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Amma massage

Amma massage is a technique similar to acupression. It is practiced with a serie of movements on specific points (entitled tsubos) located all along the energy paths (the meridians). The technique also includes rhythmic thumb and hand pressures on the joints and muscles, mobilisations (stretching) and percussions. Calming by touch is the mission of amma massage.

The amma massage comes from a traditional Chinese medicine named An-mo. 1300 years ago, this technique was brought to Japan and then transformed, under a Nippon influence, into sequences (katas) tailored to the specifics needs of every body part.

Still hardly known in the West, the amma massage introduced the shiatsu massage in North America during the 20th century. The major difference between both techniques is the boshi junenho movement, which is only used in the amma massage. The boshi junenho combines soft movement and pressures within the relaxation.

In the beginning if the 80’s, the director of the Amma Institute of Traditional Japanese massage, David Palmer, transformed the traditional amma techniques to be able to practice it on a chair, thus contributing to the popularity of chair massage. Now, other techniques have adapted to be practiced on a chair.

Amma massage Réseau des massothérapeutes


The amma’s mindset is to treat the mind and body. This millennial holistic approach aims at preventing pathologies and rebalancing the body circulation. It is an energizing therapeutic massage that stimulates the nervous and circulatory system and relieves muscle tensions. In addition to being stimulating, it allows a deep state of relaxation and well-being.


The amma massage is practiced without oils and, according to the Japanese custom, under a sheet. The client is free to choose whether the care is done directly on skin or over soft clothes.

The complete amma massage is practiced all along the body, lying down, whereas the seated amma massage is practiced on a chair and excludes leg care. The seated amma massage consists of the kata sequences, which includes 23 precise motions on shoulders, back, neck and arms.


The amma massage isn’t recommended for pregnant women throughout all pregnancy due to the risk that some movements may stimulate cervix dilatation or enable counter indications. A medical advice is strongly suggested. Likewise, if in presence of an unhealed injurie, a cutaneous disease or a fever, it is better to abstain practicing this technique. Some precautions will be taken for certain medical conditions such as diabetes, hormonal imbalance as well as circulatory problem.

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