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Five Element Shiatsu

The primary emphasis of Five Element Shiatsu is to identify a pattern of disharmony through use of the four pillars of examination and to harmonize that pattern with an appropriate treatment plan. Hands-on techniques and preferences for assessment varies with the practitioner, depending on their individual background and training. The radial pulse usually provides the most critical and detailed information. Palpation of the back and/or abdomen and a detailed verbal history serve to confirm the assessment. Considerations of the client's lifestyle, emotional, and psychological factors are all considered important.

Although this approach uses the paradigm of the five elements to tonify, sedate, or control patterns of disharmony, practitioners of this style also consider hot or cold and internal or external symptoms and signs.

Five Element Shiatsu Long Definition

Rationale: Within the larger framework of Asian Bodywork Therapy, Five Element Shiatsu (F.E.S.)
may be described as least concerned with specific technique and most clearly defined
by the parameters of its theoretical model; diagnosis and treatment strategies.

Intention: The intention of the Five Element Shiatsu style is to address all aspects of the client.
The client’s chief complaint is most important within this paradigm and should provide a
focal point from which to begin a verbal history. The intake history information may vary
widely with each practitioner, however the linking of various symptoms and signs to an
underlying pattern is extremely important.


Five Element Shiatsu Five Criteria

  1. Extremely knowledgeable and able to teach all aspects of T.C.M. theory
    as referenced in the 500 hour curriculum. They should be comfortable in
    the way they integrate use of Yin and Yang, Five Phases, Eight Principles
    and Six Divisions. They should be able to demonstrate knowledge of
    symptoms and signs that would be described from any of these systems
    of resonance.
  2. Knowledgeable and experienced in using the radial pulse as an
    assessment tool. They should be able to explain the 12 locations and 28
    qualities even if the system they use differs from that. They should be
    able to construct a legitimate treatment plan utilizing the information
    gathered from the pulse.
  3. Should be particularly skilled in understanding the impact of lifestyle
    including dietary, emotional, psychological and other behavioral
    considerations as it impacts the client’s complaints and health related
  4. Should be knowledgeable of major literary texts which are considered
    fundamental to the understanding of T.C.M. For example should be able
    to describe the importance of the Nei Jing; Nan Jing; Shang Han Lun; as
    well as major modern English textbooks (i.e., The Web; Foundations;
    Fundamentals; CAM).
  5. Should be skilled in determining underlying patterns that define their
    treatment strategy and be able to give a detailed plan for an appropriate
    treatment protocol describing specific techniques, the order of energetic
    manipulation and points to be used. (For example deficiency in Water so
    tonify it and the Metal Element would not suffice.)

Five Element Shiatsu Five Criteria PDF

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