Lit.: An= pressure, Ma = massage.
Anma was imported to Japan from China during the 6’Th century AD and is in use as one of the major healing medical forms ever since then. Since its arrival to Japan Anma is known in many levels, from the general basic level (health maintenance) up to a clinical level used by traditional healers for diagnosis & treatment of patients.
Anma includes a wide variety of massage techniques such as muscle kneading, rubbing, pressing, body tapping, shaking, vibrating and more.
Anma went through a tremendous theoretical & clinical development while in Japan, after centuries of being guided under Chinese classical theory (until 17th century). Anma became mainly attributed to blind therapists (known as highly sensitive) who were training in various schools in Japan at that time.
With the import of modern medicine to Japan (19’Th century AD) Anma had lost its medical value and was lowered to a level of “relaxation massage”. The term “Anma-San” became a nick-name for blind therapists. Many healers lost their livelihood looking for another way to introduce the effectiveness of this healing art to the public. This is one of the reasons for the development of SHIATSU and a professional awakening of many healers at the beginning of the 20th century.