Shiatsu Society Launches New Shiatsu Schools Directory

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Shiatsu schools, shiatsu courses, teachers, insurance, shiatsu training, shiatsu classes, fees... what do shiatsu students look for before becoming shiatsu students? We commissioned a survey and found the answer to be Flexibility and Convenience. We visited schools' websites, contacted them directly, and asked them to fill in the gaps and tell us what else they had to offer.

This was not a survey of teaching quality or the suitability of a school, simply a summary of what it offers in terms of what students want to know before making a decision to join, or not.

(Overseas Students from outside the European Union need a student-visa to study in the UK. Such visas, since January 2005, are only granted by the Home Office for study at a school registered as a learning provider with the Department for Education & Skills. To date, the only school to have notified us that it is a registered learning-provider is the Zen School of Shiatsu in London. Schools may not use their learning-provider status in their marketing. The information is offered here for potential students to satisfy themselves that the school of their choice is on the DfE&S Register)

Convenience is very much what the student sees as convenient and it turns out that location is not so important: one student traveled from Doncaster to Bristol for classes, another from Bristol to London, and several from Europe to England on a regular basis.

Although teaching a traditional oriental healing practice, most schools tie their curriculum to the western academic year limiting admissions to September or October. Most classes are run at weekends with few weekday, afternoon or evening classes. There are some notable exceptions, offering continuous enrolment along with evening, daytime, weekend and intensive courses.

Cost is less of an issue with students seemingly willing to pay more for a school that fills their needs. Methods of payment vary, some schools accepting credit cards, others not, some wanting the whole fee in advance, other term by term. Most will accept installment payments, many charging a fee for this.

Most schools offer more or less the same syllabus. Few of the teachers have government-recognized teaching qualifications and even fewer trained in Japan. Again, there are notable exceptions where faculty have attained recognized educational qualifications and also trained in Japan.

Schools' perceptions of shiatsu differ, ranging from "a Japanese form of physiotherapy" to a meditative practice.

Overall there seems to be a school to fit every need, where students will travel if its not on their doorstep or wait months for its annual intake.

For Shiatsu Schools Directory go to:

and for general information on the Society

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Kris North