AMMA Massage Therapy
Luanne Pennesi, RN, MS
AMMA, the oldest Chinese word to describe massage, is an ancient healing system dating back about 500 years to the period of the legendary Yellow Emperor of China. The word “AM-MA” literally means “Push-Pull”. It is rooted in the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. While it is fairy new to the Western world, in China therapeutic bodywork has been an integral part of the medical system for thousands of years.
AMMA therapy is a specialized form of massage therapy that combines deep tissue manipulation with the application of pressure, friction and touch to specific points, energy channels, muscles, ligaments and joints.
HOW IT WORKS:
AMMA is rooted in the same fundamental medical principles of acupuncture and herbal medicine, focusing on balance and movement of energy within the body. The techniques of AMMA aim to remove blockages and free the flow of energy in the body, thus restoring, promoting and maintaining optimum health. While the acupuncturist inserts needles into the energy pathways to stimulate and move energy, the AMMA therapist relies primarily on the sensitivity and strength of the hands to manipulate that energy.
The therapist skillfully gathers information by reviewing information provided by the patient, tongue diagnosis, observation of signs and symptoms, listening to the patient’s complaints and palpating the body. The mission of the practitioner’s assessment is to create a mind/body portrait that includes structural, emotional and energetic imbalances.
The AMMA therapist lives in a world of palpation, so the hands and fingers are essential data gathering devices. Specific attention is paid to the location of any areas of sensitivity or pain, and pain related to particular position or movement. They also consider structural deviations, spasms, palpable masses, skin temperature and skin changes.
A TYPICAL SESSION OF AMMA THERAPY
An AMMA session usually lasts about 45 minutes. Patients wear a hospital gown or loose clothing and are treated on a bodywork table. Prior to the treatment the practitioners collects information about the patient in the areas of diet, activity, stressors, medical history, signs, symptoms and medical history. Once this is done a treatment plan is formulated, which includes manipulation of specific pints and areas of treatment, recommendations fro the diet, detoxification methods and the use of appropriate herbal, vitamin and/or supplement therapies. An important part of the AMMA process is education to direct the patient towards optimal health. AMMA stresses patient responsibility and cooperation in following through with the recommendations. This is an essential component of successful therapy.
Cost of a session:
Sessions usually run anywhere from $65-$85 per session, sometimes initial session lasts for at least an hour, so fee may be higher for just the first visit.