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Shiatsu Therapy Diploma Program:
Overview & Career Prospects

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2200 hours of training in this diploma program prepares students for a rewarding and successful career as a shiatsu therapist. Students are exposed to extensive clinic experience while exploring both Eastern and Western approaches to health and well-being as well as business and communication training.

Offered as a full-time program, students have the option of paying tuition with flexible monthly or quarterly payment plans. As this program is registered and approved as a Private Career College under the Private Career College's Act, students are eligible to apply for OSAP.

What is Shiatsu?
The word shiatsu literally translates as "finger-pressure".  However, shiatsu is more than just a way to apply physical pressure to various points of the body.  It goes far beyond that to involve total communication between therapist and client.  A good shiatsu treatment is like a dance in which the therapist, through compassion and skill, awakens the client's own healing energies.

The Shiatsu School of Canada is unique among shiatsu schools in its emphasis on balancing Eastern medicine and Western medicine. Though the East and West seem to have little in common, both describe the wonder of life and the human body.  Eastern medicine has accumulated knowledge and wisdom about the human body, just as Western medicine has. Eastern medical theory The 'sunlight ' vessel of the stomach showing 48 acupuncture spotsdescribes health as a dynamic balance of body, mind, and spirit. The Shiatsu School of Canada teaches meridian style shiatsu, a form that is deeply  rooted in ancient Oriental medical practices that are over 5,000 years old. 

In meridian style shiatsu, the shiatsu therapist applies comfortable pressure to all parts of the client's body with hands and thumbs, elbows, knees and even feet.  The skilled therapist chooses the appropriate technique according to the degree of pressure required and the physical condition of the client.  Disease in traditional Oriental medicine is the result of
imbalance of the life energy, "chi" or "ki".  This energy is believed to travel through the body along pathways called "meridians".  The shiatsu therapist aims to unblock the flow of energy, to bring the client's body back into balance and help the client regain the natural ability to maintain equilibrium or wellness. This relieves symptoms and, as function improves, the client regains a feeling of vitality.

Shiatsu therapy is holistic.  Oriental medicine sees the human being as inseparable, one, without divisions between mind, body, and soul. The body-mind is considered a whole construct. Its parts are inseparable from the functioning of the whole organism in its environment. The shiatsu therapist treats the whole body as well as the specific problem areas. Common conditions that shiatsu therapists treat include back, neck and shoulder aches and pains, headaches, insomnia, and digestive problems, but also emotional stress.   

From a Western point of view, shiatsu pressure stimulates the healing, conserving functions of the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system to calm the body's overactive "fight-or-flight" response.  This gives the body the space and time to heal itself and restore normal functioning.  

Why A 2200-Hour Program?
Shiatsu is a demanding, but deeply rewarding career.  Most shiatsu therapists practice independently as primary health care workers.  They undertake thorough health assessments to determine ways in which clients have lost their own natural ability to keep in equilibrium.  The shiatsu therapist then tailors the treatment to meet the unique condition of the individual client.  No two treatments are ever alike just as no two people, even identical twins, are alike.

It is easy to see that shiatsu can be very challenging.  Great knowledge and skill are required and there are no short cuts.  A successful career in shiatsu is not something that can be gained quickly, by rote learning, or a hodge-podge of short general interest courses with poorly trained instructors.  A body of knowledge that has taken thousands of years to develop cannot be learned effectively in a short time span.  Our program provides a thorough foundation from both an Eastern and a Western perspective. 

Students must deeply grasp the theoretical structures and gain the analytical abilities necessary to skillfully and knowledgeably help clients with a wide range of conditions.  Students need to understand the ethics and responsibilities involved in treating clients.  Shiatsu students must have the skills to succeed as small business people, working in their own practice, or with others in a clinic or spa.  Lastly, shiatsu is not something that can be learned from a book or by distance education.  First hand instruction with practice under experienced and highly qualified instructors is the only way to achieve mastery in shiatsu.

About The Shiatsu School of Canada Inc.
In 1986 Kaz and Yasuko Kamiya founded the SSC in response to growing demand for high quality training in shiatsu therapy. Canadians from all walks of life were becoming increasingly concerned
about the potential side effects of drugs and were looking for non-invasive ways of dealing with illness.  People from all walks of life wanted to take their health and well-being back into their own hands.  Shiatsu helped them do this and, as more and more people heard about shiatsu, the need for a high-quality school became evident.

On April 2, 1986, the school was registered and approved as a private
Career College under the Private Career College Act. In September 1986, the Shiatsu School of Canada's first 2200-hour program began.  The Shiatsu School of Canada is now one of Canada's leading shiatsu school and continues to offer a career-training program leading to a diploma in  shiatsu therapy. The Shiatsu Therapy Diploma program starts every September and can be taken through a full-time (two years) study option.

The SSC's first class graduated in 1988, with a graduating class every year after that.  Since we have been offering continuous quality education since 1986, we can truly offer an experienced faculty and a proven curriculum.  Our faculty is comprised of shiatsu therapists, Ph.D.'s, acupuncturists, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, nutritionists, professionals in anatomy, physiology, pathology, psychology, kinesiology, and other fields of health care, as well as specialists in business, communications and ethics.  All our science instructors have at least a Master's degree in their field.

The career of shiatsu demands the heart, knowledge, skill and clinical experience that a 2200-hour program in a Private Career College can deliver.  The diploma program at the SSC is the oldest continuously operating 2200-hour program in Canada.  We offer students a solid grounding in both Eastern and Western medicine, including anatomy, physiology and pathology.  Working in the West, students must be able to communicate with Western medical professionals who refer clients to them. They must also be able to communicate with clients who think in terms of Western medicine.  An understanding of Western medicine, coupled with a strong background in Oriental medicine, strengthens the shiatsu therapist's practice on every level.

The SSC operates ethically and dependably, balancing our respect for the traditions of shiatsu with a responsibility to grow and innovate. The school has no religious affiliations and welcomes people from all backgrounds and walks of life. By its commitment to high ethical standards, quality in faculty and curriculum, and service to students and the community, the SSC has played a significant role in promoting shiatsu nationally and internationally. 

The 2200-hour program offered at the Shiatsu School of Canada is the highest standard in the world, comparable to that offered in Japan itself.  Graduates of the SSC are able to apply for licenses, registration and/or certification all around the world.  Currently we have graduates working across Canada and in the United States, Denmark, Mexico, England, Austria, Israel, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, etc.

At the Shiatsu School of Canada we believe that the power to change your life is in your hands.   And we have the track record, the knowledge, and the commitment to help make your study of shiatsu as rewarding as you want it to be.

Kaz KamiyaAbout the Founder
The Founder of the Shiatsu School of Canada, Kaz Kamiya, is a pioneer in teaching shiatsu. 

An accomplished practitioner of shiatsu and acupuncture, Mr. Kamiya originally worked as a tool-and-die designer in Brazil and Canada.  In his mid-30's, he learned about shiatsu.  He returned to his native country of Japan to study shiatsu and acupuncture and received his license after 3 years of study (1975-1978).  Mr. Kamiya then apprenticed at a hospital in Japan and with Shizuto Masunaga, one of  the pioneers of shiatsu therapy at Iokai Shiatsu Centre. 

from Meridian Shiatsu videoAfter that, Mr. Kamiya returned to Toronto to practice shiatsu.  He worked at the Shiatsu Centre before establishing the Shiatsu Clinic and the Shiatsu Education Centre in 1981.  In 1986, he established the Shiatsu School of Canada in order to offer the highest standard of shiatsu training, the 2200-hour diploma program.

Well known through his videos, Meridian Shiatsu and Shiatsu Stretching, Mr. Kamiya maintains an active shiatsu and acupuncture practice while playing a pivotal role in the life of the school.

Career Prospects
Demand for shiatsu is growing as people work to educate the public on shiatsu's health benefits.  Insurance companies are becoming aware of the cost benefits possible, as well as the medical advantages of shiatsu.  With an aging population and growing demand for holistic care, the demand for and acceptance of shiatsu will grow too.

The 2200-hour shiatsu graduate enjoys the skills and knowledge to have a definite competitive edge. Graduates work in a variety of situations. Some establish a private practice by working at home.  Some do house calls.  Many rent their own office, or share office space with other shiatsu therapists or with health care professionals such as massage therapists or chiropractors. Spas, health clubs and sports clubs also hire shiatsu therapists. Public education and teaching are other career options.  

Hands-on Experience
During the course of study, students do extensive practical work on other students, at school-supervised demonstrations of shiatsu at public events, and in special class treatments to seniors, friends and special cases.  The Student Clinic serves as the clinical teaching facility of the SSC and provides low-cost care to people in Toronto and the surrounding area.  Students, under the supervision of specially trained and experienced SSC graduates, gain practical experience. The SSC Student Clinic has an average of 500 client visits a month.

Why a Private Career College School?

1.    The primary reason private career colleges exist is to provide the most effective training within the most reasonable period of time. At the SSC our curriculum is skills based and career focused. We know the shiatsu marketplace and what our graduates need to compete.

2.      Shiatsu is the very heart of our school, a way of life - not just a business, and not just another program among many.

3.    We have a track record in providing
shiatsu training since 1986.  Here you can thrive in a tried and tested program, not suffer through a new and unproven program. 

4.    Our faculty is
highly qualified and experienced.  We select instructors not only for their clinical know-how, but also for their strong teaching skills.

5.    Our excellent clinic prepares students
for "real world" situations with real clients.  The clinic is established and the clientele is varied and challenging.

6. We are committed to each student's success.  In the great traditions of the East, we honour our students - mind, body and soul.  At the SSC there are no anonymous faces lost in a large student body.  We are large enough to provide the services that students require, yet small enough to afford our students individual attention.  

Ten Reasons to study at the Shiatsu School of Canada

1.  Portability...   
The 2200-hour program is the highest standard in the world and SSC graduates can practice virtually anywhere in the world.

2.  Small Classes
Because our classes are small, (usually ranging from
25 to 35 students) we can provide the atmosphere most favourable to learning and the growth and development of the student. Our classes are small enough to allow for the individual attention students need and large enough for a positive group dynamic.

3.  East Meets West...  
Our program is designed to facilitate our students' understanding of both Eastern and Western medicine as they develop their shiatsu skills.  The SSC curriculum includes a demanding Western science component.  With this exposure to both Western medical sciences and Oriental medicine, our shiatsu graduates can effectively communicate with Western medical practitioners about diagnosis and treatment.

4.  Expert Faculty... 
More than 25 health practitioners and professionals teach at the SSC.  Faculty members are experienced lecturers and practitioners.   Our shiatsu instructors are all practicing shiatsu therapists. 

SSC students begin learning and practicing shiatsu within the first term of training.  The students familiarize themselves with the flow of a shiatsu treatment and begin to get a feel for the therapeutic benefits of shiatsu from the onset of their program.  After passing the clinical competency examination, the students begin 272 hours in the Student Clinic. Students also do extensive practical work on other students, at school-supervised demonstrations of shiatsu, and in special class treatments to seniors, friends and others.  

Graduates of the
SSC program have a high job placement rate. As well SSC graduates have a very high pass rate on the Shiatsu Therapy Association of Ontario's board examinations.

Our Senior Advisor to the Shiatsu and Acupuncture Programs, Kaz Kamiya, has over 25 years experience training shiatsu therapists and as a practitioner of Oriental medicine.  He apprenticed with Shizuto Masunaga, the renowned teacher and author of Zen Shiatsu.

8.  Worldwide recognition 
The training provided at SSC is rated as having the one of the highest standards outside of Japan. Graduates are eligible
to become members of the Shiatsu Therapy Association of Ontario, The Shiatsu Society of Ontario and other international associations.

Our continuing education program enables the shiatsu graduate to keep up with the latest developments in shiatsu and related healing arts.

10.   ALUMNI GUILD...  
The SSC has an active Alumni Guild that offers many benefits including seminars and a newsletter.

Upon Completion: Recognition
The Shiatsu School of Canada Inc. (established 1986) is registered and approved as a Private Career College under the Private Career Colleges Act.

Graduates of the Shiatsu School of Canada are entitled to use the designation Dipl.S.T.®, a professional designation that stands for Diplomate in Shiatsu Therapy.  The Shiatsu School of Canada is approved by the Shiatsu Therapy Association of Ontario (STAO).
Our shiatsu graduates are eligible to apply for membership in and certification by the STAO.  Only a member of the STAO is entitled to use the designation 'Certified Shiatsu Therapist' (CST®).

Watch this video with Dr. Oz explaining his experience with  Shiatsu and other alternative medicine therapies being integrated  into the critical illness care of patients at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.