Amma Massage is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese & Japanese Medicine. Its origins date back over 5,000 years. The earliest mention of Amma Massage was in an ancient Chinese medical text called the "Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon," which dates to approximately 475 BC. It was introduced more widely to the United States by Tina and Robert Sohn who developed the comprehensive healing art known today as Amma Therapy. Some of us massage therapists were lucky enough to be schooled in Amma directly from the pupils of Robert and Tina Sohn.
Amma Therapy involves the balancing and supporting of the healthy flow of energy (Qi) within the body. It incorporates the principles of yin and yang as well as the five elements. In Amma, it is believed that health is directly related to balancing these principles and that balance eliminates disease. An acupuncturist uses needles whereas, an amma therapist uses their hands to manipulate points on the body's energetic pathways. We incorporate firm pressure strokes along with tapotment, vibration, friction, tissue manipulation and compression. This benefits the musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems to help your body function normally.
An integral part of a therapeutic Amma massage is the assessment process. We combine western and eastern medical techniques to properly assess both the energy and the organ function of the patient. Unlike western medicine that only diagnoses by the symptoms, here, we combine two different philosophies to get the bigger picture. We assess the entire mind/body system; observation of the tongue, pulse palpation, diet evaluation, complexion, bowel movements, posture, emotions, vitality, likes and dislikes, smells, tastes and sounds. Every sign is a clue to the body's internal functioning and helps the therapist to ascertain the mental, emotional and physical state of the patient. This in turn, presents the specific treatment techniques needed to help the body eliminate imbalance and restore itself.
Although a more stimulating treatment than say a Swedish massage, it does sedate the nervous system bringing about relaxation. It has been shown to treat a variety of conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, skin conditions, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory problems and tissue injuries. Because we are targeting the mental, emotional and physical state of the body to achieve balance, this treatment helps the patient to become more aware of the inner workings of their being. Everyone deals with stress and sometimes, we hold on to it without even knowing. Our bodies hold the stress and eventually that stress can manifest as disease. This is one reason why Amma is great for everyone and for a plethora of ailments. Amma massage facilitates and supports the body's innate ability to repair and heal itself by reestablishing its natural order and balance.
My Amma treatment is approximately 60-75 minutes hands on time plus an additional 15-30 minutes allowed for assessment. The total treatment length is 90 minutes. Amma can be performed over comfortable clothing. I do not use any creams, oils or lotions for this treatment. You should arrive 15 minutes early for your first Amma Massage to fill out additional paperwork. To reap the most benefits with Amma, a series of at least 3 weekly massages (1 per week for 3 weeks) is suggested.
I would really like more people to become aware of this great healing art and massage modality so I invite you to make an appointment and give it a try.