Who are we?

All of our Shiatsu teachers are registered UK Shiatsu Society practitioners and teachers, each bringing a wealth of experience and unique teaching style and working as an integrated team.


Keith Phillips - BA(Hons), BAc, DS, MRSS(T), MF Phys


Keith, the founder and principal of the Bristol School of Shiatsu, began his exploration into healing and personal development while studying for his honours degree in Psychology. His search for a more holistic approach to healing led to the start of his Shiatsu studies in 1977. After graduating from the Kushi Institute with a Diploma in Shiatsu and Oriental Medicine in 1981, he set up in practice and began teaching Shiatsu.

Keith studied with some of the world’s leading teachers, including Wataru Ohashi, Shizuko Yamamoto, Pauline Sasaki, Saul Goodman, and Michio Kushi. He served many years on the practitioner assessment panel of the Shiatsu Society, including two years as chairperson. Keith also holds a Diploma in Acupuncture from the London School of Chinese Medicine. 

As well as teaching Shiatsu, Keith has presented numerous weekend and evening courses in personal growth and transformation since 1990. Keith’s teaching of intuitive Shiatsu is inspirational, and is enhanced by the wealth of personal experience gained during his long and thriving practice. Keith also runs Post-Graduate Courses throughout the year for qualified shiatsu practitioners


Paul McNicholls - MRSS(T)

Paul is the Vice Principal of the Bristol School of Shiatsu. He is also a graduate of the school and prior to his Shiatsu training he studied psychology at London Gate University. He later managed and taught at a holistic drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Bristol, and here he developed his skills and experience in counseling and group therapy.

Paul has an M.A. in group and individual Gestalt Psychotherapy and is registered with BACP. He is also certified in individual and group Shadow Work.

Paul works with the Mankind Project, working with men of all ages to encourage authenticity, accountability and integrity. He currently runs a busy Shiatsu and Psychotherapy practice in Bristol, alongside teaching with the school. Paul’s teaching is focused and alive, inspiring self confidence in students. He uses a strong relational approach in both his teaching and practice.

Markus Heimpel - MRSS(T)

Markus finished his Shiatsu training in 1995 with the European School of Shiatsu. After further postgraduate training with The Shiatsu College and Three years of assisting and teaching at the Shiatsu College Bristol, in 2006 Markus started teaching at the Bristol School of Shiatsu. Markus has taught and cared for adults with learning difficulties for the last 20 years. During this time he developed his skills in interaction, group dynamics, creative expression and student centred teaching. He brings his interest in and joy of expression through movement and dance to his teaching. Markus's style of teaching is spontaneous, caring and inspiring, and through this he aspires to help each student to develop to his/her full potential.

Mercedes Nunez - MRSS(T)

Mercedes, as a guest teacher to the school, brings to Shiatsu many years experience in adult and further education. She teaches both in the UK and in Spain and was one of the main teachers for the Shiatsu College Bristol. She has been practicing since 1992. She runs a practice in Bath and also works as a shiatsu practitioner at the Penny Brohn Centre supporting those suffering from cancer. She has sat on the Assessment panel for the Shiatsu Society and served as a member for the Management committee of the Society for 4 years and was chair of ethics. Mercedes brings compassion, clarity and deep insight to her teaching.


Joe Sharp - PhD, BSC (Hons) Applied Biology, PGCE, D.S.

Joe is currently a science teacher in Bristol. In 1985 he achieved a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology, and went on to gain a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Hertfordshire. Joe then spent 10 years as a research scientist at the University of Bristol. He has written and published several papers, both in national and international conferences.

Between 1996-99 Joe trained and then graduated as a Shiatsu practitioner with the Bristol School of Shiatsu, and since 2000 has taught Anatomy and Physiology for the School. Joe’s western science training and research in Biochemistry and his interest and training in Eastern medicine bridge the gap between the two philosophies. He brings ease of under standing to his classes, bringing his subjects alive.


Rosie Freeman - DS, MRSS (t), BA Hons

I joined the Teaching staff at The Bristol School of Shiatsu in 2017. My shiatsu journey started in 2003 with a 3 year diploma training with the Bristol School of Shiatsu (BSS), followed by post graduate training in Movement Shiatsu at the School forExperiential Education (SEED). Following this I assisted at BSS for a further 3 years whichdeepened my understanding of shiatsu as well as developing my interest in teaching andfacilitating group work. I went on to do a Degree in Drawing and Applied Arts, and have astrong interest in the overlap between my shiatsu and art, and using art as a form oftherapy and self exploration.

Since qualifying in 2006, as well as my own shiatsu practice, I have run various workshops and trainings including Introduction to Shiatsu courses, Chi Massage, 5 Elements workshops, as well as art and drawing classes. My background is in supportwork, working with various underprivileged groups such as care leavers, refugees and asylum seekers and those living with chronic physical or mental health conditions. I have Shiatsu practices in West Wales and Bristol and I have continued my personal development exploring various trainings including mindfulness,focussing, yoga, various parenting courses and listening partnership training.



Alex Turner Lic Ac, MBAcC, MRSS(T)


Alex is is a registered shiatsu teacher with the Shiatsu Society and was Course Director and tutor at The Devon School of Shiatsu where he taught for many years before moving to Bristol. 

Alex has been part of The Core Therapy Team at Penny Brohn UK for the past 6 years where he is an acupuncturist and shiatsu practitioner. He also teaches Qigong, meditation, relaxation techniques and facilitates residential courses called 'Living Well with the Impact of Cancer' and 'The Approach'.

As well as having a busy private practice for the past 16 years, Alex worked as a shiatsu practitioner and acupuncturist for The Eddystone Trust and The Terrence Higgins Trust.

Alex is a registered and fully licensed member of the The British Acupuncture Council and practices an integrated style of Five Element and Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture.

He has practiced and taught Aikido and Jujitsu since 1989 both here in the UK and Japan. Since 1995, he has also taught Tai Chi and Qigong in London, Devon and Bristol.