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About Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT)



ABT Definition

Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) is the treatment of the human body/mind/spirit, including the electromagnetic or energetic field which surrounds, infuses and brings that body to life, by using pressure and/or manipulation. Asian Bodywork is based upon Chinese Medical principles for assessing and evaluating the body's energetic system. It uses traditional Asian techniques and treatment strategies to primarily affect and balance the energetic system for the purpose of treating the human body, emotions, mind, energy field and spirit for the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health.

Scope of Practice

Methods of assessment and evaluation may include the Chinese Four Pillars of examination: observation, listening, asking and touching. Assessments are based primarily on Chinese Medicine parameters relating to the balance and circulation of the Five Essential Substances: Qi, Jing, Shen, Xue, Jin-ye.

ABT is one of the three branches of Chinese Medicine in which the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certifies people for entry level into the profession. Treatment may include, but is not limited to the following: touching, pressing or holding of the body along meridians and/or on acupoints primarily with the hands, stretching, external application of medicinal plants or foods, heat or cold, and dietary or exercise suggestions. Cupping, guasha, moxibustion, and other methods/modalities may also be used by properly trained practitioners.

Forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy

The AOBTA® uses the term "Forms" to refer to the various Asian Bodywork Therapies, which we have recognized as specific and distinct.

All Forms that are recognized here originally had their roots in Chinese Medicine. Over the centuries, practitioners in China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and more recently North America and Europe, have adapted and evolved these Forms into separate and distinct therapies. 

The AOBTA® formally recognizes those Forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy that meet our professional curriculum standards and have been approved by our application process. 

Although AOBTA® members are trained in a specific Form, they often refer to their profession by a more generalized term such as: Shiatsu, Acupressure, Amma or Qigong.

The following are the current AOBTA® recognized Forms:
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, Nuad Bo 'Rarn (Traditional Thai Bodywork), Shiatsu, Shiatsu Anma Therapy, Tuina, Zen Shiatsu, Medical Qigong

See the descriptions of each Form.

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