A paper published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine looks at how shiatsu practitioners help promote healthier lifestyle choices to their clients:
The potential of complementary and alternative medicine in promoting well-being and critical health literacy: a prospective, observational study of shiatsu
Examining these findings from a health literacy perspective suggests a valuable role for shiatsu in promoting healthier behaviours. At a basic, functional level, developing awareness and knowledge arose within advice-giving (diet, exercise, how to use your body and self-care) occurring in the baseline treatment session. It raised the possibility for the client to utilise this information in their everyday life. Such advice-giving occurred in the context of a client-practitioner consultation which was positively perceived by clients as involving 'listening' and 'accepting' the client and treatment by a skilful, warm and trusted practitioner. The fact that, six months later, around four-fifths of clients reported making substantial changes in their lifestyle 'as a result of having the shiatsu treatments' is indicative of their acting on the knowledge (interactive health literacy) and onto critical health literacy. Clients reported changes in exercise and diet, enhanced confidence about their health, being 'more able to help myself' and having a changed understanding and experience of their body. Overall, the lifestyle changes were suggestive of a tendency to adopt a more relaxed, healthier and more balanced approach to life.