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koho_anmaKoho Anma

Traditional Japanese Massage & Bodywork

Anma means to press (An) and rub (Ma). It also means to spread peace by rubbing or to calm with the hands. Anma is one of the oldest forms of massage in the world and it is the oldest form of bodywork in the Orient. This therapy comes from ancient China and is over 5000 years old. Some speculate that Anma's true origins lie in India and is well over 10,000 years old. Anma was first brought to Japan by warrior monks from China through Korea about 1,500 years ago. In China this therapy is pronounced Anmo. When Anmo was brought to Japan the technique was further refined and developed into its own therapeutic art form. Over the years Anma has influenced the birth of many other forms of massage. Such as Shiatsu, Tuina and Swedish Massage.

Anma therapy is based on the principles of Oriental Medicine. This ancient healing art uses special techniques to stimulate key points (Tsubo) on the surface of the skin to promote the body's natural self healing abilities. When these points are stimulated they release muscular tension which facilitates the circulation of blood and energy (Kiketsu). This Is The Intention Of Anma Massage.

Unlike Western Massage, Anma utilizes no oils, can be done through the clothing with the client either sitting or lying down. Also this therapy can be applied anywhere and at anytime. One can also learn to give Anma to oneself or others. This makes Anma an extremely flexible style of massage, suitable to a wide variety of client needs and environments.

The Effects of Anma Therapy

Anma massage is a way to balance the body and calm irritated nerves. It normalizes sluggish bodily functions and is used to keep the body healthy and strong. Anma reduces tension, increases circulation and revives and rejuvenates the body while enabling the body to also deeply relax. When tensions are released in the body the immune system functions smoothly. This allows the body to adapt to environmental changes and resist illness. Tension in the body is caused by a buildup of lactic acid and is a result of fatigue, trauma, stress, chemical imbalances and above all poor circulation. During Anma massage, muscles relax which allows blood and energy (Kiketsu) to flow freely, then toxins are released and eliminated. Unlike Western Medicine, Anma therapy does not ignore simple symptoms of everyday complaints. These symptoms of headache, dizziness, back pains, etc. are considered an expression of the condition of the body as a whole. Anma responds before these symptoms or imbalances can do further damage to the body which leads to "dis-ease".

The Various Uses of Anma Massage

Anma massage compliments your medical care by allowing you to take a vital part in getting and staying well. In addition to maintaining health, Anma can also be used to relieve and prevent sports injuries, compliment chiropractic treatments, and restore and balance the emotions. Psychotherapy patients benefit greatly from this. Since ancient times, Anma has been used as a beauty treatment and has many cosmetic benefits such as beautifying the skin, face and the eyes. Anma massage therapy is also applied for a wide range of ailments such as, headache, colds, asthma, numbness, high or low blood pressure, constipation, stomach cramps, menstrual irregularity, sexual vitality, and insomnia.

One of the most important uses of Anma is its use in effecting the quality of our breathing. When our breath is shallow, all the body's functions become sluggish. Anma promotes deep long breaths which aids the release of blockages in our energy pathways (Keiraku). This process increases our resistance to illness. Anma is not only used to restore health but is also instrumental in assisting you in discovering your own healing potential. This can at times be an overwhelming blessing.

junen_ho

Junen Ho - Kneading Method

appaku_ho

Appaku Ho - Pressure Method

kenbiki_anpuku_zukai

Kenbiki Ho - Point Rocking Method

kosei_ho

Kosei Ho - Adjustment Method

The Nine Major Sections of Anma

There are nine major categories of techniques within the art of Anma. Each section allows you to work the body in a uniquely different way. These nine sections create various effects that assist in the achievement of the goals of Anma Therapy. During an Anma massage all nine areas are utilized which creates a very complete full body therapy. In Japan some therapist specialize in applying only three or four sections of techniques in combination for their practice. Another use of Anma techniques is the cultivation of the therapist's own health. As a whole human beings have grown very weak in health, endurance, and we use less of our brain's capacity. Anma techniques are not only designed to help assist the client increase their health but when applied correctly these nine sections of techniques cultivate the therapists health and deepen our consciousness and expand our awareness as well. So Anma massage is also a kind of spiritual practice and meditation which allows one to become a better human being. The art of Anma is only one science within many teachings from the tradition of Do-In Ankyo. This was developed by Chinese Taoist Mountain Ascetics, known as Sennin or Jiyujin (Free Men) in Japan.

Keisatsu Ho

Light stroking techniques

軽 擦 法

Junen Ho

Kneading techniques

柔 念 法

Shinsen Ho

Vibration techniques

振 せ 法

Appaku Ho

Pressure techniques

圧 迫 法

Koda Ho

Percussion techniques

卯 打 法

Kyokute Ho

Special percussion techniques

曲 手 法

Undo Ho

Movement therapy & exercises

運 動 法

Kyosatsu Ho

Rotation & stroking with heavy pressure

強 擦 法

Haaku Ho

Gripping & squeezing techniques

把 握 法

Besides these nine major areas of hand techniques, the art of Anma has many areas of eastern medical theory and study such as:

1. Ki- (Inner Energy) broken into three major types:

  • a. Ten Ki (Heaven Energy)
  • b. Chi Ki (Earth Energy)
  • c. Jin Ki (Human Energy)

2. Keiraku Chiryo- (Meridian energy pathway treatment)

3. Tsubo- Acupoint study broken into three major sections:

  • a. Keiketsu Tsubo- those points that are on the meridians
  • b. Kiketsu Tsubo- those points not on the meridians
  • c. Aishi Tsubo- natural points not related to the meridian

4. Shindan- Eastern methods of diagnosis are broken down into two major categories: So (Phenomena) and Shin (Individual Symptoms). The “So” category has 3 main sections:

  • a. Ten-So (Heavenly Phenomena) How the movement of the sun, moon and major constellations effect our health and condition. Our psychological makeup and emotions are deeply linked to and regularly effected by Ten-So.
  • b. Chi-So (Earthly Phenomena) How mountains, plains, sea, desert and forest, or the terrains which surround us all affect us.
  • c. Ji-So (Time Phenomena) Changes in the seasons and cycles of day and night.

5. In Yo Ho- Yin Yang Theory

6. Gogyo Setsu- Five Element Theory

7. Kyojitsu- Study of depleted and excessive conditions

8. Hosha- Tonification & Sedation methods

9. Zofu- Internal organ study

10. Teate No Michi & Norito- Palm Healing and Medicinal Prayers: If one was to specialize in these methods one would become a Jugonshi- Medical Spell Incantation Therapist.

Precautions For Receiving Anma Massage

Anma will not be applied in the following situations:

  • A fever
  • A contagious illness
  • Shortly after the client has had surgery
  • Skin infections
  • Cancer or Leukemia (May spread the disease)
  • Within 24 to 48 hours of injury or trauma. It is best to receive Anma without being under the influence of pain medications

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