Shin Splits

Shiatsu doc closes up shop

Shin Higashiura, whose female shiatsu clients say he gave them "inside treatments" that involved sexual touching and intercourse, has agreed to close up shop, a Texas Department of Health official reports.

The department had conducted a lengthy investigation into whether state regulations apply to shiatsu ["Sexual Healing?" by Shaila Dewan, July 8], a finger-pressure therapy akin to acupressure.

Kathy Craft, program director of the department's massage therapy registration division, says officials notified Shin in a July 9 letter that shiatsu practitioners were required to be registered with the state. They ordered Shin, who was not registered, to stop practicing massage. Shin was also warned that the department planned to revoke his massage establishment registration.

Shin replied that he would comply with the cease-and-desist order and surrender his clinic's license, Craft says.

According to former client Wanda Jacobs, Shin has moved out of his Galleria-area office. Jacobs says Shin's assistant, Minako Hashiguchi, has vacated her apartment as well.

The Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney's Office investigated Shin and said there was no evidence of a crime because the sexual interactions were consensual. Practicing massage without registration is a misdemeanor offense, but Craft was unable to say yet if state health officials would seek charges against him. Prior to the sexual complaints about Shin, the department had found that Shin did not need to be registered because it had not considered shiatsu to be subject to massage regulations.

 
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