Shiatsu massage has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and works to balance energy flow in the body. Practitioners use techniques like acupressure, stretching, and joint mobilization along the body’s meridians to promote overall well-being. As interest in alternative therapies grows, more people are seeking professional shiatsu massage training or shiatsu massage course.
Choosing the right shiatsu massage course in New Zealand is key to getting the education and skills needed to practice professionally. With various programs and schools available, it helps to understand the factors that contribute to finding the ideal shiatsu massage course.
Understanding Shiatsu Massage Education
Before selecting a shiatsu massage program, it helps to know the typical structure and components of shiatsu massage courses.
Length of Programs
Shiatsu massage programs can range from short certificate courses to extensive diploma and degree options.
- Introductory courses: Usually short programs ranging from a weekend workshop to a few weeks. The focus is on introducing basic shiatsu theories and techniques.
- Certificate programs: Can range from 250 to 500 hours of total study time. Expand beyond introductory knowledge with more hands-on skill development.
- Diploma courses: Diploma-level shiatsu massage programs involve 1 to 2 years of in-depth study. Advanced coursework in assessment, treatment planning and practice development.
- Degree programs: A bachelor’s degree in shiatsu massage takes 3 to 4 years to complete. Incorporates comprehensive shiatsu therapies study with general education requirements.
The length of the program determines the depth and breadth of shiatsu massage education received. Shorter introductory programs provide a taste of shiatsu, while diploma and degree options facilitate extensive shiatsu massage knowledge.
While each shiatsu massage course differs, most programs cover core subject matter:
- Shiatsu theories and techniques: Learn the meridian system, pressure point locations, stretches, joint movements and positioning for shiatsu massage.
- Anatomy and physiology: Study how the body’s systems and tissues are impacted by shiatsu massage. Essential for safe and effective treatment.
- Business practices: Courses explore strategies for marketing services, managing finances, establishing a practice space and maintaining client relationships.
- Safety and ethics: Review standards for professionalism in therapeutic practice, including client confidentiality, scope of practice, and maintaining boundaries.
- Practical clinical training: Gain hands-on shiatsu massage experience through demonstrations, simulations and supervised clinical hours with clients.
The curriculum provides well-rounded shiatsu massage training while ensuring proper knowledge of safety protocols and ethical parameters when working with clients.
Choosing the Best Shiatsu Massage Course
With a stronger understanding of shiatsu massage program structures, it’s easier to determine what to look for in an ideal shiatsu massage course.
- Accredited programs: Seek a shiatsu massage school accredited by an authoritative educational organization. Accreditation signifies that course quality and content meet high professional benchmarks.
- Registered training organization (RTO): For shiatsu massage diploma and certificate courses in Australia and New Zealand, the school should be a registered RTO with the national regulatory body.
- Appropriate course level: Match the course intensity and duration with your goals. Weekend workshops suit shiatsu massage hobbyists, while diploma programs are better for building a professional practice.
- Qualified, experienced instructors: Look for courses taught by shiatsu massage practitioners with years of real-world experience. Their guidance will be invaluable.
Choosing an accredited program with proper oversight ensures you receive a legitimate shiatsu massage education that meets industry standards.
Course Delivery Format
Today’s shiatsu massage courses are available through various delivery formats:
- In-person courses: Attend classes at the school facility for demonstrations and hands-on lessons. Ideal for those who learn best in person.
- Online courses: Gain flexibility with instruction offered fully online. Digital lessons and videos replace in-class learning. May also incorporate home kits.
- Hybrid courses: Blend online learning components with some required in-person practical sessions or exams. Allows for a mix of flexibility and interpersonal instruction.
Consider whether you prefer in-person or remote learning when reviewing the program format. Also, look for opportunities to gain supervised clinical experience.
Pricing and Financing
With shiatsu massage course prices ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars, financing options are crucial:
- Upfront payment plans: Pay for the shiatsu massage course in full prior to starting or divided into instalments.
- Private loan financing: Seek personal education loans from banks or credit unions to fund the shiatsu massage program tuition and fees.
- Government-backed loans: For qualified diploma and degree courses, government student loans provide access to financing, often with lower interest rates.
- Scholarship opportunities: Look for shiatsu-related professional associations and organizations offering educational scholarships and grants.
- Student tuition insurance: Offers coverage for tuition costs if you must withdraw from the Shiatsu massage course mid-term due to covered reasons.
Review estimated course costs and payment timelines. Have a funding plan in place so finances aren’t an obstacle.
Top Shiatsu Massage Courses in New Zealand
New Zealand is home to numerous reputable shiatsu massage programs. Here are some of the top shiatsu massage course options:
New Zealand School of Shiatsu and Oriental Medicine
- Location: Christchurch, North Island
- Program choices: Diploma of Shiatsu & Oriental Medicine, part-time certificate
- Key features: Over 1,000 hours of training for the diploma program. Teaching clinic for practical experience. Small class sizes.
This esteemed school focuses exclusively on shiatsu massage and Oriental bodywork education. The instructors have decades of shiatsu and acupuncture experience. Graduates are eligible for national registration in New Zealand.
Shiatsu Bodywork Academy
- Location: Katikati, North Island
- Program choices: 1-year certificate, 3-year diploma program
- Key features: Offers weekday, evening and weekend course schedules. Student clinic on campus. Payment plans are available.
Known for flexible course delivery, Shiatsu Bodywork Academy allows students to work while training in Shiatsu massage. Graduates report high satisfaction with their supportive instructors and clinical experience.
Southern Institute of Technology
- Location: Invercargill, South Island
- Program choices: Diploma in Remedial and Relaxation Massage
- Key features: Government student loans are available. Blends massage modalities including shiatsu, sports massage, and myofascial release.
This established institute has a great reputation in therapeutic massage training. The diploma program includes extensive study in shiatsu massage and covers business practices for graduates.
Getting the Most From Your Shiatsu Massage Course
Once enrolled in a shiatsu massage program, there are ways to maximize the learning experience:
Absorb the Theories
Diligently study the Eastern medicine theories and meridian systems that inform shiatsu massage techniques. Thorough understanding transforms mechanical skills into purposeful therapeutic applications.
Hone Your Technique
Practice hands-on techniques every chance you get. Shiatsu massage skills develop through continuous repetition and refinement. Use practice time to calibrate pressure and flow.
Train Your Touch
Cultivating a sensitive touch is essential in shiatsu massage. Feel for changes in body tissues and energetic flow as you work. Let your hands guide assessments rather than relying only on sight.
Build Clinical Hours
Accrue as much supervised shiatsu massage practice as possible. Whether through student clinics or public outreach events, real-world application with clients is invaluable.
Network and Get Involved
Connect with shiatsu massage professionals through industry groups and events. Build relationships that can support your practice and offer future collaborative opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many prospective students have additional questions when researching shiatsu massage courses. Here are answers to some of the most common inquiries:
Do I need prior massage experience?
While beneficial, massage experience is generally not required for introductory shiatsu massage courses. Certificate or diploma programs may require some basic anatomy, physiology, or bodywork knowledge.
Will I be able to get licensed?
Certain shiatsu massage diploma and degree programs prepare graduates for massage therapy licensing. Check with your state or national regulatory body regarding specific licensing requirements.
Where do classes take place?
Shiatsu massage classes are often held on campus in classrooms, studios, and treatment clinics. Online programs replace in-person lectures with pre-recorded videos and digital materials. Expect some hands-on practical learning.
What is the cost of shiatsu programs?
Prices vary significantly. Introductory workshops can be under $500 while diploma programs cost $10,000 or more. Consider the length, depth of study, and cost per hour when comparing program value.
Do I need to be physically fit?
Shiatsu massage practice requires moderate physical fitness and stamina. Programs incorporate body mechanics training to prevent strain. Yoga, stretching, and proper technique prevent injury.
Finding the ideal shiatsu massage course requires research and an honest assessment of your goals, needs, and resources. By evaluating program features against your own needs and circumstances, it becomes easier to choose a quality shiatsu massage education that sets you up for success.
This article was originally published on Shiatsu Bodywork Academy