What is Shiatsu?

“Shiatsu” literally means finger pressure. It is a system of bodywork from Japan evolved from Traditional Chinese Medicine and Japanese massage. It works by using two of our most fundamental experiences: the free flow of energy in the body and empathic human touch. Its goals are:

  • To release the primary energy/information system of the body in order to maintain health.
  • To work with the spine and the musculo-skeletal structure from an energetic perspective.
  • To help relieve pain and symptoms related to structural/postural dysfunction, by encouraging the body’s own sense of alignment.

Over time, the pressures of life can become stored in the body leading to points of stress locked into the joints and muscles causing movement to become restricted and energy unable to flow freely. This may be due to trauma or physical habits created by our lifestyle, or work: I used to be a sub-editor and sitting at a computer for eight hours a day chasing tight deadlines can have a profound affect on the posture! Any restriction of the flow of energy in the body causes tension, which can lead to distortions in posture or misalignment of the muscles and joints. This restriction of energy and the resulting misalignment can lead to back pain, menstrual cramps, headaches, constipation and even relationship problems and depression. In a shiatsu session, the practitioner assesses where the primary sources of tension are in the body and seeks to release them through finger pressure, massage and gentle stretching. In shiatsu, the practitioner brings the client’s awareness to a neglected area of the body and so enables the body to heal itself. When the tone of the body tissue and the alignment of the musculo-skeletal system improve as a result of the session, the client often feels a greater level of well-being. It is often the case that when their body feels better, the client finds their life begins to improve as they come back into alignment and reconnect with their truth and their path.

What to expect in a shiatsu session

Before the first session, I ask all clients to fill out a treatment form outlining their reasons for wanting shiatsu and their medical history and use their answers as a starting point to discuss what they would like from our work together. Each session lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. The client remains fully clothed, though it is best to wear loose, comfortable clothing of a natural fibre to allow freedom of movement. The session usually begins with an assessment of posture and then I will begin working on the body addressing the priority conditions that have come to light through dialogue with the client or from assessment. I usually leave the client for five minutes at the end of the session so they have a chance to relax and integrate the experience of the session and then we have a short conversation so I can receive feedback. Clients often ask how many sessions they will need, but this is impossible to answer as each situation is unique, though, for acute conditions, I usually recommend a course of weekly sessions for four to six weeks to allow the body time to integrate the work and lasting change to occur.


Brighton Shiatsu Centre: £50 per session: Find the Brighton Shiatsu Centre   Brixton Therapy Centre: £65 per session: Find Brixton Therapy Centre Home visits are available at £75 per session   Please note: Appointments cancelled without giving 24 hours notice may be charged for. Gift vouchers are available, contact me for more information.

“It may be that one of the things we seek in this life is an environment that supports our constant need to change and grow.”

Saul Goodman

Shiatsu Shin Tai, the evolution & synthesis of traditional bodywork

Flexibility in the arms - The benefits of Shiatsu - Tony Austin Shiatsu London
Tony Austin Shiatsu London - Back
Tony Austin Shiatsu London - Relaxation and Focus

“Thanks for the treatment yesterday. I have to admit, it worked wonders. I feel my posture has changed and I’m more upright. Yoga seemed much ‘easier’…I was able to get into the postures and stay in them longer, plus I could do a forward bend and get my body further towards my legs. Amazing! Never had that before.”


Health consultant and detox specialist, More Testimonials

“Before I went to my session with Tony, I was feeling stressed and overworked. I was highly pressurised at work, and had been having trouble sleeping. During our session, I could feel my anxiety and tension leaving my body. I fell asleep as soon as I got home and slept from 6pm until 10am the following morning … I highly recommend Tony to anyone who is feeling stressed or unable to sleep.”


Architect, More Testimonials

Bodywork for Business

Corporate Shiatsu in the Office

Do you want to create a positive working environment and demonstrate that you value your staff? Would you like to reward your team for their hard work, but cannot afford an across-the-board pay rise or staff bonuses?   Relax and revitalise your workforce with shiatsu in the office. Your staff feel valued and re-energised, which can only help performance – everybody wins!

Find out more

Got a question?

If you have any questions about Shiatsu or Qigong, or would like to book a session, do drop me a line. You can use the form or the contact details below,

I look forward to speaking with you!

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Book a session in Brighton

If you would like to book a session at the Brighton Shiatsu Centre, click on the button below to choose an appointment.

07967 827399

01273 747152

Brixton Therapy Centre: 020 7733 9944

Brighton Shiatsu Centre: 07806 944359