What is Japanese Restoration Therapy?

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  • Written By: Kris Roudebush
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 April 2020
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Japanese restoration therapy is a deep tissue style of massage which uses acupoints to promote healing and balance the body’s energy. This therapy stands out because it is done primarily with the point of the elbow. During Japanese restoration therapy, the practitioner will break down the injured soft tissues. This will help them heal properly and restore energy or qi to the body. Japanese restoration therapy can be used in the treatment of joint pain, migraines, stress, tension, fatigue, and fibromyalgia.

Japanese restoration therapy has been practiced for more than a thousand years when it was referred to as Seifukujitsu. In the late 20th Century this style of holistic medicine, which included a great deal more than restorative massage, was no longer taught in the martial arts schools where it started. Jujitsu is the martial art that works with seifukujitsu, both working together to create balance. The art of jujitsu seeks to create students who are healers as well as warriors.


Professor Henry S. Okazaki is considered one of the foremost experts of Japanese restoration therapy in America. Using the concepts of Japanese restoration therapy, herbology, reflexology, massage, shiatsu, lomi lomi, and acupressure, Professor Henry S. Okazaki developed his own style of restoration therapy. It was in 1929 that he established the Nikko Restoration Sanitorium in Honolulu. He also started Danzan-Ryu Jujitsu which is a mix of some of the best practices of many types of Asian and Hawaiian martial arts.

When you make an appointment consider if you’d prefer to wear a bathing suit or if you’d feel comfortable being nude. Most therapists will want you to bathe, fast for at least two hours before your appointment, and stay hydrated. You’ll also want to remove things like contact lenses and jewelry before your session. Afterward, continue to drink lots of water and take some quiet time to let your body rest. Because your muscles will be tired you’re not going to want to swim or bathe for at least an hour. Your therapist may also ask you not to eat for an hour afterward. Always check with your massage therapist about what things he or she specifically wants you to do.


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