Amma massage is the result of thousands of years of Chinese tradition. In Ancient Chinese the word Amma means push-pull, which describes the work of the massage therapist. Amma massage comes from the same philosophy that acupuncture derives from, thus a practitioner of Amma massage will be concerned with the qi (also chi or ki) life force energy that is said to flow through the body. As these energy flows are brought to an optimal level by the Amma Massage therapist, the body will enter into a harmonious state, and as a result will be able to not only heal itself of illnesses but prevent illnesses from entering the body in the first place.
The ancient book of Chinese medicine, the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, or Huangdi Neijing, thought to be over 2000 years old, is where the ideas behind Amma Massage were first recorded. It is in this book that concepts such as Yin and Yang, Qi, and the Five Elements are discussed in relation to a person’s health. The book explains that the forces of the universe that exist everywhere naturally also exist in human beings. By bringing these forces into balance within a person’s body, disease can be eliminated.
Amma Massage is considered to be a powerful and effective treatment for a wide variety of diseases. Some of the complaints that you might see an Amma Massage Therapist for include, arthritis, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, bronchitis, hypertension, muscle strain and neuromuscular disease.
It is a therapy that not only benefits a person in terms of their physical body, but that can also provide assistance mentally, emotionally and spiritually. For instance, the physical body is aided through being stretched and loosened, stimulating the release of toxins and endorphins. Mentally, a person can experience relaxation and reduced stress. In terms of emotion a person may feel decreased anxiety. And in a spiritual sense, as a result of the massage, feelings of isolation may be reduced and the patient may feel that their self-awareness has increased.
Practitioners of Amma Massage will use different strokes, vibrations and manipulations in order to stimulate the flow of qi within the body. These techniques are also thought to assist in draining the body’s lymphatic fluid. Great importance is placed on sensitivity towards the patient, and an experienced practitioner will have a well developed sense of ‘softness’ in relation to his or her technique.
A strong belief behind Amma Massage is that everything about the body can be learnt through an assessment of the body’s internal state. A modern Amma Massage practitioner will also incorporate Western medical practises into the treatment; chiropractic techniques, for instance, may be employed.
Because Amma Massage is a holistic treatment, practitioners will have a broad range of advice to offer, they will make suggestions about herbal therapies and food nutrition. It is not correct to think of Amma Massage as a specific massage technique, it is really a comprehensive combination of many different forms of massage.
The therapy session will likely begin with a discussion between you and the practitioner. This is because Amma Massage is not merely a physical treatment. The practitioner will be observing you in a holistic sense, watching your body language, listening to your voice, taking note of how you smell and considering the thoughts that are occurring inside your head. Based on the discussion, the practitioner may already be able to suggest herbal and vitamin treatments for you.
The massage itself usually takes place on a massage table, it will last around three quarters of an hour.
Because Amma Massage is not a specific form of treatment, it is suggested that you consider the level of training and experience of any practitioner you see.