Dutch School for Classical Shiatsu 

 Dutch School for  Classical Shiatsu    

  Institute for Oriental Therapy studies 

The four-year accredited Shiatsu therapist diploma course 
starts twice a year. The course that begins in springtime is referred to as the A-course. During the summer there is a recess.
The course that begin in the fall is referred to as the B-course.
Level 4  with Kawada sensei starts once a year in August. Get the detailed PDF here in English.

Diploma course times are from 10.00 to approximately 17.30 and begin with Do-In. On Monday evenings, the school is open for practicing by students of all levels and is without costs. The evenings are organised by the school.

Download the full course programme here


The curriculum of Classical Shiatsu Therapy consists of a four year higher vocational training that aims to educate students to practice the profession of Shiatsu therapist. A fully fledged Shiatsu therapist meets the requirements formulated in the text describing the Professional competences . These competences are developed in the course of four years, following an intensive curriculum consisting of both theoretical insights and practical applications. (sse below).

Studying Shiatsu at the NSKS entails more than mastering the professional competences. Personal development and growth are considered just as important. The NSKS values and encourages the development and refinement of one's perceptive abilities, intuition and sensitivity. The ability to tune into the patient, and connect with the other on a deep intuitive level in order to get at the core of the problem, is what the NSKS seeks to develop in students. 

Contents of the Education

The education is divided into four years, with each year six weekends of main classes, plus specialising seminars. All classes are taught by experienced and certified teachers. In addition, experienced assistants attend each class and seminar. Below you will find a brief description of the four years, and an overview of the seminars and self-study that are also part of the vocational training, with links to more elaborate descriptions. 

  • Level 1
    In the first year the foundation is laid. All the basic techniques of Shiatsu and Do-In are taught. Students will become familiar with concepts such as yin/yang, kyo and jitsu. All katas (Japanese term for pattern or behaviour sequence) and postures are practiced and acquired.  
  • Level 2
    Level 2 consists of the course and function of the 12 principal meridians and the principles of the five transformations. The locations and effects of the points are taught and finding them is practiced. 
  • Level 3
    Level 3 is mostly concerned with Hara (abdominal) and back diagnosis, as well as Oriental techniques of manipulation.  
  • Level 4                                                                                                               
    Level 4 is taught by the Japanese sensei Y. Kawada. The 8 Curious Vessels, the so-called wonder meridians, are studied. 

Structure of the 4 year education

Integrated educational programme
The vocational education is built up in an integrated manner. Each of the four years has its own programme, and each year takes you one level deeper. The main focus is on the practical and theoretical aspects of Shiatsu. In addition, attention is given to psychology, philosophy, personal development, communicative skills, and the practical aspects of the profession, such as running your own practice.

Modular education system
The N.S.K.S. has chosen a modular education system, because it enables students to study at their own pace. For instance, in four years time, students are expected to follow at least 20 diagnosis seminars (or four diagnosis weekends). It is up to the students to decide when to do this. The same goes for the required 300 hours of practice. In addition, the modular structure enables investing into just parts of the education, for personal purposes or postgraduate requirements. This way, everyone can benefit from the healing effects of Shiatsu and Do-In and from the insights the Oriental wisdom has to offer.

Compulsory modules 
As mentioned before, a number of seminars and hours of self-study are compulsory for students to become a qualified Shiatsu therapist:

  • Four years of study; 24 weekends for main classes
  • Four exams
  • A minimum of 20 Oriental diagnosis seminars (or four weekends)
  • Seminar macrobiotic cooking according to the five elements
  • Moxaseminar
  • Transformational seminar in Lunteren
  • Meridian seminar
  • 300 hours of practice and reports thereof
  • Self-study (see below)
  • Medical basic knowledge (higher vocational level).

An important and indispensable part of the education consists of self-study of the theory and techniques that are taught in the school. Students should invest four hours a week, on average. The N.S.K.S. recommends students to practice from the beginning of the education, both on clients and on each other. The school also organises practice weekends and every Monday evening the school is open for practicing.

The Monday evenings are organised by the School and each season begins directly after the Open Day.

Medical basic knowledge 

Students graduating from the four levels of the school will obtain a certificate of the school. Obtaining the certificate for medical basic knowledge (from an accredited organization), together with all the compulsory modules mentioned above are necessary to qualify for the full-fledged diploma of Shiatsu Therapy. This diploma will enable recognition by a professional organization, such as the ones listed on the page professional associations. This in turn will enlarge the chance of future patients getting coverage for your consultations from their health insurances.  

Admittance policy

To enter level 1 of the education no specific admittance requirements are set. Perseverance and enthusiasm are sufficient. In case of doubt an interview may be done to check if a student can participate. Students from other Shiatsu institutes are asked to show diplomas and or certificates. More information can be found in the school's rules and regulations, on the LINKS page 

Professional competences


The NSKS employs a number of professional competences. Following the acquisition of the knowledge, insights, methods, and skills taught in the education, the graduated Shiatsu therapist will have the following skills:

1. Working with patients

The Shiatsu therapist is capable of:

  • Reaching a diagnosis independently regarding disturbances of a functional, organic,
          energetic and mental nature.
  • Formulating and executing a plan for treatment based on the diagnosis.
  • Giving a focused Shiatsu treatment.
  • Giving advice, education and insight into healthy lifestyles (food, behaviour, attitude) from
          the perspective of Oriental medicine.
  • Guiding and supporting the patient emotionally and mentally in following up on the advice
          and changed insights and attitudes.
  • Referring the patient to other professionals if necessary.

    2. Working with other professionals in health care
    The Shiatsu therapist is capable of:

  • Communicating with other professionals in health care in an appropriate and
          understandable way. 
  • Translating Eastern to Western ideas, and vice versa, and integrating both perspectives.

    Professionalism and development of profession
    The Shiatsu therapist is capable of:

  • Developing professionally, acquiring professional competences actively and applying these.
  • Behaving appropriately and adequately in communication and interaction.
  • Acting within the rules and regulations of law.
  • Contributing to the development and the quality of the profession. 

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