The efficacy of shiatsu therapy

I found the full extract from the British Medical Journal for those that are interested.

Reported in the Globe and Mail, by Paul Taylor February 2006:

“Acupressure v. physio: Acupressure is far more effective at treating low back pain than conventional physiotherapy, according to researchers at National Taiwan University in Taipei.

Acupressure (shiatsu therapy) is sometimes called acupuncture without needles. The therapist uses his fingers and thumbs to apply pressure to tight muscles. And, in particular, some therapists press on so-called acupressure points, which are the focus for relieving pain and illness in traditional Chinese medicine. By comparison, conventional physiotherapy involves a wide range of different treatments including heat therapy, infrared light therapy, electrical stimulation and various forms of physical manipulation, as well as exercises.

For the study, 64 patients received six sessions of acupressure, and 65 patients received six sessions of physical therapy. The participants were assessed immediately after treatment and again six months later in terms of their pain and ability to function.

“Acupressure conferred an 89 per cent reduction in disability, compared with physical therapy,” according to the results published in the British Medical Journal.”