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Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Four groups

Why do some people have the power to cherry-pick what gets published in wikipedia?[edit]

I would like an explanation of why my comment "This doesn't mean that shiatsu doesn't work in controlling symptoms or side effects, simply that it has not yet been tested properly." which comes from exactly the same source and the same article - even the same paragraph - as the comment that has been left on the article "there is no scientific evidence to prove that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer." by Alexbrn. He certainly doesn't give any explanations as to why he has removed it, nor why the words he has cherry-picked are more important that the ones I have added. [1] Do I have to ask Alexbrn on his talk page? Does he have the right to choose what parts of an article are inserted and which are not? Is this typical of wikipedia? Some people have more power than others? I'd be interested in knowing. Is it something the public are aware of? Johntosco (talk) 18:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

The source says there is "no scientific evidence to support the use of shiatsu ..."; so implying otherwise by quoting just the subsequent sentence in isolation is cherry-picking and misleading. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 19:05, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

The source - as I've explained before - also says: "This doesn't mean that shiatsu doesn't work in controlling symptoms or side effects, simply that it has not yet been tested properly." I believe cherry-picking means that you only take the bits that are convenient for you, which is what you have done by erasing what I have added. But please correct me if I'm wrong and cherry-picking means something else. I wasn't implying anything as you say, I was quoting verbatim. Why adding that bit is misleading? Because you say so? Because it doesn't lead people to think what you want? No explanation needed? I am new to wikipedia so I don't know how to declare a conflict of interest as you do. Let's see how impartial you are and explain it to me. Johntosco (talk) 19:36, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

It's a question of comprehension. Looking at the passage on CRUK's site they say on the topic of research:
  1. "There is no scientific evidence to prove that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer". This what we quote, and it's quite straightforward. Nobody is going to disagree with this (except the most blatant of quacks).
  2. Then, on the topic of symptoms control they say: "Also, a lack of high quality research so far means there is currently no scientific evidence to support the use of shiatsu for controlling cancer symptoms. This doesn't mean that shiatsu doesn't work in controlling symptoms or side effects, simply that it has not yet been tested properly." This is statement in two parts, which I have clarified by putting in two colours. You have just "picked" the red part, leaving the green part unstated: that's cherry-picking and not neutral. Now, we could say both parts ... but since they cancel-out into a default "might work, might not; we don't know" it's best we say nothing and save space. Another guideline which is helpful here is WP:FRINGE. Since shiatsu is a load of nonsense we need to be very careful not to suggest/imply it might be effective for treatment, when reliable sources say no such thing. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 19:48, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, yes. You are right. However, you are cherry-picking much more since the article also says: "Some people with cancer use shiatsu to help control symptoms and side effects such as poor appetite, sleep problems, pain, and low mood. They say that it helps them to cope better with their cancer and its treatment. After a shiatsu treatment people feel very relaxed and have higher energy levels.",etc. Just picking the bits about not controlling cancer symptoms is hardly neutral. And why the red bit cancels out the blue bit? Add both if you wish to do so. In my opinion it is quite the contrary, if you add the one I added, or both, it still highlights the fact that due to the lack of trials we don't know whether shiatsu is efficient or not. But for some reason - logical no doubt - you refuse to add a clarification. You prefer to state only one side of the equation. Any particular reason? (talk) 20:10, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

A reading of the source clearly shows that quoting the sentence Johntosco wishes to include without the preceding sentence is misleading. It is also speculative (see WP:SPECULATION). Wikipedia is encyclopedic (WP:NOT) the statement that something is not dis-proven is not significant information. In addition the purported mechanism of action and theory which Shiatsu is based on are not regarded by the scientific or medical community as compatible with modern biomedical science. Please see the Arbitration Committee notice at the top of this page. Discussion of whether Shiatsu does or does not work in controlling symptoms or side effects needs to be based on evidence not the lack there of. That some people use Shiatsu is not evidence it is anecdote. Articles on supposed medical treatments need to be based on solid evidence (see WP:MEDRS).
Answers to your general questions regarding editing on wikipedia (WP) can be answered by reading the policies and guidelines. I have placed a welcome message on your talk page with links to them. You have chosen the appropriate venue to discuss the editing of this article. There are also other pages on WP where the discussion of editing WP is carried on vigorously. - - MrBill3 (talk) 20:16, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
If you omit sentence No. 2 (the green one), it makes it looks like sentence No. 3 (the red one) is qualifying sentence No. 1 ... which would be a bad misrepresentation of the source indeed (it's what you achieved in your edit, sad to say). In my editorial judgement including text which brings shiatsu into the nearly infinite set of "unproven things" serves no encyclopedic purpose (though I suppose we could then go on to source how people selling an unproven therapy are committing health fraud). There is no other "side" of the equation here; there is, quite simply, no evidence of effectiveness. We need to take care not to imply otherwise. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:23, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Mr Bill3 and Alexbrn. I've already said that I didn't have ANY problems with adding the first sentence but you're harping on about it. Have you ACTUALLY read what I've said? My thinking is consistent with scientific thought. When there are not enough trials for something then scientists do not reach any conclusions. I believe the present wording in wikipedia is misleading because it seems as if shiatsu has been tried and its efficacy not proven, which is completely wrong. That's why I was adding a CLARIFICATION of a particular point. I'll repeat - in case it hasn't been understood - that I do not have any problems adding the first sentence. What I have problems with is with not adding anything. The article seems to reach a conclusion without explaining that that particular conclusion is due to the lack of trials and not to inconclusive or negative trials. Please! I'm not asking, not have I asked to say that it's been proven with anecdotes as MrBill3 is accusing me of. That was only an example of cherry-picking. The point is that without a clarification -BOTH SENTENCES PLEASE, I HAVE NO PROBLEMS - it gives the wrong idea. Johntosco (talk) 21:02, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

As I wrote, "In my editorial judgement including text which brings shiatsu into the nearly infinite set of "unproven things" serves no encyclopedic purpose". Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:49, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Alexbrn. Really? So your editorial judgement refuses to include the nearly infinite set of "unproven things", but still insists on saying: "there is no scientific evidence to prove that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer." I would have thought that was a statement which brought shiatsu into the nearly infinite set of "unproven things". Why don't you delete it? Because it serves your purpose? Because the "nearly infinite set of "unproven things"" should not be included when it is not convenient for you? Johntosco (talk) 21:02, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

We follow the source. Unlike for the case of "symptoms control" CRUK do not say that the ineffectiveness of shiatsu for treating disease is because it hasn't been tested; they state that as an unqualified conclusion. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 21:05, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

You must truly think I don't know how to read. The source says EXACTLY: "a lack of high quality research so far means there is currently no scientific evidence to support the use of shiatsu for controlling cancer symptoms. This doesn't mean that shiatsu doesn't work in controlling symptoms or side effects, simply that it has not yet been tested properly" What does "it has not yet been tested properly" mean, according to you? Ah, what is that you say in your last post? That the source doesn't say it is because it hasn't been tested. Johntosco (talk) 21:11, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes, your comprehension is at fault. You are mixing up CRUK's statement about treating disease (one unqualified sentence) with the statement about mitigating symptoms (two sentences, one qualifying the other). It's a crucial distinction. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 21:21, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

As I said, please do not take me for an idiot. No, I'm not mixing anything. Those sentences are mixed in the SOURCE, which, according to you, is what wikipedia follows - when it is convenient for you I should add. From the beginning, I've been pointing out the fact that the source says that there is a lack of trials - something that curiously you deny in your 21:05 post - and that's why we don't know whether it is efficacious or not. But don't worry, I know you are bent on leaving a sentence that is misleading, and makes people think that those trials existed and were either inconclusive or proved shiatsu was inefficacious. That's what you want to say, isn't it? That's why you deleted my sentence and refuse to add it (even with the previous one, as I've suggested and you've refused) which would clarify this point. No, we don't want people to know the truth, do we? Whatever next? Johntosco (talk) 21:32, 26 October 2013 (UTC)


Reviewing this, I think I was wrong (and have changed my mind) in saying that something should not be mentioned because it is in the "set of unproven things", since sometimes that very lack of evidence can be a notable, significant factor. Rather it is (characterizing this as) the set of things which might be proved which is problematic. As User:MrBill3 wisely mentions above, this brings speculation to the table in a potentially non-encyclopedic way. Anyway, I have added some new material (with new sources) here which clarifies the point that shiatsu is considered unproven and ineffective. I think we're looking good now. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 09:44, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

The article on shiatsu as it now stands is a travesty; it is inaccurate and biased. People who have no knowledge of the subject should not be allowed to meddle in subjects in which they have no experience. The "Source" ("Trick or Treatment" Alternative Medicine on Trial) quoted upon which shiatsu is tried and condemned, devotes six very short paragraphs to the condemnation, the last two of which I quote verbatim here: "There are virtually no clinical trials of shiatsu, but, there is no reason to think that it is any more effective than a conventional massage. Shiatsu massage therefore seems to be a waste of effort and expense when compared to conventional massage." - Hardly scientific, and seems rather harshly prejudiced. The final paragraph, and I quote: "Due to the high forces applied during treatment, injuries can occur. These range from bruises to bone fracture in the elderly with advanced osteoporosis. There are also reports of retinal artery embolism associated with shiatsu massage applied to the neck and head." - This is alarmist and misleading and, I would venture wholly unscientific. {principally directed towards Users: Alexbrn, Bobraynor, MrBill}

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nibor Tnarg (talkcontribs) 18:35, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

First Trick or Treatment is a published book. It meets RS on basic standards. Second the authors are considered well published experts. Third if you object to the source you can take it to the reliable sources noticeboard.
As for the content of the source, WP relies on what the source says. If you find other sources that say something different it may be included in the article for balance, an editors opinion on a subject or source are irrelevant. - - MrBill3 (talk) 09:33, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Are the authors considered well published experts on Shiatsu? No. Complementary medicine, yes. Considering the breadth of their work and the small section regarding Shiatsu, I would say their understanding of it is quite limited.Schenks (talk) 15:17, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Alexbrn has undone my contribution saying that - what I believe to be original research - it is sourced content, but has not provided any evidence. I think this is unacceptable. Johntosco (talk) 15:21, 4 December 2013 (UTC) Johntosco (talk) 15:23, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

McSly has undone my contribution without evidence. Saying that the source provided is explicit does not change the fact that it is (unreferenced) original research. Johntosco (talk) 16:26, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Alexbrn has added original research citations based on what he has seen on a website. The contents of the website for that particular subject and day have not been confirmed by any independent or third source, and that is why I have deleted them. Johntosco (talk) 19:03, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Ernst is an altmed expert (perhaps the world's foremost expert) who has written on this topic, so fine to cite (in line with other RS). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 19:12, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Ernst might be a reliable source, but Alexbrn's comments are based on original research. Johntosco (talk) 19:16, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Alexbrn has undone my last edit by saying that Ernst is a professor of complementary medicine. 1) This does not change the fact that his comments are based on original research. 2) I don't understand why he hasn't replied on the talk page instead of undoing my edits. Johntosco (talk) 19:21, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia editors are prohibited from including their own original research, not from including the original research of acknowledged authorities -- though in this instance Ernst comments are based on an evidence review, so it's actually very un-original; rather it's a lay interpretation of an academic review: ideal for our use. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 19:28, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Bobrayner has undone my contribution with a laconic "not even a proper comtrol group" which is absurd for two reasons. First, I said it was a pilot study that showed the POTENTIAL, not that it was proven, and second I have asked for opinions on the teahouse where I was told by two people that it was all right as long as it was based on reliable sources which it is.Johntosco (talk) 22:03, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Johntosco, you came to the Teahouse initially with a non-specific question and got a friendly general answer. As your questions continued and your behavior became clearer, your conduct was quite properly criticized at the Teahouse, a place where we try to keep criticism of new editors to an absolute minimum. In my opinion, your recent behavior shows signs of being disruptive and tendentious. I encourage you to commit to the neutral point of view, which is a core Wikipedia policy. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:28, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Alexbrn has undone my contribution claiming that "we don't use primary sources for medical claims" But, he is not using secondary sources because, as explained on the Teahouse, secondary sources are literature reviews or systematic reviews found in medical journals, specialist academic or professional books, and medical guidelines or position statements published by major health organizations. Not something he is doing. I also find amazing his undoing my contribution without trying to reason it first here.Johntosco (talk) 22:15, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

The onus is on YOU to gain consensus for YOUR proposed change; and we don't use primary sources for medical content, so I'm not seeing consensus for it being achieved. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 22:18, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Alexbrn. Thank you for pointing out that you don't have to prove anything but I do. 1)You say: "we don't use primary sources for medical content" but I read: Edits that rely on primary sources should only describe the conclusions of the source,(which is exactly what I have done) and should describe these findings clearly so the edit can be checked by editors with no specialist knowledge." Where have I not followed guidelines? 2) "A secondary source... includes literature reviews or systematic reviews found in medical journals, specialist academic or professional books, and medical guidelines or position statements published by major health organizations." You are not using any secondary source as far as I can see. Can you please - if you don't mind - explain how your source is secondary?Johntosco (talk) 23:04, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

I have undone a part of the article because it was based on original research.Johntosco (talk) 23:24, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

User:Johntosco I know you are frustrated but with this edit you engaged in what we call "disruptive editing" -- see the "do not" sections here: Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. Disruptive editing will get you blocked. You are new - if you can find a way to really discuss more - to listen more as well as say what you want - it will go better for everybody. Jytdog (talk) 22:42, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

14:16, 20 February 2014 (UTC)James Adler. I'm not editing, just making a comment. This is not an genuine article; it is nothing but an attack on shiatsu. It is not written in an encyclopedia style but takes the form of an assault. I get shiatsu at a major university health services center, that offers it. This piece is entirely one-sided, does not even pretend to pretend not to be, and it nothing but a polemical attack. And that's all it is. It needs a fundamental revision. Many thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


No sources are cited on the picture's page. The picture is too large, while the writing is too small to make anything out. Second Quantization (talk) 12:05, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Major Tsubos (pressure sensitive points) on the Meridian Lines (channels of energy that run through the body) central to the practice of Shiatsu.

Thank you for useful feedback about the image. I have modified it taking your comments into consideration and hoping to receive approval for adding this visual to the article. I am the author of the illustration, therefore, the source for the picture is listed as "own work". In case you require further information about the creation of image, the reference to the text I used to discover the placement of Tsubos (pressure points) is "Do-it-Yorself" Shiatsu by Ohashi. [2] I strongly believe that adding this visual to the article will improve it considering the article does not have any visuals at the moment and location of pressure points is central to practise of Shiatsu. Polina ka (talk) 16:36, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

I proposed changing the text to "Shiatsu practitioners believe that points they name Major Tsubos are on meridian lines" so as not to imply existence. Do others have any thoughts on the image? Second Quantization (talk) 18:28, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

i need to look up the policy on images. I have some discomfort with Polina's use of "discovered" and what that means about the image potentially being OR. (i don't know policies around images and if OR applies) I have a lot of discomfort in that the image appears to be a very straight derivative work of figures in the book cited by Polina (it appears to me that Polina copied meridians and points depicted on a male figure in the book, onto a female figure). Under copyright law you cannot make derivative works without the copyright holder's permission. Jytdog (talk) 20:02, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
If it is as you describe it should be filed for deletion immediately as a derivative work. I am only in favour of an image under the maxim of "Pictures are nice and it bunches up the text a bit making it easier to read" which is not supported by policy, Second Quantization (talk) 23:22, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
laughing. Jytdog (talk) 23:53, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

I am not adding the image under the motto of "Let's add more pictures just because". As I said before the location of these pressure points is central to the practise. As for calling this "derivative work". I have consulted two other resources "Shiatsu" by Corinna Somma and "The Foundations of Shiatsu" by Chris Jarmey and other diagrams I could find. I've created the figure illustration myself and then plotted the points on it consulting with all the different resources including the ones mentioned above. If you call this derivative work than every single scientific diagram is derivative work considering it depicts essentially the same thing with all the organs in the same places. Polina ka (talk) 01:19, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

I appreciate that you want to improve the article! I put in a request for feedback on whether we can use, from the folks who know, here. Jytdog (talk) 02:44, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you! Polina ka (talk) 04:04, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

we got some feedback there. looks like it is good to go. you should cite the sources you used. Jytdog (talk) 19:10, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Great! I just updated the image page with the citations of all the sources I used so I'll put up the image right now. Polina ka (talk) 21:08, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Great that you added an image, however these are Acupuncture meridians, not Masunaga based meridians used in meridian based Shiatsu. Also original Shiatsu as developed by Tokujiro Namikoshi does not acknowledge the meridians. That should be stated.Schenks (talk) 15:21, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

biased and inaccurate[edit]

First of all I want to say that this Wikipedia page is slander for Shiatsu Therapy, it omits important information on the practice and users constantly revert changes and additions made by others. This page is a poor representation of Shiatsu Therapy.

It is very clear that this article is written by people with barely any understanding or experience with the practice and the article has an overall negative, biased tone.

(**Shiatsu practitioners believe these are major Tsubos onMeridian Lines**)

  • Namikoshi Shiatsu (the standard original form does not acknowledge meridian lines or energy in general. It is entirely based points based on western anatomy and neurology. Masunaga Style and Tao Shiatsu acknowledge the meridians, however the flow of the meridians are different from conventional acupuncture. This image is of the chinese acupuncture point system. Inaccurate. There should be an image of the Namikoshi points describing their foundation in western science, and another image properly depicting the Masunaga meridian charts.

Shiatsu (Kanji: 指圧 Hiragana: しあつ) in Japanese means "finger pressure"; it is a type of alternative medicine consisting of finger and palm pressure, stretches, (**and other massage techniques.**)

  • Shiatsu does not employ "massage techniques"

(**Shiatsu is an implausible therapy,[1] and there is no evidenceof its effectiveness.[2]**)

  • This comment is biased and uninformative. "Due to a lack of research amd funding, there is little evidence of it's effectiveness." That is a more appropriate and accurate statement.
  • [1] "trick or treatment" is a biased and from a book based on one person's opinion. This is not a credible source of information for Shiatsu.

(**Shiatsu practitioners promote it as a way to help people relax and cope with issues such as stress, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression.**)

  • Spa owners, schools and instructors also promote it for those purposes. "Shiatsu is promoted as a way..." is more appropriate.

Tokujiro Namikoshi (1905-2000) invented shiatsu and founded the first shiatsu college in 1940.[1](**Shiatsu draws on concepts from the field ofTraditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).[3][4]**)

  • Once again, the Namikoshi system is founded in western sciences and draws on no concepts from the field of TCM. The Masunaga lineage does.

(**A 2011 systematic review of shiatsu's effectiveness found that only a few studies had been carried out, and concluded that the available evidence "was of insufficient quantity and quality".[4]**)

  • actually, the conclusion of the source used states that: "Evidence is improving in quantity, quality and reporting, but more research is needed, particularly for Shiatsu, where evidence is poor. Acupressure may be beneficial for pain, nausea and vomiting and sleep."
  • This source also states that "Shiatsu incorporates acupressure" the wikipedia author seems to have twisted this statement in a negative light.

(**Commenting on this conclusion Edzard Ernst said: "what does that tell us about shiatsu? It clearly tells us that it is an unproven therapy".[5] Ernst has previously been a co-author of the Oxford Handbook of Complementary Medicine which had concluded that there was no convincing data available to suggest that shiatsu was effective for any condition.[6]**)

  • Why quote a man known as "the scourge of alternative medicine" on a wikipedia page about alternative medicine. Then dedicate a paragraph on Shiatsu's information page to describe his background? This is not relevant and certainly not credible information about shiatsu therapy.

(**According to Cancer Research UK, "there is no scientific evidence to prove that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer."[2]**)

  • This statement is from a source that promotes Shiatsu for cancer patients. The overall tone of the site is positive, but why is it twisted in such a way to discredit Shiatsu?

Schenks (talk) 15:57, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

So what are you suggesting? -Roxy the dog (resonate) 17:30, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Nevermind. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 17:39, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Biased presentation of information[edit]

I think we should use the full quotes from these sources of information. It seems that the informatiom from these sources have been manipulated to discredit Shiatsu. Full acvurate quotes should be used and it should not contain someone's opinion.

People look at the wikipedia page to find out information on the topic. There is no detailed history, nor is there a representation on the differing approaches to Shiatsu.

The use of ki, meridians, the foundation in chinese medicine is all common in offshoots of Shiatsu, however the original Namikoshi Shiatsu is based on sounds western medical principle and does not acknowledge Chinese principles of yin yang or meridians in its theoretical framework.

Every attempted edit is reverted, although I am not adding new info but rather elaborating on the quote already used. Please stop undoing my edits. I'm not giving up until this page is informative amd unbiased. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Schenks (talkcontribs) 17:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Removal of Ernst is inappropriate as he is a reliable source for alternative medicine articles, per WP:PARITY. Addition of material about acupressure is inappropriate here as this is not the place to discuss it. Yobol (talk) 18:21, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Ernst's comment is redundant, as the same point is made 5 times in the article. He is also clearly not an expert in Shiatsu. He briefly reviewed the available research. If he was an expert on the topic he would know that Shiatsu is not based on Meridians, Ki or Chinese Medicine. His point is factual, but reiterated 4 additional times in the article, and it is not necessary for his mention to dominate a quarter of the article's content. Addition of material about acupressure is appropriate as it is clearly stated in one of the existing sources that "Shiatsu incorporates acupressure." That's like saying additional material about ice skates is innappropriate in an article about hockey.Schenks (talk) 15:30, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Why is this page so biased and negative?[edit]

The tone of this page is so negative toward Shiatsu and people continue to edit war then threaten to ban those trying to correct the page. Why do you slander Shiatsu on wikipedia? Please give me an answer, who are you and why do you do this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Schenks (talkcontribs) 04:30, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Tone? Do you mean there is some slanted language? The content needs to mirror mainstream scientific/medical opinion according to Wikipedia's policy and guidance. Are there some good sources on shiatsu that could be used to expand the article? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:37, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the good sources idea Alexbrn. This is my first post on a talk page so hopefully I get this right. Here are some sources from a quick search on the topic.

  1. - a study involving 948 clients across 85 practitioners in 3 countries.
  2.;article=IJPN_7_5_234_239;format=pdf - benefits of Shiatsu in pallative care
  3. and - Articles about western basis for understanding how acupuncture may work. Interesting because the "Trick or Treatment" bases its arguments on the "fact" that "acupuncture points and meridians are not a reality" This may cast doubt on that assertion.

I also have concerns about the interpretation of the "Cancer Council UK" article on two counts. One being that cancer is not something Shiatsu claims to be able to treat - it's more about helping people manage the side affects. The other is the interpretation of the article. My own personal reading of the article is that it's basically neutral - saying there's no evidence it helps but people have reported that it helps with the side effects of cancer. Whereas on first reading the Wiki article I was convinced that the Cancer UK article was saying Shiatsu was definitively a rubbish treatment.

Finally I believe that one good indicator of mainstream scientific/medical opinion could be said to be health funds. Many health funds now cover Shiatsu treatment. So it is much more accepted than this page would seem to indicate.

Thoughts? Redowl09 (talk) 06:56, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Sources for biomedical information really need to be in line with the guidance at WP:MEDRS - so single studies/old papers are not suitable. We also need to be aware that WP:FRINGE applies here, so any information given about shiatsu must be contextualized by the mainstream medical/scientific view. If there was a good secondary source discussing how shiatsu is covered by health insurance, that could be worth including (though this doesn't necessarily imply anything about effectiveness). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:32, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

So many things to read up on. If I read you right item 3 journal articles are too old (2001). Item 2 is a single study so it adds to the picture but cannot be used as definitive evidence as there's an extra onus of proof where WP:FRINGE applies. Is that right? Unsure what the problem with item one is or whether I just referenced it badly. So referencing here if I can work out how. Andrew F. Long, (2008), "The Effectiveness of Shiatsu: Findings from a Cross-European, Prospective Observational Study" The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol 14, No 8, 2008, pp 921-930 Or is it that it's a single study?

I've been reading about the principle of NPOV and feel that the over-reliance on one expert - Edzard Ernst is unbalancing this article. We even have a comment from his blog about the review of shiatsu. I thought blogs weren't generally thought to be reputable sources. A review of Ernst's work was generally favourable but did also question "a lack of truthfulness and balance in the book." in terms of his overemphasis on the risks of complementary medicine and that "its determined exposure of the negatives of CAM neglects the positives". Jeremy Swayne, "Book review: Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial", British Journal of General Practice, Oct 1 2008, 58(555),738-9

Also the more comprehensive article "The evidence for Shiatsu: A systematic review of Shiatsu and acupressure" states that "This review identified very little Shiatsu research, suggesting well designed studies are needed. The evidence for acupressure and pain is generally consistent and positive" A lack of evidence not an indictment. At the same time it give evidence for acupressure which contradicts our other expert Ernst who as already noted bases some of his arguments on his assertion that "acupuncture points and meridians are not a reality". Sorry my referencing is a little light here as I think it's clear from above. If I should be referencing in the Talk page let me know and I'll work it out better. Trying to get my head around the codes for it.

Could we not work the article differently and have a more balanced page? We could start with a section from the perspective of shiatsu, a section on recognised benefits from both perspectives which would most likely be the overlap between Shiatsu and massage. Then cap off in the concluding section with how Shiatsu fits in with mainstream science. That way all views in the community get heard but it is contextualised in mainstream science.

Hope this all makes sense - it's taken ages to put together. I appreciate the time you're putting in too. Redowl09 (talk) 10:59, 5 April 2014 (UTC) Minor edit to last post try and get my references to work. Redowl09 (talk) 11:06, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

WP:FRINGE doesn't really raise the bar, so much as ask that any non-mainstream idea, if included at all on Wikipedia, is qualified by a statement of how it differs from the mainstream. So if we mentioned meridians, etc., it would be important to note these phenomena weren't recognized by science or mainstream medicine.
The Long source has a few problems. It's a bit old, and the journal itself is not a great source - even if it were a strong source, an observational study is not regarded as a strong source for biomedical claims.
Wikipedia doesn't aim for balance, in the sense of giving different views equivalent weight; instead it requires respected mainstream views to be prominent, sometimes even to the exclusion of contrary views. Ernst is a recognized expert in his field, and his work is published in many reliable sources. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 12:04, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification about [WP:FRINGE] and the source. It raises the issue of how you decide which journals are good. Tricky and I won't ask you to explain that as I've just spent quite a lot of time following some of those links and realise it's a complicated matter.
However, I'm still concerned about the balance of the article. Ernst is one man - does his one page write up really represent respected mainstream views? That ignores the review I quoted before and the growing number of people seeking complementary therapies. His objections to Shiatsu relate to whether or not the meridian system exists. Changes to the way this is viewed by the mainstream can be seen in the increasing popularity of acupuncture. And further noted in the willingness of health funds to provide rebates for Shiatsu and acupuncture. Government acceptance of acupuncture is shown by such pages as The Australian Bureau of Statistics also recognises growth in this area but I can only find statistics for 2006 -
I think part of the feeling of unbalance is that there's not much about Shiatsu other than five repetitions of the same argument which is that there's no scientific evidence to back up claims made by Shiatsu practitioners. The Cancer UK article has a more mainstream view where it talks about what Shiatsu is, the benefits perceived by clients and then firmly contextulises that into mainstream science by stating that there is currently no generally accepted evidence for these claims. It and the systemic study both also talk about the need for further studies in these matters.

Redowl09 (talk) 14:32, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

I've been reading more of the discussions about the page and I think the following may help to contextualise the matter but also be more neutral. Also thanks to Roxy the Dog for your comment to Schenks. I now understand about indenting which will make this all easier to read.
My idea would be to create a section entitled "Effectiveness of Shiatsu therapy." and include the following:
Cancer Research UK considers Shiatsu to be a “safe therapy” and acknowledges that “Some people with cancer use shiatsu to help control symptoms and side effects such as poor appetite, sleep problems, pain, and low mood.” However, they also clearly state that there is “no scientific evidence to prove that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease”. This may be due to a lack of sufficiently rigorous studies into the efficacy of Shiatsu. The conclusion of the 2011 systematic review of Shiatsu was that “more research is needed, particularly for Shiatsu, where evidence is poor”
Professor Edzard Ernst asserts that “yin and yang, acupuncture points and meridians are not a reality” and that therefore, "Shiatsu is an implausible medical intervention. However, he also states that “like all massage techniques, it may generate relaxation and a sense of wellbeing.”
NB: You will note I left out Edzard Ernst's blog post. Blog posts are not subject to peer review to the same standard that published works are and are therefore generally weaker sources. Also his view that Shiatsu is implausible is already included.
Thoughts about this? Obviously I would include the references - I just haven't stated them again since they are already on the main page.

Redowl09 (talk) 23:50, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

History of Shiatsu[edit]

Here is a brief timeline on the history of Shiatsu. Source: Shiatsu Diffusion Society (The organization representing the original form of Shiatsu as disseminated by Tokujiro Namikoshi.)

This information should be added

History of Shiatsu

1905 Tokujiro Namikoshi-sensei was born.

1912 He successfully treated his mother's rheumatism. (The birth of Shiatsu)

1925 The very first Shiatsu Clinic was opened in Hokkaido.

1933 A Shiatsu clinic was opened in Tokyo.

1940 A Shiatsu school that later became known as 'The Japan Shiatsu College' was opened.

1953 Namikoshi-sensei visited Dr. Palmer of the Palmer Chiropractic School in Iowa, U.S.A. (The first introduction of Shiatsu in the West.)

1955 The Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare officially recognized Shiatsu, Anma, and Massage in the same category.

1957 The Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare issued a legal definition of Shiatsu.

1957 Japan Shiatsu College became one of the schools sanctioned by the Ministry of Health.

1964 The Japanese Ministry of Health reviewed the regulations and acknowledged Shiatsu, Massage Therapy and Anma as unique and independent therapeutic methods.

That link doesn't work for me. If we could find good secondary sources detailing this, it could usefully be added to the article. Also, what actually happens in a shiatsu session? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 13:41, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

I will try to find a secondary source. I've contacted a friend of mine who is currently in Japan conducting anthropological research on Shiatsu as a Professor on behalf of University of Toronto. He should have some credible sources of information to contribute to the page. In the mean time I will look for more sources of this information. The issue is that most credible sources are in Japanese.

In a Shiatsu session, the client lays on a massage table or futon in the floor and the therapist applies pressure to specific areas of the body to relieve pain and tension. Essentially the idea is to relax the nervous system with steady, rhythmic pressure and relieve tension in the muscles. The main differences between Shiatsu and massage are that there is no oil used in Shiatsu, no rubbing, kneading, or pulling techniques as in massage and thus recipients need not disrobe. The method of applying pressure is different from that used in conventional (Swedish) massage. Schenks (talk) 14:37, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Here is a better source detailing this, a book by the son and successor of the founder of Shiatsu: "The Complete Book of Shiatsu Therapy: Health and Vitality at Your Fingertips Paperback – April 15, 1994by Toru Namikoshi (Author)" Surely that's sufficient.Schenks (talk) 20:07, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Redundancy and partial quotes[edit]

These are five (5) statements that literally provide the exact same information. If you would like to cite all 5 sources, I think it should be done in a single statement. The truth is, a lack of studies and thus scientific evidence does not disprove the effectiveness of Shiatsu. The fact is, there is little research on the subject and no funding for such conclusive research.

+"Shiatsu is an implausible therapy,[1] and there is no evidence of its effectiveness.[2]"

++"only a few studies had been carried out, and concluded that the available evidence 'was of insufficient quantity and quality'"

+++"Commenting on this conclusion Edzard Ernst said: "what does that tell us about shiatsu? It clearly tells us that it is an unproven therapy".[5]"

+++"Oxford Handbook of Complementary Medicine which had concluded that there was no convincing data available to suggest that shiatsu was effective for any condition.[6]"

"There is no scientific evidence to prove that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer."

+"Shiatsu is an implausible medical intervention. However, like all massage techniques it may generate relaxation and a sense of wellbeing." This is the full quote and I believe it should stated as such.

++"Evidence is improving in quantity, quality and reporting, but more research is needed, particularly for Shiatsu, where evidence is poor. Acupressure may be beneficial for pain, nausea and vomiting and sleep." That's the full quote. I was told Acupressure has no place on this page, however the same source states that "Shiatsu incorporates acupressure". I think the full quote above should be used.

+++Although I acknowledge Ezdard Ernst's place in the field of complementary medicine, I do not believe he belongs so prominently featured in this article. His quote is merely a comment and the conclusion of the Oxford Handbook simply reiterates the statement he was commenting on. I think this should be removed.

If these parts are edited as such, they will each be providing more information rather than rephrasing the last quote.

Thoughts?Schenks (talk) 14:17, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

What this page needs[edit]

Here is an actual encyclopedic entry regarding Shiatsu and it is very different than the wiki.

Shiatsu is very diverse. offshoots such as Zen Shiatsu, Tao Shiatsu, and Seiki, are not "Shiatsu" but offshoots based in the techniques of Shiatsu while adopting a theory of ki and meridians inspired by oriental medicine and acupuncture.

The original form of Shiatsu (Namikoshi Shiatsu) shunned oriental medical principles and was build on western science. A student of Tokujiro Namikoshi named Shizuto Masunaga incorporated meridians into the treatment but died before completing his work. His students branched out to continue his research and that's how oriental medicine worked its way into shiatsu. However the original Shiatsu is still based in western physiology and does not acknowledge the meridians or acupuncture theory.

The wiki should describe the original Namikoshi Shiatsu and it's theory accurately and then proceed to list it's offshoots and their acknowledgement of meridians.

Secondly, the image on this page depicts the Acupuncture meridians. These are maps relevant to a treatment with needs and are no the same as used in meridian based Shiatsu. So it does not really belong on this page. There should be an image of the Namikoshi points and one of the Masunaga meridian chart to be accurate.

I also think that there should be a list of common symptoms which people may seek Shiatsu treatment for. I don't mean those long lists of every disease in the world, I mean common issues that have been proven to be effectively treated with massage and acupressure techniques, as Shiatsu does employ a form of acupressure, and is categorized in the same category as massage according to the Japanese Ministry of Health.

That section can be proceeded by the facts that there is a lack of research into Shiatsu and it's effectiveness is thus inconclusive.

There should also be a more detailed history of Shiatsu.

As well as including information on:

Side effects Education and training

What do you guys think? surely anyone can see that this page is more of a description of what Shiatsu is not.Schenks (talk) 14:58, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi Schenks. This article could surely use some fleshing out but it needs to be done in accodance with Wikipedia policies and guidelines. The article in the link you provided above fails our policies and guidelines in many ways -- it lacks sources, and make health claims that I will bet my bottom dollar are unsupported by any clinical evidence and so have no place in Wikipedia. It is great to find experts in a field, but it is hard to find experts who will take the time to learn WIkipedia's policies and guidelines and follow them. If you are willing to do that, it would be great. Jytdog (talk) 15:20, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Hi Jytdog. Thanks for the response. Likewise, it's great that Wikipedia has dedicated editors who know the Wikipedia policies and guidelines, it's just hard to find editors who will take the time to learn about Shiatsu.
Research requires funding. Who stands to benefit so much from Shiatsu research to make the investment worthwhile? I think the lack of research should justify the use of published Shiatsu books as sources of information. I don't see where else we would find enough information to develop a good strong article. If we clearly state that they are not scientifically proven theories or claims, would that work?
As for the benefits of Shiatsu. I think sources regarding manual therapy in general, including massage, osteopathy and especially acupressure should be allowed as they all fall into the same category of treatment. Thoughts?Schenks (talk) 15:45, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Hi Schenks. Firstly, a good strong article will rely on good strong sources, and nothing you say here will change that. Just because there are no reliable sources that say what you want to say about shiatsu, does not mean that we can fall back on poor sources as you have suggested so far.
Secondly, please take the time to learn how to indent your responses here so that we can follow them more easily - using colons - I have indented your previous comment for you.
Thirdly, please do not let your expertise and enthusiasm for shiatsu become a Conflict Of Interest here. We have very strong rules against that. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 16:59, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Hi Roxy, Firstly, may I kindly say that I don't appreciate these threats. I think it's obvious that this page is very biased. I am conforming to your rules and trying to improve this page within the boundaries of your system.
Secondly Shiatsu is something Tokujiro Namikoshi created, a book he himself authored is a credible source for information about Shiatsu. Shiatsu may be a supposed medical intervention however it is also a practice and art. And as an art it should not be required to cite scientific evidence when it comes to describing the practice and philosophy. This website requires more information that is not applicable to scientific evidence, such as a detailed history, differing branches and their philosophies. One simply cannot understand what shiatsu is by reading this page. Reading this page only tells me what shiatsu isn't.
Surely a book authored by the very founder of the art is credible enough for that basic information. If not then maybe there should be two sections, one for shiatsu as a therapy and one for shiatsu as an art and technique.Schenks (talk) 18:41, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Fourthly, try to learn the difference between helpful constructive advice, and threats. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 19:22, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Removing an Edzard source[edit]

The source: "Shiatsu: holistic therapy, naive nonsense or malicious quackery?" is not a suitable source of information. Go read the article and you'll see what it is an attack on a malicious poster from another of his articles. The individual who insulted Edzard was a particularly eccentric supposed shiatsu practitioner with a website that contained outrageous claims regarding his "shiatsu". And Eddie went ahead and wrote the entie article based on his this person's incredible claims and fueled by his annoyance and spit for this person.

I'm paying, just read that article, click the links in the text and you'll clearly see that this entire source has no place on the wikipedia page. Just because Edzard is a well published author doesn't mean everything he says is true.

Let me know what you think. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Schenks (talkcontribs) 18:29, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

I think it is a great source. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 19:32, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Do you agree that it is a spiteful response to a malicious poster of another of his articles?
I think that would make it not such a great source. Also the source is his blog...
The following source and comment is great: "Oxford Handbook of Complementary Medicine which had concluded that there was no convincing data available to suggest that shiatsu was effective for any condition.[5]" and that sums up his comment as well. I think we should just leave it at that. Do you disagree? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Schenks (talkcontribs) 19:51, 5 April 2014 (UTC) Schenks (talk) 19:55, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like almost half the article could be removed and summed up with "There is no evidence that Shiatsu is effective for the treatment of any health condition." Why belabor the point if there is simply no evidence? It seems that the Oxford Handbook is a good source to cite but no need to mention it in the text of the article. Short and simple. --Karinpower (talk) 22:18, 16 June 2014 (UTC)


The statement saying that "There is no scientific evidence to prove that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer" needs context. It seems to imply that there are claims shiatsu does cure or prevent cancer. I've never heard of such claims, although I must say I'm not by any means familiar with shiatsu.

The article does very little in describing what shiatsu is or purports to be, yet "debunks" at length, without making clear where these allegedly debunked claims originate from. (Why "allegedly"? Because saying e.g. "There is no evidence that Aspirin cures cancer" does not "debunk" anything if nobody ever claimed otherwise.) GregorB (talk) 08:57, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

As CRUK say: "Shiatsu practitioners believe that the therapy stimulates the circulation of your blood, helps to release toxins and tension from your muscles, and stimulates your hormonal system. This is believed to help the body heal itself." Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:13, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but the article needs to say that. That's the very point of asking for context. While the current wording is better, it would be nice to have some more specific claims regarding what exactly shiatsu is supposed to do. Otherwise, the statement I mentioned above will tend to appear like a straw man argument. GregorB (talk) 10:30, 26 May 2014 (UTC)