The effects of shiatsu on lower back pain

J Holist Nurs. 2001 Mar;19(1):57-70. doi: 10.1177/089801010101900106.


Shiatsu, a specific type of massage, was used as an intervention in this study of 66 individuals complaining of lower back pain. Each individual was measured on state/trait anxiety and pain level before and after four shiatsu treatments. Each subject was then called 2 days following each treatment and asked to quantify the level of pain. Both pain and anxiety decreased significantly over time. Extraneous variables such as gender, age, gender of therapist, length of history with lower back pain, and medications taken for lower back pain did not alter the significant results. These subjects would recommend shiatsu massage for others suffering from lower back pain and indicated the treatments decreased the major inconveniences they experienced with their lower back pain.

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Female
  • Holistic Nursing / methods
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / psychology
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome