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Spirit of the Valley
The Magazine of Mountain Wellness

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2005 - THE HARVEST & ENVIRONMENT ISSUE

 

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Amma Bodywork Therapy
A Career and a Lifestyle

By April Crowell & Rylen Feeney

Since 1992, The Wellspring School For Asian Bodywork Therapy and the practitioners of Crowell, Feeney & Associa tes have been offering Amma Bodywork Therapy and wholistic healthcare to the Treasure Valley.

Amma (literally translated as “push-pull”) is the oldest Chinese word for massage. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Amma dates back nearly 5,000 years to the time of The Yellow Emperor. Ancient Chinese doctors spent years of their lives observing nature and how it manifest in the body. By identifying imbalances and disharmonies, they learned to effectively treat both the symptoms and the roots of disease. The result was a poetically beautiful form of medicine that is simple yet powerful.

Life and health are precious. We live in a society that has spent years believing that you visit a doctor only when things get “bad enough”. Western Medicine defines “health” as absence of a diagnosable disease. Yet, we know in our hearts that health is a sense of vitality in mind, body and spirit. Most western doctors are skilled in handling crisis and extreme situations, not prevention and maintenance of health. Preventative medicine continues to enjoy a boom in popularity in the US yet this is an old, familiar concept in TCM. In fact, in ancient China, Chinese doctors were paid only while the people of the village were well. Once a person fell ill, it was the duty of the village doctor to work until health was again recovered. Amma practitioners recognize that prevention is the best medicine and to treat effectively you must treat the whole person: body, mind and spirit.

“The cornerstone of Amma Therapy is prevention through education…about diet, exercise and lifestyle. This is the most desirable ‘alternative’ of all.” ~ Joyce Barker

The Wellspring’s highly acclaimed Amma Bodywork Therapy Program is one of the few comprehensive programs in the United States. Encompassing the foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the 1000 hour program provides superior training for a successful career in wholistic healthcare. Drawing students from across the United States, the program is well respected within the local community and the healthcare community at large.

The Amma program includes in depth study of Yin/Yang, Five Element, Six Divisions, and Zang Fu (organ) Theory, nutrition, supplements, herbs, qigong, practice building and ethics as well as a six-month clinical internship providing students with a truly comprehensive wholistic healthcare training.

“What a relief to find a hospitable setting to learn in… This program has given me a chance to come into my body. Movement and breath are keys that I have learned in T’ai Chi, Qigong and our practice of Amma Therapy. To practice, to walk, and to be in the world with a mind that knows stillness within the bustle of life’s activity. That is wealth and freedom beyond measure.” Sue Chew

Amma Bodywork Therapy is not just a system of practicing the theories of TCM, it is a magnificent form of bodywork. The rhythmic, deep tissue massage is relaxing and vitalizing. Detailed knowledge of organ systems, acupuncture channel pathways, and acu-points allows the practitioner/student to manipulate qi, removing areas of excess, increasing qi and blood flow to areas of deficiency, building, nourishing and harmonizing the body over all.

Practitioners of Amma are able to correctly identify patterns and disharmonies and successfully treat them. Unique to Amma Bodywork Therapy is as strong emphasis on understanding how diseases manifest and are diagnosed in western medicine. Understanding the functioning of the body and disease from this point of view allows the practitioner to better communicate with clients and reference the disharmony back to TCM theory for treatment.

Whether you are looking to improve your own health with treatment and education or to enrich your life with a new career, The Wellspring School for Asian Bodywork and Crowell, Feeney & Associates is the resource you’re looking for. We look forward to hearing from you – call today for information on the new Amma program beginning in September or for an appointment.

Finally, we would like to thank the community for over 14 years of support and we look forward to continuing this relationship for years to come.

The Wellspring School For Asian Bodywork Therapy
Crowell, Feeney & Associates health and wellness cooperative
725 N. 15th, Boise, Id 83702
208/388-0206
www.thewellspring.org