Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.


This section should be read in conjunction with the entry on Health: Therapies (General).

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a Japanese massage. Practitioners believe the therapy can be used to stimulate the body’s healing ability by applying pressure to points across the body.

What types of claim are likely to be acceptable?

Claims that the massage can help with relaxation, improve mood, aid sleep and relieve tension are likely to be acceptable

What types of claim are likely to be a problem?

Claims that go beyond those relating to improving a sense of well-being and aiding relaxation are likely to be a problem without a robust body of clinical evidence (Rule 12.1). 

What about reference to conditions for which medical supervision should be sought?

Claims to offer treatment on conditions for which medical supervision should be sought are likely to be considered to discourage essential treatment unless that treatment is carried out under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional (12.2).

Claims to treat serious mental or psychological conditions are likely to be considered claims to treat serious medical conditions and practitioners should not refer to the treatment of these conditions unless that treatment is to be carried out by a suitably qualified health professional.

See ‘Therapies: Massage and Body Work’.

Guidance on Health Therapies and Evidence QA (Sept 2011)

Updated 23 May 2018


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