Anma Massage, also known as Traditional Japanese Massage is a form of massage therapy that has been used for over 1,000 years across Asia. The techniques include a lot of the strokes and movements we know from modern forms of massage therapy. There are some subtle differences however, and an Anma massage might be just what you’re looking for.
What Is Traditional Japanese Massage
There are a few forms of traditional Japanese massage techniques (TJM), with Anma being one of the more well known. Traditional Japanese therapies differ from Western massage practices in a number of ways.
The first major difference is that Japanese techniques do not involve the clients being undressed and having oils applied to their skin. The techniques are often carried out on a mat laid on the floor too, as opposed to a massage table.
Western massage also tends to focus on working on those areas of the body giving concern. While TJM works a client’s whole body with the goal improving the person’s overall well-being. The techniques are still very effective at working on pains and injuries, but it’s more routine to have a massage as part of a person’s overall health.
The principles are based on the body’s pressure points and meridians much like Chinese medicine. These systems are part of Asian culture and revolve around helping the body’s natural flow of energy flow freely.
Anma Massage Techniques and Strokes
There are various techniques involved in an Anma massage. Some of the commonly used massage techniques such as rubbing, tapping, kneading, and shaking will typically be used in a therapy session. These techniques are used to work on specific areas of the body or muscle groups that need attention.
There are also seven traditional techniques, these are as follows:
- Hand Rolling
It’s one of the more physical forms of massage therapy. The gripping and kneading movements can be quite firm. The intention is to stimulate blood flow to the the areas being treated, as well as the whole body. It’s effective at working knots and pains out of deep tissue areas, and has a lot of similar effects as acupressure techniques.
An interesting point to raise is that a lot of practitioners perform all Anma massage though a thin layer of clothing. There are typically no oils used, and clients are not required to undress.
Benefits of Anma Massage
Anma massage was developed to stimulate the meridians across the body much like acupuncture. Activating the flow of energy throughout the body, promoting a better all-round sense and feeling of well-being.
Some of the benefits of Anma therapy includes:
- Relaxing the mind and body
- Strengthening the immune system
- Increasing circulation of blood throughout the body
- Reducing tension and tightness in muscles
- Balances the body for improved health
Apart for using the massage techniques to workout knots in the muscles it’s not any individual benefit that counts for most people. It’s the complete healing system of the massage that helps clients feel much better both physically and mentally.
We all build up tension in our muscles and without a massage to release this tension other problems develop. Anma massage is very effective at relaxing muscles and allowing the body’s natural energy to flow more freely.
Contraindications of Anma Massage
As with all forms of massage and alternative medicine you need to be aware of any contraindications that may make you unsuitable for treatment. There are local, and total contraindications. Local means massage cannot be performed over certain areas. While total means you shouldn’t be receiving any massage treatments.
- Varicose veins
- Cuts and abrasions on the skin
- Muscle, bone or skin bruising
- Undiagnosed lumps, pains or any other concerns
- Contagious illnesses
- Cold or flu viruses
- Serious skin conditions
- Recent surgical procedures
- Heart conditions
If you have any concerns or questions you should always speak with a qualified healthcare professional. The conditions here are just intended as a guide, it’s not representing medical advice.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.