The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA) is a professional membership organization which promotes Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) and its practitioners while honoring a diversity of disciplines. AOBTA serves its community of members by supporting appropriate credentialing, defining scope of practice and educational standards, and providing resources for training, professional development, and networking. AOBTA advocates public policy to protect its members. AOBTA also promotes public education on the benefits, ethics, and principles of ABT.
Zen Shiatsu Chicago is a member of the AOBTA Council of Schools and Programs, and our instructors include Certified Practitioners and Instructors of the AOBTA.
Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) includes the energy-based bodywork therapies that originated in Asia and share a common Chinese Medicine foundation. These therapies are referred to as the ABT Forms.
The United States Department of Education recognizes Asian Bodywork Therapy as a distinct professional training program and the established ABT professional entry-level curriculum specifically trains ABT professionals in Chinese Medical principles for assessing and treating the client’s energetic system for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health. This primary focus on treating the energetic system from a Chinese Medical perspective distinguishes it as a distinct professional scope of practice.
Sometimes, the training programs for other therapeutic bodywork professions may include instruction in some of the techniques unique to ABT Forms or in the basic principles of Chinese Medicine. This instruction may enable those practitioners to claim that they incorporate some techniques of an ABT Form or some principles of Chinese Medicine into their therapeutic bodywork or massage therapy practice, but it does not qualify them to claim that they practice any one of the ABT Forms or the ABT profession.
Zen Shiatsu Chicago is a member of the Council Schools and Programs of the AOBTA. Our graduates are therefore immediately eligible for Certified Practitioner of Zen Shiatsu credential.
Forms of Asian Bodywork recognized by AOBTA include
• 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
• Zen Shiatsu
The AOBTA was formed in 1989 with the coming together of a number of associations, which represented individual disciplines of Asian Bodywork Therapy. AOBTA currently has about 1,500 active members in the U.S. and abroad. Member benefits include optional, low-cost professional liability insurance, disability insurance, a national membership newsletter, national and regional workshops, and a practitioner referral service through national headquarters and the internet.