-quality medical, dental, pharmaceutical, optical etc services)do have the resources to utilise Complementary Medicine. Don't be put off by the jargon and important titles - here'sthe key that will open the doors - Organisations are run by people


StHAs look after the healthcare professionals and PCTs look after the patients, Hospital trusts do both. So from our perspective, StHAs might be the ones to approach for, say, offering Study-Days to groups of health professionals (on, for example, Shiatsu and Pain Control, or Shiatsu ways to reduce Stress, or Some effects of Shiatsu treatment on prescriptive-medication Addicts.) A few enquiries will show you who to approach - find out (just ask them) what they need to know to make a decision to put forward your proposal to their management committee.

At local level, your PCT, its Shared-Partnership associates, and GPs surgeries,you approach thePractice Manager, along these lines.......

What benefits can shiatsu people offer to the NHS? How can Jill & Jack Shiatsu-Practice help the local hospital or GP?

Perceived benefits of Complementary Medicine include:

  • Help with pain control
  • Reducing the need/desire for medication

If you can persuade a Practice Manager that your shiatsu can help their patients, then you are in with a chance.

  • Step 1 To reassure PMs about safety and authenticity, have your paperwork ready - copies of certificates, diplomas etc, insurance documentation, membership of the Zen Shiatsu Society (who can arrange your insurance). Decide on a scale of fees (guidelines on the practitioner page on this website) and don't undervalue yourself but do be willing to negotiate.

  • Step 2 Find out the name of the Practice Manager at your local GP's practice or PCT.

  • Step 3 Write them a letter and follow it up with a phone call, or just drop in and make an appointment.

  • Step 4 Talk a lot. Establish a personal connection. Ask if they use other therapies - if not, why not. Ask if they might be open to the possibility that some chronic conditions might benefit from shiatsu. YOU MUST offer a treatment and don't go away without doing one. Without receiving a treatment the Practice Manager will not be on your side when talking to their principals, the doctors, because they won't have experienced any benefits themselves.So they will have absolutely no idea (but maybe a lot of preconceptions of one kind or another) of what you can offer and how shiatsu can help. You would be negotiating in a vacuum.Geddit?

  • Step 5 Explore the practical possibilities of how you could fit in to their system. Agree an outcome, or follow up with a phone call to agree an outcome. Sustain the relationship!

  • Step 6 Persist

  • Step 7 Ask for a referral to their connections in the local hospital trust

  • Step 8 Ask for an introduction to their StHA connections if you are interested in giving presentations (StHAsarrange study-days for health-care professionals to learn about complementary medicine because so many of their doctors' patients ask about it. GPs and other professionals do like toappear reasonably well-informed.

  • Step 9 Persist

    Its worth a try. Remember, you are interacting with people who are, like you, interested in healing others....yes, they are - do youimagine your doctor went into the profession to become a stressed-out over-busy prescription-robot? Think about it. At the outset, the chances are that she or he had just the same motivation and ideals as you did when you set out to learn shiatsu.

  • Step 10 keep trying - Persistence


The same principles apply in taking shiatsu into the work-place. Corporate Shiatsu - shiatsu for corporations, who lose hundreds of days a year through staff illness, mainly backpain. You can help.

  • Step 1 - find the decision-maker in the organisation
  • Step 2 - find out their needs, show them the benefits
  • Step 3 - reach agreement for regular visits at a reasonable fee-scale
  • Step 4 - get it in writing
  • Step 5 - ask for referrals to other companies

Build yourself a reputation for for reliability and compassion, helping the company and its employees gain satisfaction.

Here are some ideas which might be helpful when approaching or negotiating with corporate clients. Use your own words, create your own style of approach - the following are simply pegs to hang your thoughts on......

Questions of Harmony:




Are you one of a Team?

Do you work hard?

Do they?

Do you feel you are reaching yourfull potential?

Is your Team at peak productivity?

Do you ever lose days with team members off work?

Do you ever lose days?

Do you ever lose Team Members?

Do you ever lose?

“Morale is 70% of the battle” Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery, Victor of Alamein.


Is your Team happy?

Are they harmonious?

Have you recognised STRESS as the Corporate Raider?

“Hug your Enemy” Sun Tsu, the Art of War “Stroke your Friends” Ti Ching



Zen Shiatsu Massage

Clears the Mind

Relaxes the Body

Uplifts the Spirit


Give us 15 minutes – we will give you an insight into Harmony

That will enhance your life and help you function more effectively

Highly creative individuals will know that when they are performing at their best they get into a flow, a state of sustained, relaxed and focussed concentration. (Emotional Intelligence, by Martin Gorman)

Creative Bliss is a specialised Shiatsu Treatment for creative individuals working in the corporate environment. The concept of Stress management is well known. The challenge is to take this a stage further. Why just manage stress when you can touch the essence, the flow of creative force?

Zen Shiatsu Massage fine-tunes and harmonises your energy, soothing emotions balancing stresses and eliminating blockages to create the best mental physical and emotional balance for your creative performance.


Our dedicated Shiatsu-givers have relieved stress, increased productivity and personal satisfaction in organisations such as Virgin Record, Financial Times, Reuters, DeutscheBank and many more. Join them – Join Us!

Enjoy the journey - make your living doing what you love