Can Shiatsu Cause Side Effects




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As a fan of alternative medicine, I’ve always been curious about Shiatsu. This Japanese massage technique is known for its ability to relieve stress and reduce pain in the body without the use of medication.

However, like any other therapy or treatment, there are concerns about side effects that may come with it. Despite being considered generally safe, some people have reported experiencing mild side effects after undergoing Shiatsu sessions.

These symptoms may include soreness or discomfort in certain areas of the body, fatigue, dizziness, headaches or even emotional release. But how common are these side effects? And what can be done to prevent them from happening?

Let’s dive into this topic further and explore whether Shiatsu can cause side effects.

What Is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a therapeutic massage that originated in Japan. It involves the application of pressure using fingers, thumbs, and palms on specific points of the body to relieve tension and promote healing. The word ‘shiatsu’ means finger pressure, which reflects the primary technique used in this practice.

The history of shiatsu dates back to ancient China, where it was known as anma or tuina. Over time, these techniques were brought to Japan and further developed into modern-day shiatsu.

In fact, shiatsu has become so popular worldwide that it’s now recognized as one of the leading alternative therapies for pain relief and stress reduction. Shiatsu techniques focus on balancing the energy flow within our bodies by targeting certain acupressure points.

Proponents believe that this therapy can help improve circulation, reduce muscle stiffness, alleviate anxiety, and enhance overall well-being. To understand how shiatsu works its magic, let’s take a closer look at some of its core principles.

How Does Shiatsu Work?

Shiatsu is a Japanese massage technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body. The goal of this practice is to balance the energy flow within the body, which can lead to improved physical and mental health.

Unlike some other forms of massage, such as Swedish or deep tissue, shiatsu does not involve oils or lotions and it can be performed through clothing.

During a shiatsu session, the practitioner will use their fingers, thumbs, palms, and elbows to apply Shiatsu pressure to different areas of your body. This pressure helps release tension in muscles and stimulate blood flow. It also encourages your body’s natural healing processes by improving energy flow along meridians – pathways through which vital energy flows throughout the body.

While there are many theories about how shiatsu works, scientific research has yet to provide conclusive evidence for its effectiveness. Still, many people report positive benefits from regular shiatsu sessions. Some possible effects include increased relaxation and reduced stress levels; relief from headaches, back pain, and other musculoskeletal issues; improved digestion and sleep quality; and enhanced overall well-being.

Regular shiatsu may help improve circulation. Shiatsu may promote better breathing patterns. Shiatsu could potentially reduce inflammation in the body. Practicing self-shiatsu techniques at home may offer additional benefits between appointments with a trained therapist.

Now that you understand how shiatsu works let’s address some common concerns regarding its safety: Is shiatsu safe?

Is Shiatsu Safe?

I’m interested in learning more about shiatsu and whether or not it’s safe.

There are several types of shiatsu massage, including Japanese, Zen, and acupressure shiatsu.

Before trying any shiatsu, it’s important to ensure that your practitioner is properly trained and licensed.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of any safety considerations, such as medical conditions, which could affect your experience.

Although shiatsu is generally considered safe, potential side effects should be considered.

These can include skin irritation, bruising, and soreness at the pressure points.

To ensure a safe and beneficial shiatsu experience, it’s important to communicate any concerns to your practitioner.

Types Of Shiatsu

As someone who has experienced the benefits of Shiatsu, I understand why people may be hesitant to try it out. The idea of applying pressure to certain points on your body can seem intimidating and potentially painful. However, when done correctly by a trained professional, there should be no cause for concern regarding side effects.

There are several types of Shiatsu techniques used during a session, each with its own unique focus. Some practitioners may use more traditional methods that involve deep tissue massage, while others may incorporate stretching or even acupressure. Regardless of the method used, the goal remains to promote relaxation and healing within the body.

During a Shiatsu session, specific pressure points are targeted in order to alleviate tension and improve overall physical health. While some people may experience slight discomfort during this process, any pain should be minimal and temporary. In fact, many individuals report feeling an increase in energy and wellbeing after their sessions have ended.

In conclusion, if you’re considering trying out Shiatsu but are worried about potential side effects, know that these concerns are largely unfounded. As long as you choose a licensed practitioner who uses safe and effective techniques, you should feel confident in your decision to pursue this form of alternative medicine. Remember that everyone’s experience will differ based on individual needs and preferences – so don’t hesitate to speak up if something doesn’t feel quite right during your session!

Safety Considerations

Now that we’ve established the benefits of Shiatsu, it’s important to address safety considerations. Like any form of alternative medicine or therapy, there are precautions that should be taken to ensure a safe and effective experience. As someone who has undergone Shiatsu sessions myself, I understand the importance of feeling secure in the hands of a trained professional.

Firstly, when seeking out a Shiatsu practitioner, it’s crucial to choose someone who is licensed and experienced in their field. Check for credentials and read reviews from previous clients before making an appointment.

Additionally, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns, it’s imperative to discuss these with your practitioner beforehand so they can adjust their techniques accordingly.

During a session itself, communication between client and practitioner is key in ensuring safety. If at any point during the treatment you feel uncomfortable or experience pain beyond mild discomfort, let your therapist know immediately.

It’s also important to disclose any current medications or supplements you may be taking as certain herbs may interact negatively with Shiatsu pressure points.

Ultimately, while Shiatsu is generally considered a safe practice when done correctly by a qualified professional, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. By taking necessary precautions and being transparent about your health needs and concerns throughout the process, you can enjoy all of its potential benefits without worry.

Potential Side Effects

Now that we’ve covered the safety considerations when seeking Shiatsu therapy, it’s important to discuss potential risks and precautions associated with the practice.

While Shiatsu is generally considered safe, like any form of alternative medicine or therapy, there are still some side effects that you should be aware of.

One potential risk of Shiatsu is bruising. The pressure applied during a session can cause small blood vessels under the skin to break, resulting in bruises known as petechiae. These marks usually disappear within a few days but if they persist or become painful, seek medical attention immediately.

Another possible side effect is soreness or stiffness after treatment. This discomfort may occur due to muscle manipulation and will typically subside within 24-48 hours post-session. However, if your pain persists beyond this time frame or becomes increasingly intense, contact your therapist for guidance on how best to manage your symptoms.

In conclusion, while Shiatsu is an effective form of alternative therapy for many individuals seeking relief from physical and mental stressors, it’s important to approach the practice with caution and awareness of its potential risks and precautions.

By taking necessary steps before and during sessions such as communicating openly with your practitioner about pre-existing conditions or medications taken regularly, you can enjoy all the benefits without worry.

Who Should Avoid Shiatsu?

If you are pregnant or experiencing chronic pain, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before receiving Shiatsu massage. While Shiatsu can be incredibly beneficial for many people, there are some situations where caution should be exercised.

For pregnant women, certain points on the body must be avoided during Shiatsu treatment as they may stimulate contractions and potentially induce labor. Additionally, pregnancy can cause changes in blood pressure and circulation, so it is essential to speak with your doctor before seeking any form of massage therapy.

Individuals who suffer from chronic pain may also need to approach Shiatsu massage with care. While this type of massage has been shown to alleviate discomfort caused by conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, those suffering from severe injuries or illnesses may not benefit from the treatment.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health. If you have concerns about whether or not Shiatsu massage is right for you, don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider for guidance. With their help, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that supports your overall wellbeing.

Next up: what are the common side effects of Shiatsu?

What Are The Common Side Effects Of Shiatsu?

Alright, so you’ve decided to try out shiatsu for its numerous benefits. But wait a minute, can shiatsu cause side effects? Yes, it’s possible. However, the good news is that they are generally mild and temporary.

Firstly, some people may experience soreness or discomfort after their session, especially if deep pressure was applied during the treatment. Don’t worry; this is normal and should subside within a day or two. To manage such discomforts at home, you can try taking a warm bath, doing gentle stretches or applying heat pads to the affected area.

Secondly, emotional release is another potential side effect of shiatsu. As your body releases tension and blockages during the treatment process, you may feel overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness or anger. This is perfectly normal and part of the healing process. Remember to give yourself time to process these feelings in a safe space and discuss them with your therapist if needed.

Lastly, here are three common tips to minimize any potential side effects of shiatsu:

  • Drink plenty of water before and after your session to help flush out toxins from your body.
  • Avoid eating heavy meals or drinking alcohol immediately before or after your session.
  • Communicate openly with your therapist about any concerns or discomforts you may be experiencing during the treatment.

In summary, while there may be some minor side effects associated with shiatsu therapy like soreness or emotional release – these tend to be short-lived and easily manageable. By following these simple steps above and keeping an open line of communication with your therapist throughout the ongoing treatments – you’ll likely find that any negative impacts diminish over time as well!

Soreness Or Discomfort

If you’re considering shiatsu, it’s important to know that muscle soreness or discomfort is a potential side effect. This is because shiatsu involves deep pressure and stretching techniques that target specific areas of the body. It’s not uncommon for clients to feel some level of soreness in the days following treatment.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage this discomfort if it does occur. One option is to drink plenty of water after your session, as hydration can help flush out toxins released during massage. Applying heat or ice to sore muscles may also provide relief. And, of course, be sure to communicate with your practitioner about any pain or discomfort you experience during the session – they may be able to adjust their technique to better suit your needs.

If muscle soreness persists beyond a few days, or if it interferes with daily activities, consider seeking additional treatment options. These could include over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, gentle exercise such as walking or yoga, or even scheduling follow-up sessions with your shiatsu practitioner. The key is to listen to your body and take steps towards promoting healing and balance within yourself.

As with any form of massage therapy, fatigue is another potential side effect of shiatsu. In fact, many clients report feeling pleasantly exhausted after a session! However, if feelings of tiredness persist beyond a day or two post-treatment, it may be worth exploring other factors that could be contributing – such as poor sleep habits or nutritional imbalances.

Remember: self-care isn’t just about one-off treatments; it’s an ongoing process that requires attention and dedication on our part.


Preventing fatigue during a shiatsu session is crucial to ensure you get the best results from your treatment. One way to prevent fatigue is by eating a light meal or snack before your appointment, as low blood sugar levels can cause tiredness. Additionally, staying hydrated throughout the day will help keep energy levels up and prevent dehydration-induced exhaustion.

Managing fatigue during a shiatsu session involves communication between you and your therapist. It’s important to let them know if you’re feeling overly fatigued or if any pressure feels uncomfortable. Your therapist can adjust their techniques accordingly, ensuring that the session remains comfortable while still effectively targeting areas of pain or tension.

Remember that it’s normal to feel some level of tiredness after a shiatsu session, especially if it was particularly intense or focused on specific problem areas. However, severe and prolonged fatigue may be an indication of larger health issues and should be discussed with your healthcare professional. If you do experience persistent fatigue post-session, consider taking time for rest and recovery before returning for another appointment.

While fatigue is a common side effect of shiatsu therapy, dizziness can also occur in some individuals. Let’s take a closer look at this potential side effect and how to manage it during your next session.


Many people are concerned about the potential side effects of shiatsu massage. One theory is that it could cause dizziness or vertigo. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

While it’s true that some people may experience mild discomfort during a shiatsu session, such as nausea or lightheadedness, these symptoms typically go away quickly and do not last long-term.

In fact, many people find that shiatsu actually helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which can often lead to physical symptoms like headaches or dizziness.

If you do experience any discomfort during a shiatsu massage, be sure to let your practitioner know right away so they can adjust their technique accordingly.

Overall, while there is always the possibility of experiencing side effects with any type of therapy or treatment, the risk associated with shiatsu massage appears to be very low.

Next up: how does shiatsu relate to headaches?


If you experience headaches after a shiatsu session, don’t worry; it’s not uncommon. In fact, headaches are one of the most common side effects of this massage therapy technique.

However, there are many headache triggers that can cause pain in your head, so it’s important to determine whether or not your headache is related to shiatsu.

One possible reason why you might experience a headache after shiatsu is because of the release of tension in your muscles. When pressure is applied to specific points on your body during the massage, it can stimulate blood flow and energy throughout your body, which can lead to muscle relaxation.

As a result, any built-up tension or stress may be released from areas where it was previously stored. This sudden release could trigger a headache as your body adjusts to the new state of relaxation.

Luckily, there are several natural headache remedies that you can try if you do experience post-shiatsu headaches. These include drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, applying heat or cold packs to alleviate pain and inflammation, and getting enough sleep each night.

Additionally, taking deep breaths and practicing meditation or yoga may help reduce stress levels which can contribute to headaches.

So don’t let potential side effects deter you from enjoying all the benefits that shiatsu has to offer! With these tips for managing post-massage headaches and understanding how they occur in the first place, you’ll be able to fully embrace this ancient healing art form without any worries about unwanted headaches afterwards.

As we discussed earlier, when receiving shiatsu treatments one may experience emotional releases due to physical manipulation promoting mental balance with physical wellness.

Understanding how our emotions affect our health is an essential part of holistic medicine practices like shiatsu therapy. By addressing both physical and emotional components through touch techniques such as acupressure points found across meridians in our bodies -we promote harmony between mind-body connection leading us into a more balanced state of well-being.

Emotional Release

Did you know that emotional release is one of the most common benefits of shiatsu massage? According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, over 80% of participants reported experiencing some form of emotional release during their session. This can include feelings of sadness, anger, or even joy.

But with any kind of therapy comes potential risks. Emotional release during shiatsu massage can sometimes be intense and overwhelming for individuals who may not be prepared for it. It’s important to communicate with your therapist before your session about any concerns you may have regarding emotional release.

Despite the potential risks, many people find that emotional release through shiatsu massage has long-lasting positive effects on their mental well-being. By releasing pent-up emotions and tension held within the body, individuals often report feeling more relaxed, centered, and emotionally balanced after their session.

So don’t let fear hold you back from exploring this powerful benefit of shiatsu massage.

Have you ever experienced side effects after receiving a shiatsu massage? While rare, some individuals may experience mild soreness or light bruising at pressure points following their session. However, these side effects typically only last a few days and are easily managed with rest and self-care practices such as drinking plenty of water and stretching regularly.

How Long Do Shiatsu Side Effects Last?

I’ve heard about people experiencing side effects from Shiatsu, so I’m curious to know what the common effects are and how long they usually last.

From my research, I’ve found that common Shiatsu side effects can include headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.

These effects can last anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on how intense the Shiatsu session was.

Knowing these potential side effects can help you decide if Shiatsu is right for you.

Common Shiatsu Side Effects

Have you ever experienced discomfort after a shiatsu massage? While this Japanese technique is generally safe, it can cause side effects in some people. In this article, we’ll discuss common shiatsu side effects and how to manage them.

One of the most common shiatsu side effects is soreness or tenderness in the treated areas. This discomfort might be caused by pressure applied during the session or by stretching muscles that are not used to being stretched. The good news is that this type of pain usually goes away on its own within 24-48 hours. You can also apply heat therapy or take an over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary.

Another possible shiatsu side effect is fatigue or dizziness. These symptoms might occur due to the release of tension and toxins from your body during the massage. If you experience these sensations, make sure to rest for a while after your session and drink plenty of water to help flush out any remaining toxins. Also, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you feel fully alert again.

In conclusion, while shiatsu is generally considered safe, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects such as soreness, fatigue, or dizziness. However, with proper management and self-care techniques like applying heat therapy, taking a break when needed, staying hydrated and resting well; you can enjoy all the benefits of Shiatsu without any worries about negative effects!

Duration Of Side Effects

So you’ve just had a shiatsu massage and now you’re wondering how long the side effects will last. While most people experience little to no discomfort after their session, some may feel soreness or fatigue for a short period of time.

In this article, we’ll discuss the duration of shiatsu side effects and provide tips on managing any discomfort.

The length of time that shiatsu side effects last can vary depending on individual factors such as age, health conditions, and sensitivity level. For most people, any soreness or tenderness in treated areas should subside within 24-48 hours. If you experience significant pain or discomfort beyond this timeframe, it’s important to speak with your therapist about adjusting pressure levels during future sessions.

Dealing with dizziness is another potential side effect of shiatsu massage. This sensation might occur due to changes in blood flow or release of toxins from your body during treatment.

Fortunately, dizziness usually subsides quickly once your body has adjusted back to its normal state. To help manage these symptoms, make sure to stay hydrated before and after your session, avoid sudden movements when getting up from lying down or seated positions, and take deep breaths if you start feeling lightheaded.

Can Shiatsu Side Effects Be Prevented?

When receiving a shiatsu massage, it’s important to be aware of any potential side effects. While rare, some individuals may experience soreness or bruising after their session. However, there are steps you can take to prevent these uncomfortable experiences and ensure that your shiatsu treatment is safe.

  1. Communicate with your therapist: Be sure to let your shiatsu practitioner know about any medical conditions or injuries you have before the session begins.
  2. Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated before and after your massage can help flush out toxins and prevent soreness.
  3. Take it easy afterwards: Avoid strenuous activity immediately following your massage to give your body time to rest and recover.
  4. Follow up with self-care: Incorporating stretching, meditation, or other relaxation techniques into your daily routine can support the benefits of shiatsu and reduce the risk of side effects.

By taking these preventative measures during and after your shiatsu sessions, you’ll minimize the risk of experiencing negative side effects like soreness or bruising.

Remember that communication with your therapist is key – if anything feels uncomfortable during the massage, speak up so adjustments can be made in real-time for a safer experience.

As we’ve seen, Shiatsu Safety Measures form an essential part of preventing unwanted side effects from occurring post-treatment. By keeping yourself properly hydrated before and after treatment as well as avoiding excessive physical activity right afterward while incorporating helpful stretches/meditation techniques into one’s everyday life- anyone interested in reaping the full benefits of this traditional Japanese art should do themselves justice by adhering strictly to them!

What Are The Benefits Of Shiatsu?

Wow, after reading about the potential side effects of shiatsu in the previous section, you might be feeling a bit hesitant to try it. But don’t worry! The benefits of shiatsu far outweigh any negative consequences that may occur.

Unlike other massage techniques which focus primarily on relaxing muscles, shiatsu aims to balance the body’s energy flow by applying pressure to specific points along energy pathways. This can lead to improved circulation and reduced tension in both muscles and internal organs.

In fact, studies have shown that regular sessions of shiatsu can help alleviate chronic pain, improve sleep quality, boost immunity, and even reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So if you’re looking for a holistic approach to improving your overall health and wellness, shiatsu is definitely worth considering.

Is Shiatsu A Good Choice For Me?

If you’re considering shiatsu as a form of therapy, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the risks involved. Shiatsu is a popular alternative medicine that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body and stretching muscles to relieve tension and pain. While there are many benefits associated with this practice, such as improved circulation and reduced stress levels, there are also some potential side effects to be aware of.

Here are four things to keep in mind when evaluating whether shiatsu is right for you:

  1. It can cause soreness: While shiatsu should ultimately leave you feeling relaxed and revitalized, it’s not uncommon to experience some muscle soreness after your session.
  2. There may be contraindications: Shiatsu isn’t suitable for everyone – particularly individuals with certain medical conditions like cancer or high blood pressure. Be sure to talk through any concerns with your practitioner before booking an appointment.
  3. You need a qualified practitioner: In order to ensure that you receive all of the therapeutic benefits without experiencing any negative side effects, it’s crucial that you seek out a trained and licensed shiatsu therapist.

  4. Results vary based on individual needs: As with any form of holistic health treatment, results will depend largely on your unique requirements and goals.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a natural way to improve your physical and mental wellbeing, then shiatsu might just be worth exploring further. Just make sure that you take the time to find a reputable practitioner who understands how to tailor their techniques specifically towards your needs.

Choosing A Qualified Shiatsu Practitioner

When it comes to shiatsu therapy, choosing a qualified practitioner is crucial. Not only can an untrained or uncertified individual cause harm, but they may not be able to provide the full range of benefits that trained practitioners can offer.

To ensure you are receiving safe and effective treatment, look for a practitioner who has completed the necessary qualifications and certification requirements. These requirements vary by country and region, so do your research beforehand to understand what credentials are needed in your area.

In addition to formal education and training, consider finding a practitioner with ample experience in the field. Experienced therapists have had more opportunities to refine their skills and techniques, making them better equipped to address your specific needs.

By taking the time to find a well-qualified shiatsu therapist, you can feel confident that you’re receiving top-notch care.


In conclusion, as someone who has personally experienced the benefits of Shiatsu, I can attest to its effectiveness in reducing stress and tension.

While it is generally safe for most people, there are some individuals who should avoid it due to certain medical conditions or other factors.

It’s important to choose a qualified Shiatsu practitioner who can assess your individual needs and provide a customized treatment plan.

And while side effects are rare, they can occur if you have an underlying health condition or receive too much pressure during the session.

Overall, Shiatsu is a gentle yet powerful healing modality that can help improve your overall well-being when done correctly by a trained professional.

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