Conference “Shiatsu in Integrated Medicine, current experiences and future perspectives”. Friday 16 June 2023 – Giorgio Cini Foundation – Venezia (Italy) – Excerpt of some proceedings of the conference.


Alessandria Hospital (Italy)


Good morning. For us oncohaematologists the initial interest when starting the profession,is

success over the disease. In reality, as the years go by, they begin to be taken into consideration, other points of view which are the patient’s points of view. Therefore the psychoemotional impact, its social role, how it is transformed by the disease and its life habits,which it often also has to modify. This last part practically summarizes,what are defined as the unrequited needs that the classic path of oncological therapy often,puts aside precisely because it focuses above all on the traditional path, and certainly little attention is given to these personal needs of the patient. A possible answer,to these unsatisfied needs lies precisely in integrated medicine. For years now, as seen in Professor Ingrosso’s previous speech, there have been companies dealing with integrative oncology,at an international level and the most important one is an American one. Ideally there should be another series of figures,who offer other treatments and who can help the patient feel better,both from a physical and psychological-emotional point of view. Among these we have highlighted the Shiatsu operators,because in our integrated medicine centers we have been able,to experience active participation and concrete help.Why is Shiatsu fundamental in integrative medicine? But first of all precisely for some characteristics of the Shiatsu treatment, i.e. a relationship between two, a very deep Operator/Recipient relationship,which probably even goes to satisfy needs which are truly primitive of the human being, namely the bonds of attachment which are always very strong with the therapists. When you are in conditions of greater fragility, you have a greater need for figures,with whom you have these bonds of attachment and who can provide security, because this also allows emotions to be experienced and in a certain sense also healed. The shiatsu practitioner,obviously beyond this aspect which is defined as a basic aspect of the therapeutic relationship, will obviously work through an energetic system, will make a diagnosis and harmonization according to his skills. There are many international experiences of Integrated Medicine, there are also of the national experiences, we list the best known ones. In the public system we have the Center of Merano, the Catholic University of Roma for breast cancer, the Pitigliano hospital in Grosseto, with Dr. Laffranchi, former radiotherapist at the Cancer Institute of Milano,who has done an excellent job and then our experiences in Genova and Alessandria. What results did we get? So first of all I would like to say,that there is huge interest on the part of patients for these experiences, in fact, I also spoke about it in a group held by the AIL (Italian Leukemia Association). They had organized an Integrative Oncohematology seminar,in which we presented the Integrated Medicine Project.Why quality of life? Because quality of life is now a recognized parameter in oncology: there is a lot of attention to what are called patient reported outcomes. Or what does it mean? That it is also important,to hear how the patient experiences the treatment and the quality of life,is one of these assessments that are made by the patient. We chose the SF36 questionnaire because it is simple and very reliable, it tells us how that person being assessed is doing at that moment. Professor Rossi has already presented this in cancer patients treated at the Gallino hospital in Genova; a very important improvement was seen in all domains: therefore the capacity for physical activity, physical pain, general health, vitality, social activities, limitations to one’s role due to physical and emotional problems.

I presented a project in the Piemonte Region for this funding. This financing was presented as AIL of Alessandria and was approved to be able to provide for the needs of an integrated medicine clinic. The results so far: we have enrolled 32 patients of which 27 have completed the treatments. Of these treatments, Shiatsu was predominant: we practiced 230 Shiatsu treatments, or rather not me, the professional Shiatsu operator FISIEO performed them Dino Di Cervo. The results are therefore being compiled in the SF-36 questionnaire: what we have done so far practically confirm the results of Genova. We have not yet presented a statistic,because it is not yet completed. We have had very important improvements, especially in the sensation of physical strength.One of the problems of people undergoing chemotherapy is tiredness, a difficulty not explained by particular clinical reasons, the tests are all fine but they feel terribly tired,and therefore tired of having difficulty carrying out their normal activities. In this regard, there have been very important improvements in pain, especially low back pain or these non-specific widespread pains,that perhaps last for years. The sometimes quite unexpected results on mood and sleep, fundamental parameters of what we can define as well-being.

I will only give as an example the story of a 60-year-old woman with a very serious lymphoma and, among many things, also with little chance of success. This woman has an autotransplant in 2021, she has a complete response to the disease,but from the point of view of her general conditions quite disastrous, she has already had a reduction in blood values,​​which have almost normalized at least to be able to be discharged after two months,when normally this phase should last 15 days, and when she came out, i followed her to the clinic for the follow up visits. The general conditions continued to be compromised, the blood count value was however not normal, certainly reduced. He then had osteonecrosis in the femoral condyles and in the humeral head, therefore some orthopedic problems. They didn’t operate on her because she was in too critical a condition. She was also a rather obese patient, very tired, she could hardly walk and practically lived in a chair. She needed a walker because these orthopedic problems made her unstable and it was evident that she had difficulty moving.

He began treatments in September 2022. She received Shiatsu, had a weight loss of 20 kg. If this is not due to the Shiatsu, but due to the fact of having acquired the strength to follow a diet therapy, it means that the condition began to improve in any case. Furthermore, a substantial reduction in pain and improvement of the osteonecrosis,of the femur documented by magnetic resonance imaging, not to mention then the improvement of the asthenia. Now he continues to walk with the walker, but the speed has actually significantly improved. The Shiatsu operator must have the ability to relate professionally with people, because these are cancer patients, it is necessary to be in the right role as an operator and personally, the fact of being able to have people with proven professionalism and preparation is absolutely mandatory.The conclusions are that integrated medicine is absolutely important to practice in cancer patients, that cancer patients appreciate integrated medicine and that Shiatsu has a fundamental role in integrated medicine.