FAQ's & Tips


As a qualified Shiatsu therapist for athletes, I can offer a service that aims to improve the quality and function of movement and mobility for the rider as well.

The relationship between the rider and horse is a strong one and any physical or psychological issues can affect both the rider and the horse, simultaneously. For a “couple” to be successful, both the rider and horse must be balanced and work as a team. 

In such cases it is extremely beneficial to work on both the rider and the horse.
Shiatsu can improve circulation of blood and lymph, relieve tension in the soft tissues (muscular tension), treat back and joint pain, relieve cervical syndrome and neck stiffness, reduce headaches, migraines and fatigue. Also, it can promote and enhance vitality, flexibility and focus.

Equine Shiatsu can have a positive effect on any horse including those used from hacking right through to racing, eventing, show jumping and dressage.

All horses benefit from being pain free and having supple, symmetrical muscles and gait. Therefore, it is a good practice to book in for a routine Shiatsu or TECAR treatment even if your horse has no specific injury or issues presenting. Routine checks enable early detection of issues and allow your animal to perform happily and to its optimum ability.

Good to know:

Horses are similar to humans in that they compensate for pain by adapting their posture and gait. As an owner or rider, it is important to recognize any behavioral changes which may be the horse’s way of communicating that they are in discomfort, such as:

  • Muscular discomfort of pain: disunited canter, unable to achieve the correct canter lead, rushing, poor transitions, struggling to work in an outline or lack of bend, difficulty in collection, lack of impulsion
  • Back discomfort or pain: refusing jumps, bucking, rearing, napping, sensitivity during brushing, saddling, menstrual pain for mares, headshaking
  • Change in temperament: Muscular pain, joint pain, stress, anxiety
  • Lameness: muscular pain the body, joint pain, arthritis
  • Ataxia: Loss of muscle, uneven muscular development, back pain or sacroiliac pain, lack of coordination, muscle twitching, loss of appetite, depression
  • Laminitis:  shoulder and neck pain, lameness, stress, anxiety, hoof pain



Both Shiatsu and TECAR therapies can be used to prepare and maintain dogs that compete for fun or professionally in sports and other activities.

Good to know:

Dogs (athletes and non-athletes) also compensate for pain by adapting their posture and gait. As an owner, it is important to recognize any behavioral changes through which your dog communicates their discomfort.

Here are some subtle ways dogs show they are in muscular pain:

  • General Stiffness: pain on rising or sitting, stiff when they first get out of bed.
  • Posture change:  standing with a roached or arched back, low neck/tail carriage, can’t stand squarely any more
  • Gait change: the dog may be limping, throwing a leg or dipping a shoulder, crabbing, elbow out stiffness
  • Change in Behaviors: grumpiness, aggressiveness, doesn’t want to play, or knocked during play, act aggressive to ward off dogs, not being their usual self
  • Coat Flicks: When a muscle is injured and unable to perform correctly, it creates a “pull” on the skin above it. If the muscle is very tight, this may inhibit blood flow to the skin cause poor circulation so the coat can often become dry and course in a certain area of the dog’s body.
  • Dislike to Being Groomed: If the dog is suffering from my fascial pain, then this tugging will aggravate that condition, as tissue below the skin is tightened and jammed.
  • Back pain:  reluctant to participate in normal activities, such as jumping on or off furniture, going up and down stairs, playing with housemates, and going for walks. They may walk gingerly, like they are walking on eggshells, or with a wobbly or “drunken” gait, especially in the hind limbs. Furthermore dogs with back pain sometimes stand with a hunched posture or may even have a tense abdomen.
  • Neck pain:  Dogs with neck pain are often reluctant to lift their heads fully and may walk with low head carriage. Tremors or excessive shivering (especially when it is not cold) can also be a sign of pain.
  • Joint pain: Limping and stiffness, slipping while moving, fluctuation of appetite, irritable without any reason, muscular atrophy, lethargy, Attending to the affected area (licking,  chewing and even biting in order to reduce the irritation), depression
Shiatsu is a safe therapy without actual side effects. Because each body is different and responds to treatment in a variety of ways, some mild reactions such as headaches, muscle stiffness and fatigue may occur after treatment, as the body eliminates stress. These symptoms usually go away within a few hours to a day and are followed by sensations of wellness, comfort and freedom of movement. In case of pregnancy or a serious underlying health issue (diabetes, stroke or cardiovascular accident, etc) please consult your doctor before proceeding with a Shiatsu treatment. Please note that you shouldn’t receive Shiatsu if you have: Fever, an infectious skin disease or open wounds, bone fracture, blood clots, varicose veins or immediately after any surgery.
TECAR is a therapy without side effects. Some patients may experience superficial sense of burns, since the therapy creates heat. Although it is a treatment available to everyone some patients are unsuitable, such as patients that have a pacemaker or who have worn electronic medical systems, or pregnant women, patients with metal implants or a serious underlying disease. Please consult your doctor before proceeding with TECAR treatment.
The duration of a full treatment usually lasts up to 60 minutes.
The duration of the treatment can last from 15 -60 minutes depending on the part of the body or joint that will need to be worked on.
Shiatsu Therapy usually doesn’t hurt. I apply pressure depending on the patient’s needs: People: In some cases, the pressure points stimulated during shiatsu may feel tender; often describe this as “good pain”. Animals: Some areas might need more pressure, and the more sensitive areas need mild pressure. I always observe the animal’s reaction to pain, adjusting pressure accordingly.
TECAR Therapy usually doesn’t hurt. However, some people may have the feeling of mild electrical shocks depending on how sensitive their skin is to heat. For this reason, the heat percentage should be adjusted depending on the area that the diathermy is applied. For example, to a large muscular surface (the back) or a joint, which are more sensitive.
  • Shiatsu: Ideally, the horse should be treated 3 hours after riding and have a box rest for that day. The next day the horse can be trained on a light program and the day after can go back to their daily training routine or program.
  • TECAR: The horse can be treated before and after intensive training and close competitive engagements. Furthermore, TECAR can be also used for prevention and muscle recovery, post -training.
Usually, a horse gets benefits even from the first treatment. An average of 3-5 treatments, each conducted every 10 -15 days, will be more beneficial for the horse, long-term. The ‘ideal’ number of treatments varies, depending on the horse’s condition, needs and response to the treatment.
  • Shiatsu: It depends on the animal’s problem and response to the treatment. It can be from twice a week up to once per month
  • TECAR: 1-10 treatments, depending on the severity of the problem and the animal’s response to the treatment. Always decided upon consultation with the veterinarian.
  • Shiatsu: If the horse has severe issues that need to be resolved, then it is advised to be treated once a week until the issue is improved or resolved. For maintaining a sports horse in good condition, treating them twice a month will be keeping them in good shape.
  • TECAR: If the horse has severe issues that need to be resolved, it is better to have consecutive treatments with a gap of 2 days in between each treatment. The number of treatments will be recommended by the veterinarian. For maintaining a horse in good condition, I would suggest treatments from once per week up to twice per month, depending on the horse’s response to the treatment.
Usually, the owner, rider or trainer detects an improvement in their animal’s condition immediately after the first treatment. There were cases that the owner, rider or trainer saw an improvement after the 2nd or 3rd treatment.
After a therapeutical Shiatsu or TECAR treatment, the patient should drink a lot of water. After a Shiatsu treatment the patient should rest and have a more relaxed day. The following day, they can continue their daily training or work routine. If a TECAR treatment is performed to support muscle warm up, then a horse or dog can be treated before intensive training or competitive engagements.
The On-Site Shiatsu or Seated Shiatsu is a short (20’) or long (50’) session, where the patient or rider sits on an ergonomically designed massage chair, on site. The patient or rider receives a treatment using pressure techniques and stretching, targeting areas of the body such as the head, neck, arms, upper and lower back and legs.
The most common musculoskeletal problems that riders experience are head, neck, shoulder, back, hip, knee and calf pain. Shiatsu therapy can be beneficial for riders because it stimulates circulation, improves joint mobility, releases deep tension and supports the nervous and hormonal system of the rider.
After a Shiatsu session you will likely feel loose and invigorated, because Shiatsu intends to increase circulation, detoxify your body, reduce blood pressure, and relieve pain from tense muscles. There were cases that people felt much more tonified after their first treatment.
Physiotherapy is a Western science-based healthcare profession that promotes recovery in illness, injury or disability by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise, rather than by drugs or surgery. Shiatsu is a holistic therapy that addresses both the physical and emotional issues, and is based on the principles of Chinese Eastern traditional medicine and Acupuncture. Its purpose is to alleviate stress, relef muscular tension and prevent illness, helping to maintain health and wellbeing. Shiatsu can work complementary to Physiotherapy.