What is Ampuku?
Ampuku, or traditional Japanese abdominal acupressure, is a highly refined form of manual therapy that provided the base of what later would become known as Shiatsu. Its origins are also closely related to the earlier Anma practice.
In the Japanese healing arts the abdomen, or ‘Hara’, is seen as an important centre of energy for the body therefore Hara work should be part of any successful bodywork practice. This was something that was emphasized by Shiatsu master Shizuto Masunaga who saw Ampuku as a very important part of Shiatsu.
He understood that Ampuku could contribute enormously towards helping the critically ill and those patients who require calm but penetrating manipulation. Ampuku therapy not only allows the patient to remain tranquil, it has also the potential to rehabilitate the patient’s internal functioning and is an important part of diagnosis.
Information on traditional Ampuku has been preserved in Ōta Shinsai’s ‘Ampuku Zukai’ and Fujibayashi Ryohaku’s ‘Anma Tebiki’, the two illustrated classics at the core of Japanese bodywork.