Striking a balance between classic massage and traditional Chinese medicine, anma or amma is a traditional Japanese massage technique that formed the foundation of modern shiatsu. It is a vigorous massage designed to reach deep tissue and encourage blood flow along energy meridians through stretching, kneading, acupressure and range-of-motion exercises. Because it is usually performed on a floor mat, without oil and with the client clothed, is easy to incorporate into a variety of business models.
In the United States, anma is often easiest to learn through distance learning opportunities. The most common continuing education available is shiatsu-anma, which combines the two Japanese modalities into an energetic shiatsu session. Some courses also incorporate information on holistic nutrition, exercise and herbal medicine.