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Japanese massage is understood as any massage originating in Japan.  In reality, there are only two basic massages of Japanese origin, shiatsu and kobido.  Then there are different variations resulting from the combination of various oriental techniques, but not clearly from the country in question.

 But we will welcome another technique, the so-called anma (or amma) because despite a massage from traditional Chinese medicine, it is in Japan that it has perfected and has become what it is today.  and has also greatly influenced shiatsu, a quintessential Japanese massage technique.


The three Japanese massage techniques, two are therapeutic and one aesthetic:

Shiatsu: This ancient technique has a therapeutic function and is used to treat the whole body, even at an energetic level.

 Anma: As we said, it is in fact a technique of Chinese origin also ancient but perfected in Japan, its function is therapeutic.  Apparently, this type of massage as well as the ampuku energy therapy, also Japanese, is the origin of shiatsu.

 Kobido: It is one of the types of Japanese massage that have been used for hundreds of years with aesthetic functions of rejuvenating the skin of the face.  In 1984, Professor Shogo Mochizuki emigrated to the United States where he began teaching this technique with great success, popularizing it in the West.

traditional japanese massage

Japanese massage characteristic

These three types of Japanese massage have different characteristics and method of application:

Shiatsu: It is characterized by the use of pressure, usually with the thumbs, with moderate or gentle intensity, in the affected areas, lying on a tatami mat or stretcher.  The palm of the hand, the elbows and to a lesser extent the knees are also used.  The pressure of the shiatsu massage is done on the same points as acupuncture in Chinese medicine to activate energy.

 Anma: This technique, which is very influential in shiatsu, also works on the energetic meridians, but in this case the massage is seated on a specific chair.  It is performed with stretching, manipulation, pressure and percussion on these vital energy stages (Qi), rebalancing their circulation and reducing the negative effects on the body and mind of daily stresses.

 Kobido: Traditionally, the purpose of this Japanese massage is to work with the meridians of the face, in order to balance the Qi of the skin and facial muscles, to achieve rejuvenation of the skin and its health.  Kobido is performed on the face, scalp and neck with percussion movements combined with massages that act on the subcutaneous muscles, facilitating circulation, removing toxins, oxygenating the skin and causing the production of collagen and  elastin.


If you want to learn more about Japanese, Shiatsu, Anma, Kobido or Ampuku types of massage, you can find monographic articles on each of them on our website with usual quality.

 In addition to shiatsu, you will find several topics in case you are looking for something more specific regarding this Japanese manual therapy.  You just have to put the names in our search engine at the top right under the section bar of these massages

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