Anma is a Japanese massage form that is thought to have come from the Chinese Tui Na massage practice. The complete system of anma as its own special modality was created in 1320 by Akashi Kan Ichi.
Anma is a vigorous therapy, combining forceful manipulation and acupressure applied to specific areas and meridians. Practitioners use techniques that including grasping, kneading, vibrating, pressing, rubbing, tapping, shaking, and hand rolling. The massage is used to stimulate blood flow and reach into the deep tissue. Today modern shiatsu is considered to be an offshoot of anma.
Anma also incorporates a special kind of abdominal work called “ampuku.” Ampuku means “the pulse of the will” or “calm the abdomen.” Ampuku is focused on the energy point located in the abdomen, called the “hara” in Asian medicine.
Clients remain clothed during anma massage, and no lubricants or oils are used.
For a period in its early history, anma was performed only by blind practitioners; today, while sighted practitioners also perform anma, there are still many blind practitioners of the form in Japan.
Image courtesy of: eismane
Take a look at Anma massage in action in the video:
Photo By eismane