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The professional training in Iokai Shiatsu is composed of four levels that you can complete in approximately four years. Characteristic for the training is the emphasis on practice. Throughout your study, frequent self-practice of the material is a basic requirement for a successful study. Through frequent practice you will develop the skills and gain the insights you need as an Iokai Shiatsu therapist.
Basic Level

Three times a year you can start with a module of the basic level. In these modules you will learn the basic techniques of Iokai Shiatsu. It is the foundation of Iokai Shiatsu; everything you learn in these modules you will need for the rest of your studies. The main focus is on developing a good touch and being able to apply the basic techniques to the body of the receiver in different positions. We do this by practicing so-called Katas. In the execution of a Kata we practice giving shiatsu on the body of the receiver in a certain position. There are four Kata’s that we practice: Side position, Supine position, Prone position and Sitting position. During the lessons we practice on each other so that you also experience what it is like to receive shiatsu.

The first year is also an introduction to the basics of traditional Eastern medicine. The traditional Eastern way of thinking is fundamentally different from that in our Western society. During the theory lessons we will introduce you to this way of thinking. To improve your own body awareness, fitness and body control we start each class with Do-In, Ki training, meditation or occasionally Qi Qong.

In addition to the professional shiatsu modules, you will also begin with therapeutic training in the first year. You learn how to give feedback to each other and how to take a neutral position during the shiatsu treatments.

If you have successfully completed all the modules of the basic level, you will receive a certificate. You can then give a deeply relaxing treatment to people in your environment. You have learned to use your body in the right way and to touch someone in a way that is effective and nice to receive. In addition, you have experienced a development on a physical and mental level.

Meridian Level

Meridian theory and meridian treatment are the core of Iokai Shiatsu. Meridians are a reflection of our internal functioning with all its physical, emotional and spiritual aspects. They indicate the connection between the various body parts, body functions as well as the connection between body and mind.

At the meridian level you develop the ability to ‘feel’ the Ki (life energy). This allows you not only to understand the course of the meridians and their functioning, but also to perceive and influence them with your hands. To develop this sense, much attention is paid to practice. The theory of Oriental medicine is further deepened and extended to include the life functions of the various meridians and their connections. Of course we also start each class with Do-In, Ki training and Za-Zen. At the meridian level, Do-In is increasingly important for understanding your own condition. Your own body is the perfect study material here.

In addition to the professional shiatsu modules, in the second year you will again be taught therapeutic training. In the second year, you explore your own position as a trainee practitioner.

In the modules of the meridian level you have learned where the different meridians run and how you can feel and influence Ki by applying pressure in the correct way. You have also learned what the different life functions of the meridians are.

After completing about 85% of the meridian level, you can start with the diagnosis level.

Diagnostic Level

The diagnostic level modules focus on making a diagnosis and the treatment strategy based on it. You will learn the different forms of diagnosis as used in Iokai Shiatsu, develop insight into the Eastern concept of illness and health, and learn how to choose and adjust a treatment strategy. Based on the different forms of diagnosis, you form a sense of how and where the client’s Ki manifests and how to choose a treatment strategy based on this. In the third year, you build on the skills developed in the first two levels. The ability to “feel” the Ki and treat it correctly is refined and you develop an understanding of the pathology of the various life functions.

Each class starts with Do-In and Za-Zen. At this level the Do-In is important as a self-diagnosis. Here your body is the ideal study material.

In addition to the professional shiatsu modules, you will also be taught therapeutic training. The lessons focus on the position you take towards the person you are treating.

In the diagnostic level modules, you have learned the principles of diagnosis. You learned how to direct your treatments based on the information gathered and how to carry out treatment. In the clinical level modules, you will learn to further refine the diagnosis so that you can apply it to clients with a variety of complaints that you will later encounter in your practice.

After completing about 85% of the diagnostic level, you can start with the clinical level.

The fourth training year

The clinical level focuses on your future profession as a Shiatsu therapist. You will learn to apply everything you have learned so far integrally in practice and will treat trial clients both independently and under supervision. You will be prepared for your profession as an independent Shiatsu therapist and learn the therapeutic skills necessary for this. Part of the course material is dedicated to setting up your own practice as an independent practitioner. You will build on the insight and skills you have developed in recent years. Your theoretical and practical knowledge will be supplemented with some specific topics. But the main focus is to apply your knowledge, skills and insight integrally in practice. Of course the Do-In and Za-Zen will remain a standard part of the lessons. We expect you to have given the practice of Do-In and Za-Zen a place in your life and to use it for your own development and self-diagnosis. In addition to the professional shiatsu modules, in the fourth year you will continue to be taught therapeutic training. The classes in the fourth year focus on the further deepening of transfer-countertransfer..

At the end of the clinical level you take part in the international theory and practice exam of the European Iokai Shiatsu Association.

Final thesis or module Do-In teacher

You will complete your course with the module ‘Introduction to Science (Evidence Bases Medicine)’ followed by either the module ‘Do-in teacher’ or with a Case study and final thesis.
If you follow the course in which the module ‘Do-in teacher’ is your graduation project, you should also have followed the minor ‘Shiatsu chair massage’. You can start with this minor already if you have completed the meridian level.
If you have also successfully completed your basic medical knowledge, you will receive the acknowledged higher professional education diploma for Iokai Shiatsu.

Basic Western Medicine

Basic Western Medicine is an integral part of the program and is taught in the first three years of your study. The course covers anatomy, physiology and pathology at hbo level according to the Plato standards. The course is accredited by the SNRO and CPION. These organizations are appointed by the health insurers to monitor the quality and standards of Basic Medical Knowledge in the Netherlands.

For providing the classes Basic Medical Knowledge we have sought cooperation with the institute Con Amore. Since 2010 this organization provides training in Basic Medical Knowledge for therapists in complementary medicine. Con Amore has developed a concept where a large part of the study can be followed online at home. Per block there is an extensive online module and a concluding practical training day. In total there are 12 blocks. Two in the first year, five in the second and five in the third year.