The American Massage Championships (AMC) results are in, and the winners are: Gold: Arthur Wongphan, representing California; Silver: Jittawisoot Srihaput, representing Massachusetts; and Bronze: Jessica Jarabek, representing Canada.
The AMC is hosted annually at the World Massage Festival, as sanctioned by the International Massage Association. This year’s competition was held July 15-16 in Cherokee, North Carolina. U.S. winners often go on to compete in the World Massage Championships, administered by the IMA and held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
American Massage Championship Categories
AMC competition categories include:
• Asian massage (Thai massage, shiatsu, tui na, Ayurveda).
• Wellness massage (hot stone, aromatherapy, spa massage, lymph drainage, holistic massage).
• Freestyle massage (Western-inspired; a combination of different types of Western massage methods, self-treatment, mobilization, cupping, massage with tools, and bodywork).
• Freestyle massage (Eastern inspired; a combination of different types of Asian massage methods, such as shiatsu, acupressure, Thai massage, cupping, massage with tools).
• Sports massage (deep-tissue massage, MFR, MET, neuromuscular techniques, stretching).
• Chair massage (both Western– and Eastern-inspired massage).
• Facial massage (Japanese facelifting, gua sha, classical facial spa treatment).
“A Friendly Competition”
In a video in support of massage competitions, massage business coach and frequent contributor to MASSAGE Magazine, Gael Wood, who served this year as a judge at the North Carolina state championship competition, said a benefit of participating in a competition is that “it’s a way for us to get together outside of a classroom environment and learn from each other. No matter what level you’re involved in—whether you’re competing, judging, putting it together or a vendor, you will learn a lot just from being there.”
Wood said massage therapists share their skills, passion and talent, and “it was a competition, but a very friendly competition.”
There are more than 40 state-level championships available to massage therapists. The U.S. Association of Massage Championships provides information for any massage therapists interested in competing or starting a state championship event.
About the Author
Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Magazine’s editor-in-chief–print and digital. Her articles for this publication include “This is How Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Practices Make Business Better,” one of the articles in the August 2021 issue of MASSAGE Magazine, a first-place winner of the national 2022 Folio Eddies Award for editorial excellence.