In 2006, a systematic review of studies that looked at the efficacy and effectiveness of shiatsu and acupressure was carried out by Thames Valley University. In 2010, this review was updated by the same researchers. The executive summary provides a useful starting point to explore the 250+ page review. Of great benefit to understanding how and why the review was conducted is the preface written by senior shiatsu practitioner Carola Beresford-Cooke. A clear summary of the review has also been compiled by a former sub-committee member, Hannah Mackay, in the Autumn 2011 edition of the Shiatsu Society Journal, Issue 119.
Although many potentially relevant studies were found (1,714), only a small number related to shiatsu itself and the remaining included studies were on acupressure. Findings from the shiatsu studies showed ‘promising’ evidence for musculoskeletal and psychological problems, and strong evidence was found for a range of specific symptoms treated using acupressure.
The tables of results in the very complete appendices show what evidence there is for treating a condition and how that evidence was judged for quality. For those readers less familiar with research methods, and study quality in particular, the preface covers the pros and cons of systematic reviews in general, and pertinent issues for this review.
Text from the website of the Shiatsu Society (UK)