Seated acupressure massage (sometimes also called on-site massage) is based on the traditional Japanese acupressure technique called anma. Anma is Japanese for ‘press and rub’ and this therapy aims to stimulate the acupressure points in the head, neck, shoulders, spine and lower back. For more information about acupressure points, see the Acupuncture section of this book.
Although many clients choose to visit a practitioner for a massage, many others choose to use the services of an on-site practitioner: someone who will bring their massage chair to the workplace so that employees can benefit from the therapy whilst they are at work.
Unlike acupuncture, seated acupressure massage does not use needles. Instead, the therapist uses his or her hands to stimulate the energy points which can be found all along the meridians, or energy lines, of the body. The therapist uses a specific sequence of movements, which are designed to improve the flow of energy throughout the body and balance and strengthen the body’s muscular, circulatory and nervous systems.
The client, fully dressed, sits facing forward in a ergonomically designed massage chair. As the client relaxes and rests their chin and forehead on a thickly padded platform designed for the purpose, the therapist uses their hands and fingers to apply pressure to the acupressure points on the client’s head, neck, shoulders, upper arms and spine. The sequence of movements (called a kata) takes about twenty minutes from start to finish, and leaves the client feeling relaxed, refreshed and energised.
Seated acupressure massage is excellent for relieving stress and tension and encouraging knotted, tight muscles to loosen up. It helps with backache, repetitive strain injury, asthma, headaches, migraines, toothache, fatigue, sinus problems, menstrual pain, digestive problems, eyestrain, anxiety, irritability and insomnia.
Many corporations and businesses are now encouraging their staff to take a twenty-minute break to experience the relaxing benefits of on-site massage. Clients report that after seated acupressure they feel energised and refreshed.
Seated acupressure massage is gentle and non-invasive so it is suitable for everyone. Be sure to tell the therapist if you have any recent fractures or sprains, or if you suffer from diabetes or any other long-standing medical condition.
See also On-site Massage.
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