What is Japanese Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy has always played an important role in the traditional healing practices of Japan. Most forms of Japanese Massage Therapy are based on the even more ancient therapeutic practices of China.

These ancient Chinese healing practices have been tweaked and perfected into their Japanese counterparts. In ancient Japan, the practice of the martial arts played an important role in everyday life.

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There were numerous schools spread across the country where hundreds of pupils would gather to receive training in one of the different martial arts. There would invariably be a large number of injuries caused due to the strenuous methods that were employed. The responsibility of healing these injuries naturally fell on the teacher. Thus, the practice of healing became inexorably linked with the practice of martial arts. Most of the famous Japanese healers have also been masters of the martial arts.

Therapeutic massage therapy became part of the subject matter that was taught to the advanced students at martial arts schools. This form of Japanese massage therapy was called Nihon Kaifuku Anma. It is a deep tissue massage therapy that applies kneading patterns to heal injuries to the body. Over the centuries, many other schools of Japanese massage therapy, all derived from Nihon Kaifuku Anma, have become popular. In fact the popularity of some of these forms of massage therapy is greater than that of the parent. Let us look at some of the methods of Japanese Massage therapy that are rapidly gaining popularity all over the world.

Anma Massage Therapy

Anma massage therapy is probably the closest in technique to traditional Japanese massage therapy. It is based on traditional Japanese and Chinese forms of therapy. Anma massage therapy utilizes a number of stroking and kneading movement s to restore the flow of energy throughout the body. Anma massage is also sometimes referred to as Amma massage therapy.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu is probably one of the most popular forms of massage therapy in modern day Japan. It is officially recognized and accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare. Shiatsu practitioners use their thumbs, fingers and hands to diagnose and administer massage therapy. Shiatsu places an emphasis on diagnosis of ailments and on treating the entire body as a whole. In fact it is misleading to label Shiatsu as simply a massage therapy, because although massage plays an important role in it, Shiatsu can be considered to be a complete field of alternative medicine in itself. Shiatsu is also one of the most recognized forms of Japanese massage therapy in the Western world.

Japanese Massage Therapy
Japanese Massage Therapy
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