Amma Therapy – The Student's Perspective

Amma Therapy student group

One of the most valuable things a person considering any program can do is talk to current students to find out what things are really like. Hearing firsthand about considerations during the application process to how things have evolved after a year into the program can be useful to determine whether a program is the right fit or not.

With the above in mind, we asked a couple of our current Amma Therapy Program Group 2 (AG02) students to help answer some of the frequently asked questions we get from prospective students.

Check out the below to find out what AG02 students, John and Jamie, had to say.


Q: Why did you choose the Amma Therapy program at The Wellspring School?

John: I really liked the holistic nature of Amma and was especially excited that it incorporates some of my longstanding interests – mindful movement, bodywork, food and lifestyle.  I liked the school’s central location in the inner east side of Portland. Last, but not least, I got a great vibe when speaking with The Wellspring School students, teachers and alumni.

Jamie: Amma, without doubt, is my niche. I’ve always known my hands were my best tool, but never knew exactly how to use them. Amma’s technique, foundation in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and focus on self-healing were major influences on my decision to apply. After touring the school, I scheduled my first Amma treatment to get a true sense of what I would be getting into… Amma really did have me at “hello.”


Q: Starting AG02, did you have any concerns, expectations or other about the program?

John: I wondered how difficult it would be to handle the time demands of work and school at the same time.  I had some hesitation regarding my potential to make a career out of Amma after graduation.

Jamie: I knew immediately it would be more challenging than any other program I’ve been involved in. It became evident from the first day I wouldn’t impress anyone with an “A” on every test; quite the opposite really. I would be pushed to achieve more than good scores; authenticity, self-awareness, deeper understanding, and, perhaps most of all, perseverance through all the challenges which naturally unfold in the pursuit of self-healing. The Amma program hasn’t just taught me how to treat conditions, it has taught me how to look in the mirror.


Q: You have passed the midpoint of the program and are already in your 4th segment (out of 6). Have your concerns, expectations or other been addressed?

John: Yes, I’ve discovered that I can handle work and school. I’m very busy, but it is doable.  Reducing my work schedule to 20 hours per week before I started the program was a good decision.

I’ve gained confidence in my ability to make a career out of Amma through the positive feedback I’ve received from the people I’ve practiced on over the last year.


Q: What has been the biggest surprise or “aha” with the Amma program?

John: The amount of personal growth I’m experiencing relating to diet, sleep, and self-care techniques.


Q: About how much schoolwork do you do every week for the program outside of class?

John: I practice bodywork on 1-2 people per week, which typically takes 3-4 hours including writing a log following each treatment. I generally spend 2-6 hours per week on reading assignments and studying for tests. Fortunately, I find the subject matter fascinating and I’m energized by the homework so it doesn’t usually feel like a drag.


Q: Do you think it’s feasible to work and/or manage a family while taking the program?

John: Regarding family, I’d say that it does take sacrifice from you and your family members. Naturally, your focus will be diverted from them during the time you’re spending on school.  It’s important to get buy-in from your family members as you embark on a career altering/life changing endeavor like this. My wife has been amazingly supportive has helped so much. We don’t have children, but I’d imagine that raising kids while doing the program is challenging. However, several of my classmates who are parents seem to be doing fine, and I have tremendous respect for them!

Jamie: I work part-time and have a husband and daughter (and live 2 hours from the school). It is not only feasible, but often my stability in an otherwise chaotic life. The workload can be stressful at times, but it is all information you want to know, which makes the tasks lighter work.


Q: A lot of prospective students are concerned about the two-year duration of the program.  After having been here for more than a year, what are your thoughts on the two-year time frame?

John: I feel like two years allows the time necessary to get a solid foundation in a complex art and it gives you the time and space to grow and develop yourself.  My confidence has steadily increased and I feel I will be well prepared to practice when I’m done.  Lastly, two years may sound like a long time, but it really goes by fast!

Jamie: My thoughts more than a year into the program are, “Thank God I’m not done yet.” I believe Rylen has said it more than once, “The more you know, the more you don’t know.” I don’t think this program could be shortened, and still prepare students to practice by graduation. I eagerly look forward to two terms of Clinic starting in April! The time has gone by faster than I could have imagined, and the program schedule is available from the start of the program, which makes planning for events outside the program very easy.


Q: Finances are a big concern for many prospective students. Do you have any tips for students on how to pay for the program of finance their education?

John: None come to mind. Ideally you can save up money in advance…

Jamie: Take advantage of the school’s financing if needed. Agree to an easily achievable dollar figure for monthly payments, and pay principle down if able (like when you get your tax return)!


Q: At this point, what excites you most about the program?

John: I love that it’s composed of such practical, common sense techniques to improve your health.  There’s an elegance and beauty to Chinese Medicine that I can’t wait to share with future clients.

Jamie: Simply, people love Amma, and people are healing.


Q: What would you tell a prospective student at this point?

John: The Amma program is fun, challenging and life altering.  The Wellspring School is made up of a wonderfully supportive community.  I haven’t regretted my decision to enroll in the Amma program for a single moment.

Jamie: Amma chooses you. It’s for you, or not for you. There’s not really a middle ground, in my opinion. It is challenging, hard work, and pushes you personally. Sometimes, your ego will suffer – and you will be better for it all. Be prepared for more than just school and class work – be prepared for self-healing, expansion, and to get even closer to your truest potential. It is a privilege to be an Amma student, and I am thrilled to be on my way to becoming an Amma Therapist.


Thank you, John & Jamie for sharing!

We are still enrolling for the 2016 program group! Join us at our next Open House – Program Info Sessions on Wednesday, February 3rd from 5:30-7:30. A couple of our current Amma program students will be in attendance and you can ask them yourselves! RSVP required. Please email ( or call (503.688.1482).


Amma Therapy Student Group 2016

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