Amma Bodywork Therapy: More than Massage.

“So, is it like shiatsu?”

This is the question we most often hear when people first hear about Amma Therapy and begin to wrap their head around it. The answer is kind of – and no.

Asian Bodywork plays a major role in Amma Therapy, and, like shiatsu, this form of bodywork interacts with the channels and acu-points to move qi in the body.

But Amma Therapy is so much more than the technique of massage. It truly is a comprehensive form of healthcare that integrates, Chinese medicine theory, mindful movement, nutrition, herbs, supplements, and personal development along with the bodywork, all grounded in a lineage and the principles of Chinese Medicine. It gives you a complete framework through which to look at health and disease.

Sounds complex? It is, and we think that makes it an excellent match for the full complexity of human beings.

The bodywork component of Amma Therapy

When you watch an Amma treatment, you’ll see the practitioner apply deep circular digital pressure along all of the channels on the patient’s body, using fingers to access acu-points along the way.  The channels and acu-points are the same ones used by acupuncturists. Amma Therapy just uses hands instead of needles to stimulate qi.

It is rhythmic and often more vigorous than a relaxation massage, and at the same time very grounding.

In the words of Michelle, a client and LMT:

“I love receiving Amma because it is so well-rounded, I feel like it touches on all aspects of my wellness. In one session I get the benefits of acupuncture without the needles, a relaxing and therapeutic massage, a nutrition consultation and a Chinese medicine diagnosis.”

Studying Amma Therapy vs. Massage

Amma Therapy is a wonderful alternative or addition to the study of massage therapy. In Oregon, our graduates are eligible to sit for the exams held by the Oregon Board of Massage and, upon passing, can practice as Licensed Massage Therapists in the state.

You will be able to offer a powerful form of Asian bodywork, as well as other tools to help your patients create and sustain health.

The same tools also help you take care of your own health on all levels, to minimize practitioner burn out (which unfortunately happens to too many massage therapists after a few years of practice) and can cultivate a sustainable and fulfilling career.

Want to dig a little deeper?

We love sharing our knowledge and experience with Amma Therapy, so come stop by our next Open House on June 10th. If you are intrigued by the idea of Amma Therapy as a professional path, you can also contact us with questions. And if you have never had an Amma therapy treatment, stay tuned for updates about our student clinics which will begin in January 2015.



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Offering comprehensive training in Amma Bodywork Therapy, Wholistic Health, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wholistic Nutrition & Movement Arts since 1995.