Common questions about Shiatsu:

What happens in a session? What does it feel like? What should I wear? When is it okay to have Shiatsu?

What happens in a Shiatsu session?

A session usually begins with a chat about your physical and emotional health. Normally this would include any specific problems you have, and a discussion of your work, family, eating and exercise patterns. This is followed by the Shiatsu treatment which usually lasts about 50 minutes. At the end there is usually some time to let the effects begin to settle in and to talk about the treatment. I sometimes give exercise dietary, or lifestyle recommendations.

What does it feel like?

The touch, or pressure used is usually pleasurable, comforting and relaxing. Sometimes it is necessary to work more deeply, and some people can find this uncomfortable, but I encourage my clients to stay in contact with me if this is the case so that we can find out what is right for you in each moment.

What is Qi?

The basic idea behind Shiatsu is to help the body adjust itself by helping the Qi to function.

Qi (sometimes spelled ‘Chi’ or ‘Ki’) is our life-force. Qi provides the energy for all our life processes. Western science cannot explain aspects of our life force in the way that Chinese wisdom does. This is one of the reasons why oriental therapies can so often help when Western medicine has not been able to.

Are there any times when Shiatsu should be avoided?

Shiatsu is a very safe therapy, but it should be avoided if you:

  • have an infectious disease
  • are suffering from any acute, feverish illness
  • have internal bleeding or blood clots
  • have had a major operation during the last 3 months

You should inform your practitioner of any condition that has been diagnosed by a doctor.

How many sessions will be needed?

Many people have regular Shiatsu to maintain their health. However, if you have a specific problem you want help with, I will usually suggest that you come for a number of sessions before we review your progress. The frequency and amount of sessions needed will vary in each case, and I will discuss this with you on your first session with me.

What should I wear?

You remain fully clothed so it’s great if you wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing, preferably with long sleeves. It is good to have a sweat-shirt or similar, for warmth, (body-temperature often drops a little during the treatment). Please avoid wearing a skirt, jeans or underwired bras as these can be uncomfortable.  Leave some time between eating and having a Shiatsu treatment.

How will I feel after a treatment?

Many people find it leaves them feeling deeply relaxed, with a feeling of well-being and calmness. It can also leave you feeling intensely alive and energised. Sometimes feelings surface, either during or after a treatment. This is perfectly normal, and you should try to give yourself the time and space to allow them rather than suppressing them.

After Shiatsu your body will be moving into a new state of equilibrium. This is usually a pleasant process but, in rare situations, may cause temporary disturbance before the body settles into its new state of balance.

What if I am on medication?

Shiatsu will not interfere with your medication. It will often complement conventional medical treatment by giving an overall strengthening effect and improving the circulation of blood and lymph and reducing stress. If you are receiving medical treatment for a condition, then it may be advisable to inform or consult your doctor prior to having a Shiatsu treatment.

Can I have Shiatsu if I am having other complementary or alternative therapy?

Yes, although it is generally best to leave at least a few days between different treatments to let the effects settle in. If you have any concerns about mixing treatments, please discuss them with me.

Can I receive Shiatsu when I am pregnant?

Yes! Shiatsu is fantastic when you are pregnant! I have a special “body cushion” which has a space for your bump, so that you can lie comfortably on your front or side. See my page on women’s health for further details. Come and try it … you won’t be disappointed!

COVID 19 update - what you can expect

I am so glad you are considering coming for a Shiatsu treatment. I feel that, at this time, maybe more than any other, touch is crucial. There are however measures which need to be considered to keep everyone safe. Things may be a bit different, so it is important you know what to expect.

These are the things I am required to put into place in order to be able to practice again. I am really hoping I can keep a balance between heartful human physical contact and the measures that need to be taken. Hopefully you won’t notice most of it, but it seems important that you know it will be there.


What I will do

I, as always, will wash my hands thoroughly between clients.

I will provide hand sanitiser in the studio which I will use before laying hands on you and after taking notes, and you are welcome to use on arrival and departure.

When possible I will leave the studio door open so that you do not have to touch any door handles

I will clean door handles between treatments.

I will change the waterproof futon covering between each client.

I will clean the body cushion between each client, and as always use a clean head cloth.

I will clean the bathroom between each use and ask my family to use the other bathroom during the working day, I will provide a clean towel after each use. Where possible I will leave the doors to the bathroom open.

Government guidelines state that I should wear a mask and visor during treatment.

Government guidelines ask us not to work on the face. I will have a cloth available so I can work on any uncovered areas of skin.

I will ventilate the working space between clients, and where possible keep the door/ window open for as long as I can during the consultation/ treatment.


What I ask you to do

I ask that you do not come to a treatment with any symptoms of COVID 19 (A raised temperature, a new and persistent cough or change to your sense of smell or taste). This is to protect ALL my clients and my family, not just me. My cancellation policy has always been that if you are ill and let me know you will not be charged for your treatment if you cancel, this remains the case.

Our governing body recommends that you take your temperature on the day of the treatment. Do not attend if your temperature is raised.

I ask you to let me know if you develop symptoms of Corona virus after a treatment as I may need to self-isolate to protect my other clients.

I ask that you bring as little extra stuff into the studio with you as possible.

It is recommended that we don’t work on bare skin, so I ask that you wear a long-sleeved top, long trousers and socks. I will have a clean cloth available for working on your hands and face.

You may also want to bring layers of clothing and / or your own blanket as my blanket is wool and not easily washable. You may want to do this even if it seems warm outside, my studio can be very cool.

I ask that you fill in the client consent form below and bring it to your treatment.
Click here to view, download, print the Client Consent form

Government recommendations are that all clients wear face coverings during a treatment.

I ask that you pay online via BACS on the morning of the treatment. Please pay £45 to Kirsty Hurd-Thomas, Cooperative bank account: 04370723 sort code 08-90-66 and reference with your name.

If you are a Shiatsu For Change client and you would like to pay your donation (suggested donation £7) on line please use these details : Shiatsu For Change, Cooperative bank, Account number: 65882386 sort code 08-92-99