How to find a qualified Zen Shiatsu or Asian Bodywork practitioner?
In order to properly practice Zen Shiatsu and acupressure, hundreds of hours are put into specialized training in these techniques as well as in the theory of Chinese medicine and should be accompanied by documentation of competency, (diploma and/or licensure).
There are several national bodies for licensure for bodywork therapists. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is the national credentialing body for Asian Bodywork Therapy, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology. Practitioners in Asian Bodywork Therapy must complete an approved course of study consisting of at least 500 hours of training in bodywork technique, the theory of Chinese medicine, modern Western anatomy and physiology, and clinical experience, and must then pass a rigorous certification exam. Other credentialing exams include the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam, MBLEx, National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, NCETMB, National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage, NCETM, and The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, FSMTB.
The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA) is the premiere professional organization for Asian Bodywork Therapists. AOBTA Certified Practitioners must graduate from an approved program with requirements similar to those of the NCCAOM. More information and a practitioner directory can be found at the AOBTA website, www.aobta.org. I feel this organization is the standard to credentialing your practitioner.
Many of the techniques used by Zen Shiatsu practitioners are used by licensed massage therapists and because of this many Zen Shiatsu practitioners in Illinois choose to also get their massage license, even though it is not required.