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Shiatsu (Kanji: 指圧 Hiragana: しあつ) in Japanese means "finger pressure"; it is a type of alternative medicine consisting of finger and palm pressure, stretches, and other massage techniques. Shiatsu is an implausible therapy,[1] and there is no evidence of its effectiveness.[2] Shiatsu practitioners promote it as a way to help people relax and cope with issues such as stress, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression.

Tokujiro Namikoshi (1905-2000) invented shiatsu and founded the first shiatsu college in 1940.[1] Shiatsu draws on concepts from the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).[3][4]

A 2011 systematic review of shiatsu's effectiveness found that only a few studies had been carried out, and concluded that the available evidence "was of insufficient quantity and quality".[4] Commenting on this conclusion Edzard Ernst said: "what does that tell us about shiatsu? It clearly tells us that it is an unproven therapy".[5] Ernst has previously been a co-author of the Oxford Handbook of Complementary Medicine which had concluded that there was no convincing data available to suggest that shiatsu was effective for any condition.[6]

According to Cancer Research UK, "there is no scientific evidence to prove that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer."[2]

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  1. ^ a b Singh, Simon; Ernst, Edzard (6 October 2009). Trick or Treatment?: Alternative Medicine on Trial. Transworld. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-4090-8180-7. 
  2. ^ a b "Shiatsu". Cancer Research UK. Retrieved August 2013. 
  3. ^ Barrett, Stephen (9 March 2006). "Massage Therapy: Riddled with Quackery". Quackwatch. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Robinson, Nicola; Lorenc, Ava; Liao, Xing (2011). "The evidence for Shiatsu: A systematic review of Shiatsu and acupressure". BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11: 88. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-88. PMC 3200172. PMID 21982157. "Shiatsu incorporates acupressure, which is similar but applies pressure for longer on specific pressure points on meridians, following Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)" 
  5. ^ Ernst, Edzard (15 October 2013). "Shiatsu: holistic therapy, naive nonsense or malicious quackery?". Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Ernst, Edzard; Pittler, Max H; Wider, Barbara; Boddy, Kate (2008). Oxford Handbook of Complementary Medicine. doi:10.1093/med/9780199206773.001.0001. ISBN 9780199206773. 

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