contact us       sign-up for our eNewsletter       hire a graduate practitioner     update your alumni Information        Home Page

Curriculum: Shiatsu Therapy Diploma Program
(2200 hours of training)

About the Shiatsu Program   |  Curriculum  |  Instructors  |
Full Time Program Details  | Financial Aid  |
 | Apply NowInternational StudentsContact Us  |


Auxiliary Modalities 
This course introduces students to treatment modalities that complement their understanding of Eastern medical theory. The practice and theory of tuina, Qi-gong, moxa cupping are some of the modalities studied.

  • Tuina
    n excellent Chinese manual therapy, which uses the TCM theory of the flow of Qi through the channels as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tuina establishes a harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body to heal itself naturally. Tuina's simplicity and focus is on specific problems, rather than a more generalized treatment.

  • It is used to treat conditions that in western medicine ordinarily would require a physiotherapist, a chiropractor and an osteopath.

    Tuina may be applied to treat many disorders from soft tissue injuries to many other kinds of ailments such as rheumatic pain, tiredness, lack of energy and any symptoms caused by stress or emotional problems. Tui Na not only works on the muscles and joints, but also at a deeper level, affecting the flow of vital life energy in the body.

    Tuina will be learned and practiced, with a special emphasis on the practical aspect. The student will learn how to treat various pathologies by using individually formulated protocols containing a variety of techniques.


  • Qi-Gong
    The word Qi-gong means the practice of "working" with one’s "life force". It is a meditative practice which uses slow and graceful movements and controlled breathing techniques to promote the circulation of Qi within the body, and enhances the overall health. Students will learn basic movements to practice on a daily basis to promote and maintain their health and assist them in strengthening their Qi in daily interactions with clients.


  • Moxa and Cupping
    Cupping is a Traditional Chinese Medical Therapy over 5000 years old.  Students will learn how to use suction cups to treat a variety of health conditions, move stagnated qi and blood.  The class will focus on 3 cupping techniques:  stationary, moving and flash.

Moxa is a herbal substance commonly known as mugwort  which has a unique warming / Yang quality . Students will learn how to work with the moxa herb as part of integrated therapy.

This course introduces the student to basic management concepts of practice management to aid in the operation of a successful shiatsu therapy practice. Topics include bookkeeping, taxation, marketing, advertising techniques, public relations, and goal setting. This comprehensive business management curriculum prepares new shiatsu therapists to build and maintain their own businesses.

Communication Skills
This course aids the student to develop effective communication skills that are vital to the successful practice of shiatsu therapy. Topics include interpersonal skills, personal development, creative problem solving, time management and goal setting.  The course is practical in nature, emphasizing the sharing and exploration of experiences and ideas.

Lifestyle changes will be discussed with focus on basic Chinese dietary principles so as to be able to advise patients on their best course of diet according to patterns, seasons, age, and more. Students will also learn about various other lifestyle changes and prevention of diseases, for optimal health and wellbeing.

This course details the history and philosophy of Eastern medical theory including Yin-Yang theory, Five Element theory, fundamental substances, meridians, organs, causes of disease, patterns of disharmony, Eastern diagnosis, and rationale of treatment.

This course builds upon the Foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Students study a  more advanced level of diagnosis and discuss various treatment methods through the use of shiatsu practice and TCM theories.

Human Anatomy 
Anatomy is the study of the structure and composition of cells, tissues, and organs, and the systems of the body - skeletal, articular, muscular, lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary, endocrine, and reproductive. The organization of the body systems and co-ordination of their functions are also discussed.  

Human Pathology and Symptomatology 
Pathology is the study of how the body reacts to injury, and the causes and processes of disease. Students learn about the processes of tissue repair, infectious diseases, and pathologies of bone, muscle, and of the major systems - respiratory, circulatory, nervous, gastrointestinal, reproductive, immunological, and hormonal.

Human Physiology
Physiology is the study of the functioning of the human body. Cellular metabolism, thermo-regulation, bone growth, muscle function, lymph flow, blood function, respiration, digestion, waste elimination, hormonal influences, reproduction, and nerve function are the main topics.

Public Health
This course examines the health care system of Canada, ways of determining the status of health, factors contributing to good physical and mental health, and the principles of communicable disease.  Referrals, networking, and the role of health professionals are also discussed.

Self care teaches students about the importance of self maintenance and overall well being.  The tools learned, help therapists in training become better therapists.  Students will not only learn ways in which they can help themselves but also ways they can promote good physical and mental health within their clients.  It is incorporated throughout the program in the shiatsu practice and treatment courses.

shiatsu ethics and Jurisprudence
The code of ethics of clinical practice, the client-therapist relationship, and relevant aspects of law are discussed in this course.

Shiatsu Practice 
A significant portion of our course study is devoted to physically learning the practice of shiatsu and its appropriate application.  From the very first days of class, we are on the mat, learning the basics of thumb treatment.  In the first terms, a significant amount of time is devoted to learning an anatomical approach to treating the body, as well as learning to find and treat the energetic meridian and points system.  We begin to hone our skills by treating each other a great deal in the beginning.  The transition to treating the public begins in the first term, however, where on “Family Day” we invite our Friends and Family in for our very first treatment of the public.  The transition continues with a Buddy Day, where the First Year students pair up with Second Year students in the Supervised Teaching Clinic and observe as the second year students show them the ropes.

Some of the key components of the Shiatsu Practice classes include:

·     Taking Shiatsu to the table: when we begin learning shiatsu, we start on the floor.  This helps us to learn to move in a more grounded and centered way when we work.  Many shiatsu therapists continue to work on the floor for their entire career.  We give our students the option of practicing on the table by providing the fundamentals of table treatment, translating our knowledge of working in a grounded way onto the table.  This provides our students flexibility in their treatment options, allowing them to effectively treat clients with conditions that prevent them from getting on the floor and to easily combine shiatsu with other modalities more suited to table treatment.

·     An in-depth 5-week case study on our classmates occurs in second year to help us experience the challenges and benefits of working with one client on a regular basis.  This first case study helps to expand the depth and breadth of our knowledge.  It is unique since we are working on our classmates, allowing us to get detailed feedback on our pressure and overall treatment, as well as on the effectiveness of our treatments.

·    Stretching for homecare and for treatment: Stretching is incorporated into our program in two main ways. First, we learn how to use stretch to maintain our own health, and then relate this knowledge to our clients as a form of homecare.  Secondly, we learn how to use stretch in the context of a treatment.  This information is imparted in small amounts for the duration of the program.  

·     However, we also devote an entire section in second year to each of these topics in order to explore the depth and effectiveness of stretch for our clients.

·     Self-care is incorporated throughout the program into shiatsu practice classes and treatment courses and teaches students about the importance of self-maintenance and overall well-being.  The tools learned will help therapists-in-training to become better therapists.  Students will not only learn ways in which they can help themselves but also ways they can promote good physical and mental health within their clients.

·     Shiatsu for pregnancy theory and clinic.  This time of life comes with a great deal of change in the body from both a physical and energetic point of view.  Shiatsu can be hugely beneficial during this period of time.  This section of the course allows the students a greater understanding of the usefulness of shiatsu during all stages of pregnancy and culminates in a special clinic day, where we invite expectant mothers in to put this theory into practice.

·    Near the end of the program are two 5-week supervised case studies on the public.  This section of the course is an extension of our Shiatsu Treatment Theory course, which we affectionately call “East meets West”.  This course comes late in your studies, and helps tie all of your learning together, merging your eastern and western understandings of the body and then bringing this theoretical knowledge into a practical context. 

·    Meditation & stretching Self–practice is vital in order to maintain enthusiasm, strength and vitality for our work, especially when our work is physically demanding and involves caring for others. It soon becomes evident that adopting a lifestyle more suitable to the work is required. This course is designed to help practitioners develop healthy lifestyle awareness and practices and in so doing to be examples of health for their clients, family and friends. 

·   The bulk of the course will focus on helping practitioners develop their own, simple personal practice. Meditation, stretching, Hara breathing practice, Ki exercises and self-shiatsu will be taught. Discussion will be held around cultivating correct lifestyle including diet, sleep, exercise, reflection and positive ki. This course is open to practitioners of all kinds.  Exceptions may be allowed for those who are interested in developing a self-care practice, but are not practitioners.

Shiatsu Theory
Topics discussed include the history of shiatsu, its general principles, kyo-jitsu, the nature of whole body treatment, locations and functions of tsubo points, and pathologies of the major meridians. The physical and psychological effects of shiatsu, contraindications and indications for treatment, "sho", and treatment strategies are also discussed.

Shiatsu Treatment 
This course covers practical aspects of meridian theory, diagnostic procedures, treatment of specific conditions (including infants, pregnant women and the elderly), the client-therapist relationship, and treatment strategies and reports.

Student Clinic
Knowledge and experience gained from other courses is put into practice in Student Clinic. With the supervision of qualified shiatsu therapists, students gain valuable experience in treating a variety of clients drawn from the general public in a clinic setting.