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New research report on trauma published

24 March 2020

Western Region Centre Against Sexual Assault (WestCASA) has just released its Body-Based Therapies Program Evaluation. This 10-year program included trauma-informed shiatsu and trauma-sensitive yoga.

'This evaluation of providing a trauma-informed body-based program alongside talk-based therapy within a sexual assault service offers evidence of how such a holistic approach can alleviate the impact of trauma, and suggests the benefits of such a union.' p. 4

Congratulations to the authors and participants on the publication of this important research report.

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Shiatsu workforce study published online

8 November 2019

Congratulations to Emma Strapps, STAA Director of Research, Dr Jennifer Hunter, Dorothy Douglas and Paul Spence on confirmation that their article 'Practicing Shiatsu in Australia: a workforce survey' is published online in the Advances in Integrative Medicine Journal. It is a work of substance and a first for shiatsu in Australia.

Well done all on a fantastic effort! And thank you to all the STAA members who participated in the survey and made it possible.

Government releases draft terms of reference for new review

11 July 2019

The federal government has released draft terms of reference for an updated review of natural therapies, and invited nominations for the advisory panel.

The review will be led by the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, and will be supported by the Natural Therapies Review Expert Advisory Panel (NTREAP).

Shiatsu will be reviewed in the first tranche of natural therapies, which also includes naturopathy, western herbalism, yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates.

The draft Terms of Reference state that the Panel  will provide advice on "any additional evidence of their clinical effectiveness since the 2014-15 review or high quality evidence not included in the 2014-15 review...".

Panel nominations and Terms of Reference comments to close Wednesday 7 August 2019.

Government information

Updated review of natural therapies announced 

7 April 2019

Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced an updated review of "certain" natural therapies, including a five-year update to the 2014-15 review.

While we welcome this announcement, we will be asking questions about the parameters of this new review. It's imperative that it does not have the same limitations, bias and flaws that marred the 2015 review. This review must be fair.

We are still very concerned by the immediate effects of the loss of rebates on small businesses all over Australia, and the restrictions on Australians right to choose healthcare options.

STAA urges shiatsu clients to contact their health fund

8 January 2019

STAA is urging shiatsu clients to contact their health funds about the loss of shiatsu benefits.

Private health funds recently commenced advising their members of the changes to natural therapy rebates. Teachers Health, Medibank Private, AHM, Bupa and Australian Unity confirmed that they will stop paying shiatsu rebates from 1 April 2019. HBF ceased providing shiatsu benefits from 1 January 2019.  

Health funds do have an option to offer incentives for natural therapies after 1 April, and STAA is continuing to seek information about what each health fund is doing.

“Insurers can offer incentives to purchasers of private health insurance as long as the incentives meet the requirements of the Private Health Insurance (Complying Product) Rules. These incentives could include services provided by a natural therapist. It will be up to each insurer to decide whether to offer this type of incentive.” Dept of Health website

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