Zen Shiatsu is performed while the recipient lies on a futon on the floor, allowing the practitioner access from all sides and the ability to apply pressure using body weight. Zen Shiatsu is administered using hands, thumbs, palms, elbows and knees.
Abdominal palpation is the primary technique used for diagnosis and is primarily aimed at determining the energetic condition for each meridian. The professional Zen Shiatsu therapist is trained to feel the body‘s condition, particularly the circulation, using his/her hands in order to find the areas of imbalance in the system/body. To attain the proper combination of pressure and movement along the meridian, the practitioner may move frequently around the recipients body and may even move the recipient such as lifting the head, arms or legs. The actions may include turning or bending the recipient‘s body or limbs in order to access to essential points and stretching the meridians.