What is AMMA Therapy®?
AMMA Therapy® focuses on the flow and balance of vital energy known as Qi or Chi within the human body. In asmuch as a practitioner of acupuncture uses needles into meridians or energy pathways to stimulate and move Qi, the herbalist, on the other hand, makes use of herbal preparations to elicit the same effects. The Amma Therapist® mainly relies on the strength and the sensitivity of his/her hands, to control the flow and balance Qi.
Trained and skilled in associated modes of healing such as the proper selection, combining and application of herbal formulas, moxibustion (the burning of moxa herb over a pressure point), acupuncture, skeletal manipulation, meditation, and nutritional therapy, the Amma Therapist® deals with problems related to the movement and balance of energy in the meridians, also known as channels. These channels form an energetic network all over the body. They provide nutrition to the body and defend it as well. These channels are also where harmful energies can enter into the deeper parts of the body. Good health depends on the free and harmonized flow of Qi via the meridians and so it is important to maintain this free and balanced movement at all times. All the methods of the most important kinds of therapeutic massage are used in AMMA Therapy®.
The point manipulation and deep pressure techniques used in shiatsu massage are also adopted in AMMA Therapy® to help produce the desired results of muscle tightness relaxation and Qi movement. AMMA Therapy® also borrows methods from a common therapy known as foot reflexology in which foot reflex pressure points are activated during treatment. When these points are stimulated, it leads to profound effects on the body’s deep tissues and organs. Techniques used in rolfing including the manipulation of connective tissue and deep fascia techniques are also utilized by Advanced AMMA Therapists®, as well as Swedish or European massage techniques of muscle stretching and pushing.
Skeletal manipulation techniques, which are used in chiropractic medicine is also a skill that a Master AMMA Therapist® is well trained in. We can thus see that AMMA Therapy® is not just all about a specific technique; it is actually an exhaustive healing art with a stated purpose and principle and a complex and refined mode of practice. This therapy considers multidirectional points of view and taps into these various systems to resolve all problems.
To evaluate organ dysfunction, AMMA Therapy® utilizes a type of assessment that integrates the knowledge and techniques used in Western and Eastern medicine. This therapy combines traditional Chinese medicine and other traditional Asian medical principles and a Western approach to observe energy imbalances and resolve them. AMMA Therapy® adopts a TCM diagnosis known as the Four Traditional Methods: observing, questioning, smelling, and palpating. This diagnosis also involves the evaluation of every facet of the body-mind complex, the taking of various pulses, assessment of the tongue; regulation of diet; palpation; posture, complexion, bowel movements, vitality, emotions, sounds, personal likes and dislikes, tastes, and smells. The body’s internal state of health can be known by every manifested signs and symptoms. This information also determines the psychological state of the patient and the prognosis of the imbalance or sickness. Certain parts of the body can be considered as a microcosm of the entire body, telling us a great deal about the entire body. Once an integrated evaluation and a diagnosis of organ malfunctions and energy imbalances is made, the Amma therapist can then begin treatment by skillfully using his/her fingers and hands to eliminate obstructions, allow energy to flow freely, and move that energy to the affected parts of the body.
Tens of thousands of years ago, primitive man rubbed his body as a natural way of relieving pain. Some believe that AMMA first evolved from early trials with rubbing that entailed the pulling and pushing of muscles in the body. However, the highly sophisticated techniques of AMMA make this theory untenable. This theory is based on evolution. However, some people believe that Amma as well as several other Oriental healing practices, is actually a devolution of some kind. The Chinese and Japanese forms Amma(AnMa/AnMo) seem to be a devolution from the original in which only the basic massage techniques are used, whereas the potency and subtlety of Amma that was mentioned in ancient documents seem to have disappeared. Traditional Asian medicine starting with the mapping of the energy patterns thousands of years ago, was a bit more profound then as our ancestors were more finely tuned to their subtle experiences compared to the people living in this postmodern age; our ancestors were more conscious of their bodies and could sense the Qi flowing in their bodily systems.
Ancient Traditional Asian healers may have never been able to literally see the inside of a human body; yet, in spite of that, they were able to accurately map out acupuncture points and understood the specific physiological effects of those points on the body. They were able to design charts that intricately denoted the parts of the body where the channels can be found and their corresponding pressure points, much of which has bee confirmed by modern Western studies. The ancient documents of the “soft” or “inner” styles of the martial arts also reveal a subtlety, sensitivity, and awareness that is found in just a very few users of these healing and physical arts these days.
It is extremely difficult to teach to others all types of arts particularly the ones that require kinesthetic awareness, great attention to detail, control, and extraordinary sensitivities. More often than not, it just leads to a degradation of the art, in which the more superficial and inferior forms of the original practices are imbibed by the student.