Raleigh Massage

Ampuku Therapy

Ampuku therapy (often spelled “ampuku” or “hara shiatsu”) is a traditional Japanese abdominal massage technique that focuses on the abdomen, or “hara” in Japanese. The practice is rooted in ancient Japanese traditions and is believed to balance the body’s energy, or “ki” (similar to “chi” or “qi” in Chinese culture).

Here are some key points about ampuku therapy:

Origins: It has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and was further developed in Japan. It’s a form of bodywork that integrates aspects of acupressure, shiatsu, and massage.

Philosophy: The abdomen is viewed as the center of one’s energy and emotions in many Asian traditions. By working on this region, practitioners aim to balance the body’s energy, improve digestion, and alleviate various ailments.

Techniques: During an ampuku session, the therapist will use a combination of kneading, tapping, and pressing motions on the abdomen. They may also apply stretches and rotations to the body.

Benefits: Proponents of ampuku therapy believe it can help with various conditions, including digestive problems, emotional imbalances, menstrual issues, and more.

Training: Like many traditional practices, there are different schools and lineages of ampuku therapy. A practitioner usually undergoes specific training to become skilled in the techniques and underlying philosophy.

Caution: As with any therapeutic technique, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before undergoing ampuku therapy, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.

Overall, ampuku therapy offers a holistic approach to well-being, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the body’s systems and the central role of the abdomen in health and vitality.

What is the difference between ampuku and abdomen massage

Ampuku and abdominal massage are both techniques that focus on the abdominal region, but they have distinct origins, principles, and methodologies. Here’s a brief distinction between the two:


Ampuku: This is a traditional Japanese massage technique. It has its roots in Chinese medicine and has been integrated into various Japanese therapeutic traditions. “Hara” is the Japanese term for the abdominal area, and Ampuku specifically targets this region.

Abdominal Massage: This can be found in various massage and bodywork traditions around the world. It might be a part of a full-body massage or be the focus of a specific therapy.

Principles and Purpose:

Ampuku: This technique believes that the abdomen (Hara) is the center of one’s energy and emotions. It aims to balance energy, improve digestion, and release emotional tension. By working on the Hara, practitioners believe they can influence the overall health and well-being of an individual.

Abdominal Massage: Depending on the tradition or technique, the primary goals can vary. Common purposes include improving digestion, relieving abdominal tension, and aiding in the movement of waste through the intestines. Some traditions also address emotional release.


Ampuku: Techniques can be quite specific, involving palpation to diagnose imbalances and then specific manipulations to address those imbalances. It may also incorporate aspects of acupressure.

Abdominal Massage: Techniques can vary widely based on the tradition. It can include kneading, circular strokes, and sometimes deeper pressure.

Both methods can be beneficial, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the individual. It’s also essential for anyone seeking these types of treatments to ensure that the practitioner is well-trained and experienced in their specific technique.

Ampuku VS Shiatsu

Both Ampuku and Shiatsu are traditional Japanese bodywork therapies, but they have distinct characteristics and focuses:

Ampuku (or Anpuku)

Focus: Ampuku primarily focuses on the abdominal region, which is believed to be the center of our body’s energy. The main idea is that by treating the abdomen, one can balance and promote the overall health of the entire body.

Origins: Ampuku has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and was later developed in Japan.

Technique: Therapists use gentle, rhythmic, and penetrating pressures with their hands and fingers to detect and treat imbalances in the abdomen. By doing so, they aim to balance the body’s energy and enhance organ functions.


Focus: Shiatsu means “finger pressure” in Japanese. This therapy addresses the entire body by applying pressure to specific points or along energy pathways known as “meridians”.

Origins: Shiatsu is rooted in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine but was further developed and refined in Japan.

Technique: Therapists use their fingers, thumbs, and palms to apply pressure. The goal is to correct imbalances, promote energy flow, and restore health to the body. Stretching and joint manipulation might also be part of a Shiatsu session.


While both therapies focus on balancing the body’s energy and promoting health, Ampuku primarily concentrates on the abdominal region, while Shiatsu has a broader focus, addressing the whole body.

Both are grounded in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and emphasize the importance of energy flow and balance for health.

It’s worth noting that individuals might find one approach more beneficial or comfortable than the other, depending on personal preferences and specific health concerns.

Ampuku VS acupressure

Ampuku and acupressure are both traditional Asian bodywork therapies that involve applying pressure to specific points on the body to promote healing and balance. Here’s a brief comparison:


Ampuku: Originates from Japan and was traditionally used to treat abdominal problems. The term “ampuku” means “to press the abdomen.

Acupressure: Originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It’s based on the same principles as acupuncture but uses fingers or tools to apply pressure instead of needles.


Ampuku: Primarily focused on the abdomen, aiming to restore balance in the body’s energy and organ functions. It is believed that the condition of the abdomen reflects overall health.

Acupressure: Addresses the entire body, applying pressure to specific acupoints that correspond to meridians (energy channels) in the body.


Ampuku: Uses kneading, tapping, and pressing techniques on the abdomen to release tension, improve digestion, and balance energy.

Acupressure: Uses steady, firm pressure on acupoints, often holding for several minutes to stimulate energy flow and alleviate symptoms.


Ampuku: May help improve digestion, alleviate abdominal discomfort, and promote relaxation.
Acupressure: Used for a wide range of issues, including headaches, muscle pain, stress, and more.


Ampuku: Practitioners typically undergo specialized training focused on abdominal massage and traditional Japanese healing arts.
Acupressure: Practitioners generally learn the locations and indications of acupoints and the theory behind TCM.

Both therapies aim to restore balance and harmony in the body, but their primary focus and techniques differ. If you’re considering either therapy, consult with a trained professional who can provide guidance tailored to your needs.