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About AOBTA®


The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia


AOBTA® Vision Statement
To support Eastern philosophical approaches to health and well-being by promoting Asian Bodywork Therapy.
AOBTA® Mission Statement

To Provide our members with education and networking opportunities and to support their personal and professional development and success.



Painted and presented to AOBTA® by Prof. Jin-Huai Wang, our logo means “bodywork” and dates back 4,000-6,000 years ago to China.

It was found carved on bones in ancient prescriptions such as, “For stomach pain, press on a point 3 cun below the knee” (a pressure point still used for that today!).

Prof. Wang believed that Asian Bodywork is the mother of Chinese Medicine and is rightfully the first branch.

AOBTA® History

The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia is a national not-for-profit professional membership association of the practitioners, instructors, and schools/programs of the various Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) Forms.

The AOBTA® was formed in 1989 when a number of associations and representatives of the various Asian Bodywork Therapy professions decided to unite into a single organization. 

The various Asian Bodywork Therapy professions, that AOBTA® now recognizes as "ABT Forms", originally had their roots in China. Over the centuries China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and more recently North America and Europe, have changed and evolved these Forms of bodywork into separate and distinct professions. The AOBTA® recognizes those Forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy that meet our professional curriculum standards and have been approved by an application process. The following "Forms" meet our professional standards and are formally recognized by AOBTA®:

  • Acupressure
  • Amma
  • AMMA Therapy®
  • Chi Nei Tsang
  • Five Element Shiatsu
  • Integrative Eclectic Shiatsu
  • Japanese Shiatsu
  • Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure®
  • Jin Shou Tuina™
  • Macrobiotic Shiatsu
  • Medical Qigong
  • Nuad Bo 'Rarn (Traditional Thai Bodywork)
  • Shiatsu Anma Therapy
  • Tuina
  • Zen Shiatsu

AOBTA® currently has about 1,100 active members in the U.S. and abroad. Member benefits include professional credentialing; optional, low-cost professional liability insurance; a membership newsletter; national and regional workshops; an ABT Professional referral service; and professional development tools and resources (among many others).

AOBTA® offers a number of membership levels, some professional and some non-professional.  Professional membership levels require completion of well-defined educational standards and approval via a Peer Review process.  

Are you interested in joining AOBTA®?

Learn more about the AOBTA® recognized Forms.

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