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CNH13 Provide Shiatsu to clients


This standard is about providing Shiatsu treatment to clients.  Shiatsu is a touch based therapy that applies pressure to areas of the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting imbalances, and maintaining and promoting health. Shiatsu is a Japanese word that literally means finger pressure.  Shiatsu derives its theoretical and practical roots from the ancient traditions of Oriental medicine. Today it is an autonomous treatment method influenced by Chinese, Japanese and Western knowledge.  An aim of Shiatsu is to promote the flow of Ki. Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. relevant principles (e.g. relating to pressure) and concepts such as Ki, meridians and tsubos
  2. theoretical frameworks relevant to the safe and appropriate delivery of Shiatsu
  3. the relevant assessment techniques (e.g. looking, asking, listening, touch)
  4. conditions (e.g. contagious, infectious, red flag, notifiable conditions) and circumstances (e.g. working under 16s) requiring special consideration
  5. how to recognise conditions for which Shiatsu is appropriate/inappropriate and when Shiatsu should be used with caution or is contra-indicated locally or totally
  6. how the results of the assessment inform treatment planning
  7. the application of Shiatsu to meet clients’ needs
  8. the Shiatsu treatment options and methods, including:
    1. client positioning (i.e. prone, supine, side, sitting/seated)
    2. ‘hands on’ the body, perform and adapt the Shiatsu treatment
    3. appropriate pressure using for example, palms, thumbs, fingers, elbows, forearms, knees or feet
    4. relevant principles of working such as: maintaining contact, stretching, and sensitivity of application, working from hara, tsubo and/or meridian contact
  9. how to recognise the limits of one’s own knowledge, skills and experience and the importance of not exceeding them
  10. the clients’ potential responses during the treatment, including:
    1. physical
    2. mental/emotional
    3. no response
    4. intensifying/reduction of symptoms
  11. the potential outcomes of Shiatsu treatment:
    1. possible ongoing/intensifying of symptoms in the short term
    2. improvements of the client’s health and effective functioning (eg. Back pain, stress, and sports injuries)
    3. emotional expression or release
    4. general well being
    5. maintenance and stability
    6. palliative
    7. client satisfaction
  12. possible after effects of Shiatsu
  13. the aftercare information and advice to provide to the client, including:
    1. possible ongoing/intensifying of symptoms in the short term
    2. rest and relaxation
    3. use of self-care procedures such as self-shiatsu, breathing exercises, appropriate activities
  14. anatomy, physiology and pathology of the following systems when relevant to safe and appropriate delivery of Shiatsu:
    1. musculo-skeletal system
    2. nervous system and sensory organs
    3. the skin
    4. endocrine system
    5. cardiovascular system
    6. lymphatic and immune system
    7. respiratory system
    8. digestive system
    9. urinary system
    10. reproductive system

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. consult with the client and plan the Shiatsu treatment
  2. check that the environment meets the clients needs
  3. ensure that any equipment and materials are ready for use and meet professional codes of practice, legal and organisational requirements
  4. prepare yourself appropriately to provide Shiatsu
  5. position the client for effective Shiatsu treatment and to give as much comfort as possible
  6. carry out the Shiatsu treatment safely and correctly
  7. make appropriate adjustments to the Shiatsu treatment to meet any changing needs
  8. deal effectively with the client’s response to the Shiatsu treatment
  9. check the client’s well-being throughout and give reassurance where needed
  10. provide clear and accurate advice with regard to any relevant aftercare
  11. evaluate the outcomes and effectiveness of the Shiatsu treatment to inform future plans and actions
  12. complete and maintain records in accordance with professional and legal requirements

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health. This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004): Dimension: HWB7 Interventions and treatments Related Functions Principles of Good Practice CNH1 Explore and establish the client's needs for complementary and natural healthcare CNH2 Develop and agree plans for complementary and natural healthcare with clients
CNH13 Provide Shiatsu to clients
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health,
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