Shiatsu Research

Research in Vienna- Thomas Nelissen.

Shiatsu helps a person at a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. In Vienna thirty thousand treatments were carried out over a period of fifteen years in hospitals in and around Vienna as part of the Hara Shiatsu Institutes Training programme. The results were extremely positive and surpassed all expectations. Dr. Volker Korbei a gynaecologist in Vienna strongly believes that shiatsu should be a valued component of regular medicine as he found the results with patients so impressive. He insists that its often better than traditional methods, long-term its cheaper and overall you attain better health and a better quality of life.

One hundred and twenty patients with very challenging illnesses under the care of Surgeon Prof. Dr. Heinz Kuderna received shiatsu and eighty per cent of them really improved, half of them made a complete recovery that ‘Surpassed all of his expectations’.

Thomas Nelissen founded the shiatsu school in Vienna and in 1993 there was research carried out at a psychiatric hospital. Dr. Christian Korbl a psychiatrist worked in collaboration with Thomas Nelissen. Patients that suffered from substance abuse addiction noticed improved sleep patterns and as a result their medication levels could be lowered. He found it very effective in treating patients with psychosomatic disorders and deemed that ‘shiatsu offered a completely new approach in dealing with the root of this problem through the body’ which shows how powerful the mind and body connection is and how effective shiatsu is in treating such things. Shiatsu has been found Dr. Christian Korbl said to free patients from ideas of victimhood and powerlessness and assisted patients with leaving old patterns behind.

Hospitals in Vienna have greatly benefitted from the way shiatsu can assist the healing process in patients. They found shiatsu very effective in helping people avoid getting a hip replacement and to keep joints healthy etc. It was found to be invaluable in treating people with fertility issues among numerous other conditions.

European Shiatsu Study, Professor Andrew Long

This study followed up on a cohort of 984 clients receiving shiatsu in three countries (Spain, Germany and the UK). The study sought to look at clients’ long-term experiences and effects of receiving shiatsu as well as finding out about the practitioners and their style of practice.

The key policy findings:

  • Confirm the safety of shiatsu as practised within the three countries
  • Demonstrate interconnected and consistent evidence of client perceived beneficial effects in the short and longer term. These range from symptom change to lifestyle changes. The effects are maintained in the longer term (six months follow-up)
  • Benefits in terms of general well-being, health maintenance, health promotion (uptake of advice and recommendations) and health awareness are notable. This suggests a potential role for shiatsu in public health
  • Findings on a reduction in use of conventional medicine, medication and working days lost due to ill-health are indicative of an added value and potential economic benefit arising from shiatsu treatment


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