What is AMMA Therapy®?

**Note: Last updated a/o 11/3/2015

AMMA Therapy® is concerned with the balance and movement of life energy (Qi) in the human body. Whereas the acupuncturist will insert needles into these energy pathways to stimulate and move the energy and the herbalist will use appropriate herbal remedies to do the same, the Amma Therapist® relies primarily on the sensitivity and strength of the hands to manipulate and balance the life energy.

Knowledgeable in related approaches, such as acupuncture, moxibustion (the application of heat to acupuncture points), skeletal manipulation, appropriate use of herbal medications, diet, and meditation, the Amma Therapist® is concerned with the flow and balance of energy in the pathways of Qi, commonly known as the channels, that form an energetic web throughout the body. The channels of Qi nourish and defend the body. As well, it is through these channels that harmful energies gain access to deeper regions of the body. The balanced and unobstructed flow of Qi through the channels is imperative for maintaining good health. AMMA Therapy® utilizes all the techniques of the major forms of therapeutic massage.

Deep pressure and point manipulation as used in shiatsu massage are applied in the administration of an AMMA Therapy® treatment to attain the desired effects of energetic movement and release of muscular contraction. Foot reflex points are stimulated during the course of a treatment, a practice commonly known as foot reflexology. Stimulation of these points often has profound results on the deeper organs and tissues of the body. Deep fascia and connective tissue manipulation techniques similar to those used in Rolfing are part of the repertoire of the Advanced AMMA Therapist┬«, as are the muscle stretching and pushing techniques commonly employed in European or Swedish massage.

The Master AMMA Therapist® is also well versed in the skeletal manipulations that form the basis of chiropractic. AMMA Therapy® is therefore not simply a specific technique, but is rather a comprehensive healing art with a specific purpose and philosophy and a sophisticated mode of practice. AMMA Therapy® addresses all problems from this multisystem, multidirectional point of view.

The process of assessment uses both Western and Eastern knowledge and techniques, combining traditional Asian medical principles,(TCM), for assessing energy imbalances with a Western approach to organ dysfunction. A diagnosis is based on the Four Traditional Methods: looking, asking, touching, and smelling. This includes the assessment of every facet of the mindbody complex, including observation of the tongue; the taking of various pulses; palpation; and evaluation of diet, complexion, bowel movements, posture, emotions, vitality, personal likes and dislikes, smells, tastes, and sounds. Every sign and symptom reflects the internal state of the body and can be used in assessment, providing information about the psychological state of the patient as well as the prognosis of the disease or imbalance. Specific areas of the body are seen as a microcosm of the whole, revealing much about the entire organism. Once a comprehensive assessment is made and energy imbalances and organ dysfunction's diagnosed, the Amma therapist's hands and fingers can appropriately treat the body to remove blockages, free the flow of energy, and bring healing energy to problem areas.

In early civilizations, primitive people naturally sought to relieve pains by rubbing the body. The evolutionary position holds that AMMA developed from early experimentation with rubbing that involved pushing and pulling the muscles of the body. However, the extreme sophistication of AMMA makes such theories doubtful. This position is one that assumes evolution, while in the case of Amma and many other traditions of the far east, devolution seems much more likely. Amma(AnMa/AnMo) as practiced in modern China and Japan seems to be a devolved version of the original art in which the basic massage techniques are used exclusively, while the subtlety and power of Amma as recorded in the ancient texts has been lost. Given the profundity of Classical Asian medicine, beginning with the mapping of the energy patterns thousands of years ago, it seems clear that our ancestors were more -sensitive to their subtle experiences than we are today; they were more aware of their bodies and could feel the flow of energy in their systems.

While Traditional Asian physicians of an earlier time generally never saw the inside of the human body, they were able to precisely delineate acupuncture points and knew the specific effects of these points on the physiology of the body. During that time they created charts describing the location of the pathways and their points, much of which has been confirmed by modem scientific research. The ancient texts of the "inner" or "soft" styles of the martial arts alsoindicate an awareness, sensitivity, and subtlety that is rarely found in practitioners of these physical arts today.

All arts-especially those that involve great attention to detail, extraordinary sensitivities, kinesthetic awareness, and control-are quite difficult to teach to others. The result is often a disintegration of the art, whereby the student takes on the lower or more superficial forms of the original practices.

**Footnote updates**
There are numerous practitioners of Amma Therapy® throughout the United States as well as in other countries. There are many using the terminology of Amma Therapy® as a generic term for a style of Chinese Massage. This is very misleading. AnMo or AnMa are terms used in China, Japan and Korea.

AMMA Therapy® was founded and taught by GGM Tina Sohn as a blend of ancient ways that she learned through her family and adding other modalities.

There are currently people that are taking advantage of the situation of Great Grand Master Tina Sohn's death and avoiding the truth involved in the severe disrespect that was given her before her passing.

Statements like "Amma Therapy® should be taught as it was originally taught", and laying claim to uniting Amma Therapy® practitioners should be taken with a grain of salt.
It will only be a unification of Amma practitioners that suit the needs of these groups to continue the hiding of the past and generate their needs from a financial perspective.
We see this going on in the Martial Arts all the time.

There is a reason why such people identified through the AOBTA for many years were Amma Therapeutic Massage or "just AMMA" practitioners for many years. Their identifier is "AMMA" and not AMMA Therapy® as this is STILL a licensed registered trademark. They were avoiding the truth of why the NY College lost the right to teach Amma Therapy®.

Ask questions like "why was there no connection to GGM Tina Sohn for so many years and now the big deal of the connection from the past"

or "why is there a TM law in place for the AMMA Therapy® usage and why didn't we use it all these years?"

or "can I call Mr Bergstrom and speak to him about what other teachers/practitioners in the past claimed GGM Sohn was insane. And why did at least 12 long term disciples of GGM Sohn quit the NY school all of a sudden years ago"

There were many people legally threatened at that time if they revealed the truth of those events. Rev.Bergstrom specifically does not belong to the AOBTA because of the way these events were handled.
AOBTA created a new definition of Asian Bodywork called Amma Therapeutic Massage that separated AMMA Therapy® from the folks who left GGM Tina Sohn.

(whatever their reasons for leaving is a personal matter and up to the individual - leaving GGM Tina Sohn is not the issue. Creating a new style name to allow them to continue to practice the same thing with a new name is the issue.)

And now of course since the dust has settled and there is no one left to bring up the past history can be re written as if these things never happened. GGM Tina Sohn specifically asked Rev.Bergstrom to not make a big deal of these events and to leave it be since it would only hurt the future of the teaching of AMMA Therapy®.

Rev.Bergstrom has been teaching Amma Therapy® for over 20 years now. The majority of that time in a formal ABT State registered school owned by him and regulated by the state of Wisconsin.
This has been a well known national fact and this website has reflected it all these years. He "was" a state rep for AOBTA for over a decade and was instrumental in the new licensing in WI as being the ONLY ABT on the Governors board.

And during this entire time he was still under GGM Tina Sohn. When the NY College and all other formal schools in the USA were NOT allowed or sanctioned to teach AMMA Therapy® and were not approved by GGM Tina Sohn.
At those times these people and/or institutions called it Amma Therapeutic Massage.

And now there will be the attempt to re-write history.

Rev.Bergstrom is still available to teach and train people in Amma Therapy® as it is one of the restorative techniques in the YamaMizu Ryu Martial System. But the politics and national organizational comraderie of people involved in hiding and forgetting the total lack of respect and honor of the Sohn's will not allow him the time or energy to pay towards such sheep following the lies of the flock tenders.

Karma is truth. These footnotes have been added for the sake of truth.
and that AMMA Therapy® is GGM Tina Sohn's art and not something that existed before and she just passed on. It was her baby. There are some people who are highly trained and qualified at practicing and teaching Amma we're sure. Would a person want the energy of a person who lies at their core about the Grandmaster they distrespected and turned their backs on.. Something to think about...

Dr.Sohn's Tai Chi form is the Qigong that belongs with AMMA Therapy in its practice.
If your not learning or making an effort to learn Dr.Sohn's Taiji form as an Amma practitioner it is not the original way.

Many won't care. We do. R.I.P and great love and devotion to the Sohn's. The following link will take you to the USA Trademark Law Page showing Mrs.Sohns licensed registered trademark listing.
US Trademark for AMMA Therapy