Shiatsu Diffusion Society / SDS  (Ontario)

The Shiatsu Diffusion Society (SDS) is an organization of highly trained Shiatsupractor® who adhere to the thumbs and fingers method of Shiatsu. This Shiatsu was developed and systematized in Japan by the "Father of Shiatsu", Tokujiro Namikoshi and recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Health since 1955.

A non-profit organization, the SDS was established in 1989 to represent professionally trained Shiatsu practitioners.

Membership is open to Shiatsu practitioners who adhere to the principles of the Association and agree to abide by our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. In Ontario, members must be graduates of a government-accredited private vocational school. Members are self-regulated under the bylaws of the Society and are granted the professional designation "Certified Shiatsupractor®/ CSP " . Members are required to have professional liability insurance coverage.

Shiatsu treatments are eligible for extended health plan insurance coverage. Please call the SDS to discuss this in more detail or to locate a practitioner in your area at :
(416) 406-5493.

Contact Us:
Shiatsu Diffusion Society
822 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, ON, M4K 2P7
Tel: (416) 406-5493

The Shiatsu Diffusion Society is a self-regulated governing body for Shiatsupractors in Ontario approved by the International Shiatsu Association and the Japan Shiatsu College.

Certified Shiatsupractor® / CSP - is a professional designation granted to an SDS member who has successfully graduated from a program recognized by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in Ontario and/or a program recognized by the ISA internationally and/or has proven themselves competent through upgrade courses or experience.

"Shi" means thumbs & fingers "atsu" means pressure. It was originated by the founder of shiatsu, Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei. It is the application of manual and digital pressure to the skin with the aim of preventing and curing illness by stimulating the body's natural powers of recuperation, eliminating fatigue-producing elements, and promoting general good health.
- from " The Complete Book of Shiatsu Therapy" written by Toru Namikoshi

"Shiatsu technique refers to the use of thumbs, fingers and the palms of ones hands to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses."
-from "the Theory and Practice of shiatsu" published by the Ministry of Health in Japan, 1957.

The SDS is an organization dedicated to providing the highest educational and professional standards for Shiatsu therapy in Ontario.

The SDS purposes are:

  1. To establish and maintain a non-profit organization for Shiatsupractors.

  2. To promote, within Canada, understanding of true Shiatsu therapy which originated with Tokujiro Namikoshi Sensei in Japan.

  3. To foster elevation of the status of the Shiatsupractor

  4. To assist in the improvement of the Shiatsu technique of the Shiatsupractor.

The Shiatsu Diffusion Society requires its members to practice Shiatsu according to the teachings of Tokujiro Namikoshi and the definition set out by the Japanese Ministry of Health & Welfare, in the manner set out by the Japan Shiatsu Association. In Particular, pressure is to be applied by the thumbs, fingers and palms of the hand of the Shiatsupractor to anatomical prescribed points on the client's body. No other parts of the body such as knees or elbows, and no needles, mechanical devices or other modalities are to be used in the Shiatsu treatment. This Code sets out the Obligations and Duties of the Shiatsupractor with the objective of promoting and achieving high standards in the practice of Shiatsu. Failure to comply with this Code may lead to temporary or permanent suspension of membership in the Shiatsu Diffusion Society.

  1. The Shiatsupractor's first consideration is the health and well being of the Client.
  2. The Shiatsupractor must conduct himself or herself in a manner which will uphold and maintain the quality and the high standards of the Shiatsu profession.
  3. The Shiatsupractor shall continually strive to improve his or her knowledge and professional skills.
  4. The Shiatsupractor must not identify a Client when discussing details of treatment with fellow practitioners. The Shiatsupractor must not divulge information given by the Client in confidence without the consent of the Client or a court order.
  5. The Client's consent must be obtained before initiating treatment. Information about Shiatsu should be provided, and the Client's question should be answered before initiating treatment.
  6. When it is necessary in the interests of the Client, the Shiatsupractor must recommend to the Client that he or she seek expert medical advice. The Shiatsupractor must not attempt to diagnose a contagious disease or disorder as the cause of an individual's symptom.
  7. CSSBC members respect the client's physical/emotional state, and do not abuse clients through actions, words or silence, nor take advantage of the therapeutic relationship. They, in no way, participate in sexual activity with the client. They consider the client's comfort zone for touch and for degree of pressure, and honor the client's requests as much as possible within personal, professional and ethical limits. They do not use elbows, knees or feet in the application of pressure to the clientfs body. They acknowledge the inherent worth and individuality of each person and therefore do not unjustly discriminate against clients and colleagues.
  8. The Shiatsupractor shall encourage and educate the Client in the development of a health-enhancing lifestyle.
  9. The Shiatsupractor must at all times avoid sexual contact, advances and discussion during treatment.
  10. The Shiatsupractor must not refuse any Client on the basis of sex, race, religion, or political belief.
  11. The Shiatsupractor may not refuse or withdraw services without justifiable cause. The Shiatsupractor may refuse treatment to a person who is abusive or intoxicated, has a contagious disease, or is harassing the Practitioner or making sexual advances.

  1. The Shiatsupractor ates and types of treatment given each Client and the fees charged.

  2. The Shiatsupractor must record the Client's history and obtain the Client's consent before initiating treatment.

  3. Consultation rooms and treatment areas are to be clean, with appropriate and private changing facilities. All towels and linen used during treatment must be clean. Work surfaces and Shiatsu tables, chairs and mats must be kept clean.

  4. Client must be clothed or covered appropriately during treatment.

  5. The Shiatsupractor must be appropriately attired during treatment.

  6. The Shiatsupractor must ensure that his or her health and personal hygiene is in order to cause no risk to the client.

  7. The Shiatsupractor must refrain from eating, smoking, alcohol, and drugs during therapy.

The City of Toronto accepts certification by the SDS as validation for issuing a Holistic practitioner business license.

The City of Vancouver accepts certification by the CSSBC as validation for issuing a Business license.

The SDS promotes Shiatsu, Canada wide. In partnership with the CSSBC, we participate in Shiatsu conventions, promotional activities and insurance. The SDS membership coincides with CSSBC membership.

The SDS has Group Professional Liability Insurance with the CSSBC. Active SDS members are required to have Professional Liability coverage.

We are presently working on having Shiatsu therapy when done by a Shiatsupractor covered on extended health benefit plans. To be successful we need your help. If your benefits package does not cover your Shiatsu therapy please print our "Dear Human Resources/ Dear Insurer" package and send it to the appropriate person.

Therapy that Works