Three photos, each photo showing a winner at the American Massage Championships: Arthur Wongphan, Jessica Jarabek and Jittawisoot Srihaput.
American Massage Champions (L-R): Arthur Wongphan, Jessica Jarabek and Jittawisoot Srihaput. Photos courtesy of the International Massage Association.

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.

a photo of massage therapist Arthur Wongphan, standing.
Gold medalist Arthur Wongphan

American Massage Championship Categories

AMC competition categories include:

• Swedish massage (Western massage including classical massage, sports massage, myofascial release, muscle energy technique, neuromuscular techniques, stretching).

• 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 photo of massage therapist Jittawisoot Srihaput, standing.
Silver medalist Jittawisoot Srihaput

“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.”

A photo of massage therapist Jessica Jarabek, standing.
Bronze medalist Jessica Jarabek

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.