1st Year

Shiatsu and the Five Elements

The Five Elements course continues the exploration of core Shiatsu techniques and theory which began in Foundation level. Together these courses form the first year of the GSS Diploma Course. Five Elements and Foundation can be taken as a stand-alone unit for self-understanding and healing, or for therapists wishing to widen their range of practical techniques.

Course content

  • An experiential exploration of the Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth)
  • location of the traditional meridians of Acupuncture
  • the use of Acupressure points
  • an expanded basic framework treatment in prone, supine & side positions
  • learning to connect with Ki (energy), in order to give a safe, powerful and relaxing treatment
  • professional development including relevant anatomy & physiology*, body alignment & posture, communication skills

Through giving and receiving Shiatsu you will develop and expand your awareness of Shiatsu as a form of personal development, as well as a therapy to help other people.

On successful completion of all classes and assessments you will receive a Certificate in Acupressure for Health and Wellbeing. This professional certificate allows you to practice Acupressure and to take out professional insurance. Please note that the basic framework treatment and Acupressure points learnt do not constitute full Shiatsu practitioner standard; this requires three years of study as per National Occupational Standards and Shiatsu Society requirements.

*the anatomy, physiology & pathology course offered is in an online format and run by The Shiatsu College network. The Holistic Anatomy modules are taken in 1st year as part of our Certificate in Acupressure for Health & Wellbeing; the physiology modules are spread over 2nd and 3rd years of the Shiatsu Diploma allowing you to work through this L3 course in your own time and enabling GSS to integrate relevant A&P into classes at more advanced levels.

We encourage you to become a member of the Shiatsu Society (Student Beginner) as soon as you register for the Five Elements course if you have not already done so. Membership brings you into the wider Shiatsu community and provides support for you during your time studying Shiatsu. Please see Shiatsu Society page (link to GSS website page).



TCM 5 elements WOOD chart
Shiatsu teacher demonstrating on student
TCM 5 element chart
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