shiatsu therapy association of australia

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8 July 2020

Melbourne Metro & Mitchell shire 

With the implementation of Stage 3 restrictions in Melbourne & the Shire of Mitchell, STAA recommends that shiatsu practitioners in these areas pause their practices.

As personal care services must close from 8 July 11.59pm, and we have had no confirmation from the Victorian Government that shiatsu is classified as a 'health and medical service profession', we believe this is the best current advice for the safety and wellbeing of yourself and your community.

STAA is continuing to seek clarification from the Victorian Department of Health.

Check here for the Victorian COVID-19 updates and information.

You may be eligible for the Jobkeeper payment. Details about eligibility are provided on the ATO's website. 

If you have any questions about your individual business’s ability to open under Stage 3 restrictions, call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15 or using their Contact Us form.

5 June 2020

Victorian shiatsu practitioners

In response to our request for written confirmation that shiatsu therapists are legally permitted to resume practice, Business Victoria has advised:

"Businesses providing personal care services, such as massage services can now open. 

Up to 20 customers are allowed on one premises at any one time, subject to the four square metre rule. Physical distancing should be maintained between customers. The business is also required to keep records of the first name and contact phone number of each visitor who has attended the premises (staff, patrons, maintenance and delivery workers).

Visit the Business and industry page for more information."

We believe this response signifies permission for shiatsu therapists in Victoria to practise. 

STAA is continuing to seek to confirmation to define shiatsu as on par with therapeutic massage with the Victorian Government, in particular if the former restrictions are reinstated. 

We highly recommend completing the COVID-19 infection control training. It's informative, free and you can claim CPE points. It takes about 30-45 minutes, and you can display the certificate in your clinic.

Other recommendations include:

  • Have a list of questions to check off with clients about any symptoms or possible exposure 
  • Display a flyer re handwashing in the washroom - Version 1Version 2
  • Use paper hand towels
  • Bin paper towels in a closed container
  • Provide hand sanitiser for clients to use upon entry
  • Display a version the corona safe message to clients - see sample.
  • Treat through cloth on all body surfaces
  • Change linen for every client
  • Ventilate work space frequently
  • Wipe down all surfaces frequently e.g. door handles, light switches, taps and flat surfaces

Check here for the Victorian COVID-19 updates and information.

If you have any questions about your business’s ability to open under current restrictions you can call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15 or using their Contact Us form.

26 May 2020

Queensland shiatsu practitioners

We have received confirmation from Queensland Health that shiatsu therapists may now deliver therapeutic services to clients.

"Qualified shiatsu practitioners are omitted from the non-essential list as per the non-essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Direction (No.10), and therefore may deliver therapeutic services to clients." 

Ensure you comply with COVID-19 safety advice.

Stay up-to-date with the latest information via the Queensland Government website:

19 May 2020

Tasmanian shiatsu practitioners

We have heard from a couple of Tasmanian practitioners that they have confirmation from Business Tasmania to restart their practice.

This is practice specific information, so we suggest that any Tasmanian practitioners wanting to resume contact Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 to clarify the position for their practice.

All practitioners need to comply with federal and state COVID-19 guidelines.

15 May 2020

Victorian shiatsu practitioners

We have not yet obtained written confirmation about resuming shiatsu practice in Victoria. Therefore, STAA’s advice to pause your practice remains.

    If you are practising or considering practising, we advise you to thoroughly research the following sources and rigorously appraise risk profiles of clients, your work space and your own health risk factors: 

    Daily update of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria

      Free 30 minute infection control training 

      Hand washing techniques

      Safe Work Australia

      Information about risk management in your workplace: workplace checklist, cleaning checklist, how to clean and disinfect your workplace – COVID-19, workplace signage

      NHMRC – Australian Guidelines for the prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare

      Risk profile factors include:

      Clients – disease history and risk, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, chronic conditions with high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, age groups and carriers without symptoms (20-30 yrs)

      Local area – state/territory authority about shiatsu practice environment, in an area with confirmed locally transmitted cases

      You – understanding of COVID-19, symptoms, contact with anyone diagnosed COVID-19 positive, returned from overseas in past 2 weeks; over 70 years of age or over 65 with chronic medical condition/s, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over 50 years of age, living with someone at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

      28 April 2020

      NSW shiatsu practitioners

      Updated information from the NSW Government confirms that "people providing health services may include non-registered health practitioners" and may practice under the following guidelines. This category does include shiatsu practitioners.

      The NSW Government's updated advice states:

      'All non-registered health practitioners must comply with the code of conduct for non-registered health practitioners. The code requires, among other things, that “a health practitioner must adopt standard precautions for the control of infection in his or her practice.”

      Health services that continue to operate should implement processes to minimise risk of transmission, including screening clients for symptoms or contact with a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, identifying and excluding unwell staff members, social distancing measures where feasible e.g. waiting rooms, and infection control procedures including access to soap and water or hand sanitising and enhancing environmental cleaning. 

      The Health Care Complaints Commission can issue a prohibition order against a practitioner who fails to comply with the code and who poses a risk to the public. A prohibition order can prevent the practitioner from practising or place conditions on their practice.​​​​​'

      24 April 2020

      COVID19 Practice advice

      STAA is continuing to advise all shiatsu practitioners to pause their practice. We believe this is currently the safest and most responsible decision for practitioners, clients and the community.

      We are aware of the decisions allowing practising to continue for remedial massage and myotherapists. The government's view of shiatsu is normally different to massage, so we are seeking written clarification from state and territory health departments before changing this advice.

      On advice from the ACT Chief Health Officer, a practitioner in ACT has recommenced practice so this is encouraging; but we do not have anything yet from other states/territories. 

      Please note that STAA can only provide advice. It is not mandated to authorise closures or continuations of practices. 

      Each practitioner must weigh up the unique conditions of their practice, client base and risk factors.

        If you choose to practice it must be with the highest standard of infection controls and informed consent of clients.

        STAA is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation. It does not have the paid full-time CEO, staff and resources that large associations enjoy. We ask for your continued patience and support.

        23 April 2020

        JobKeeper payment

        Shiatsu therapists may be eligible for the JobKeeper payment scheme.

        Details about eligibility are provided on the ATO's website

        STAA's treasurer Peter Caldwell is happy to provide assistance and take email questions from members about this. Contact Peter on 

        31 March 2020

        In his press conference on Sunday 29 March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced increased restrictions on movement in public and personal contact. These are now enforceable with heavy fines for non-compliance.


        Advice to shiatsu qualified practitioners

        In light of the clear mandate in Queensland, all Australian shiatsu practitioners are advised to pause their practices until there are clear indications to resume. 

        While legal continuation of "health services" in other states and territories is still unclear, we feel that pausing your shiatsu practice is the most responsible and safest decision for you, your clients and your community.

        Advice to practitioners with dual qualifications

        Shiatsu practitioners also registered with AHPRA, for example those with acupuncture registration, are advised to seek practice eligibility information through the association representing that therapy.

        Sole trader, self-employed and those that have lost jobs - government financial support

        The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. 

        Sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers, and contract workers who have seen their hours, work, or income fall by 20% or more as a result of the coronavirus will be eligible for the coronavirus supplement. 

        The coronavirus supplement can be claimed on your myGov from mid-April 2020. 

        We encourage all members to continue to support each other, mindful of individual needs. 

        We are a small organisation. Our strength is in our human connection. We will be returning to our practices, so stay in touch with your clients. If you are able, offer them advice and support via technology or phone call.

        27 March 2020


        Latest advice from Queensland Health Department states that exemptions to continue to work applies only to health services provided by health practitioners registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, with social distancing observed to the extent possible. This means registered with AHPRA.

        As shiatsu therapists are considered 'unregistered healthcare workers', this means all shiatsu therapists in Queensland should pause their practices. This takes effect from 27 March.

        Other states/territories

        Other states and territories directives are still grey for shiatsu practitioners. Once we have clear information we will pass this on.

        24 March 2020

        Shiatsu practice

        We are not yet advising a pausing of shiatsu practices. This is due to differing circumstances for members Australia-wide, and because there is no clear mandate from the government.

        Practitioners may personally elect to pause their practice, and STAA respects and supports that responsible decision. 

        If you choose to continue to practise, you must scrupulously apply current risk management strategies.

        You must be symptom-free and you are advised to speak with clients prior to them attending a treatment to:

        1. Discuss your risk minimising strategies
        2. Confirm client suitability for treatment
        3. Confirm client-informed consent for treatment
        4. Request client-informed consent signature on the intake form

        We recommend completing the Dept of Health online training module 'How to protect yourself and the people you are caring for from infection with COVID-19'. This is for care workers across all sectors. CPE points apply.

        If you elect to pause your practice, consider providing other resources to clients such as self-care, self-massage tips.

        First aid amnesty

        An extension will be granted for members unable to complete first aid requirements due to COVID19. 

        Financial assistance links

        Australian Government information on support available to sole traders 

        Government economic response

        ATO advice on tax

        ATO general support for individuals and small business

        If you are concerned, you are advised to contact Centrelink and/or and accountant/financial advisor to discuss your situation. We recommend you act promptly to allow time needed by government to process a large number of applications.

         The Gulf Stream will flow through a straw provided the straw is aligned to the Gulf Stream, and not a cross purposes with it 

        A quote related by Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird

        Call or Email Us:

        1300 138 250 
         Tuesdays & Fridays 1-5pm


        PO Box 727
        Bendigo Vic 3552

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