Archive for ‘Amma Bodywork Therapy’

October 3, 2012

Mindful Movement is Great for Everyone!

Mindful Movement is one of the Eight Limbs of Chinese Medicine and an essential component of health and wellbeing for everyone. At The Wellspring School for Healing Arts we enjoy being able to offer quality classes for the community that fall under the Mindful Movement umbrella, including both T’ai Chi Chuan and Qigong. Mindful movement helps synchronize your mind and body, keep you focused, in balance and healthier overall. The best part of Mindful Movement is that absolutely anyone can do it!

We also view these practices as indispensible components of our Amma Bodywork Therapy program and have incorporated 90 hours of T’ai Chi and Qigong classes into the overall curriculum. Giving students the opportunity to learn and practice mindful movement throughout the course of the program is a differentiator for their success as students as well as future practitioners. Our next Amma Bodywork Therapy program begins in February 2013! Click here to learn more about the program and to download your copy of the student handbook.

Check out a brief T’ai Chi demo in the below video given by lead Amma instructor, Michael Guida, BPS, LMT #19016. For more information and to register for any of our movement or meditation classes, click here.

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September 15, 2012

Video: How Rylen got into Chinese Medicine – and what she still loves about it

Check out this video to get to know Rylen and The Wellspring School a little better, and to learn more about Amma Therapy.

If you have any comments, questions, or thoughts after listening to Rylen, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at info@thewellspring.org, call (503) 688-1482, or stop by our beautiful new space in Northeast Portland.

August 16, 2012

Amma Bodywork Therapy – Portland Program Starts in October!

We are thrilled to launch our professional Amma Bodywork Therapy program in Portland on October 10, 2012. We would love for you to join us! If you have been considering a new career in wholistic health, Chinese medicine or bodywork, or if you are a practitioner looking to expand skills and offer more comprehensive care, read on for more information about Amma Bodywork Therapy and details about the program!

What is Amma Bodywork Therapy?

A classical Asian bodywork style that predates acupuncture, “Amma” is the oldest Chinese word to describe massage. Amma Bodywork Therapy is a specialized form of bodywork that combines deep, circular pressure and acu-point stimulation and utilizes Chinese Medicine principles for assessing and treating imbalances in the body’s energy system.

Why is Amma Bodywork Therapy so unique?

Amma Bodywork Therapy is more than massage.  Brought to the United States by Tina Sohn as Amma Therapy, it also includes Chinese Medicine theory and diagnostics as well as the in-depth study of channels and points used to maintain health and to relieve many chronic conditions. Amma Bodywork Therapy is an extensive, dynamic, and comprehensive form of wholistic healthcare that includes: training in a traditional Asian bodywork form, wholistic nutrition, herbs, supplements, meditation, tai chi, and qigong.

Why study Amma Bodywork Therapy at the Wellspring School?

We are the only school in the United States offering comprehensive training and professional certification in Amma Bodywork Therapy. The Wellspring School’s Amma program is led by senior practitioner Rylen Feeney.  Rylen studied with Tina and Dr. Sohn as well as Faye and Steve Schenkman and has been teaching Amma for 19 years. Honoring the principles of a lineage art, we strive to maintain Amma Bodywork Therapy in it’s purest form.

Our 1000+ hour program is taught over six 15-week segments and takes roughly 24 months to complete. Classes include: Asian Principles and Foundations, Asian Anatomy & Physiology, Food and the Treatment of Disharmony, Asian Clinical Assessment, Complimentary Techniques, and much more. You can find a full list here.

What do students say about the Amma program at the Wellspring School?

“Amma Therapy is a profound healing art.  The Wellspring is founded and run by committed individuals that live what they teach and will teach you to do the same.” Nathan M.

“I can honestly say becoming a student of The  Wellspring School was the best thing I have ever done for my health, happiness and personal growth.” Amy B.

What is the next step?

Contact us to  find out more about our Amma program.  We will also be hosting three upcoming open houses (see below). These are great opportunities to find out more about our programs and classes, meet instructors, past graduates and the school directors.

Tuesday, August 21st (214 SE 18th Ave.) 5:30pm-8:00pm

Tuesday, September 11th (call for location*) 5:30pm-8:00pm

Wednesday, September 12th (call for location*) 11:30am-1:00pm

Please also share this information with people in your personal and professional community who you think might benefit from our Amma program. You can email them the link to this blog post or give them our email address: info@thewellspring.org. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay current on upcoming classes and events.

*We will be moving in September from SE Portland to NE Portland (2440 MLK Jr. Blvd.) Stay tuned for more details.

November 15, 2011

Education & Community Service – A Recipe for Success!


Wholistic Nutrition Program Student - Jessica W.


One of my favorite aspects of  The Wellspring School program students is the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of community service activities.  Through Amma students  providing bodywork to a hardworking group of teachers, or nutrition students educating various groups on the benefits of healthy, whole foods based eating, it is exciting to see people become interested in something they might not have had access to previously. Whether it’s through touch, mindful movement, diet or an exciting new recipe, we love seeing our students actively bridging the gap between the community in educating folks on leading healthier lifestyles in a way that is enjoyable.

As part of both Amma Therapy and Wholistic Nutrition students must participate in a minimum of 18 hours of community service. Recently in Boise, a group of Wholistic Nutrition Program students and I participated in a meeting of the new organization, Idaho Cancer Wellness Community, whose charter is to create a place where “people living with cancer can get the comprehensive social, emotional and educational support they need.” The Wellspring School was invited to prepare food for the event, being cognizant of a wide variety of food sensitivities and ensuring fresh, healthy and tasty snacks for the group.

Our menu included roasted root veggies, teff/quinoa & corn polenta topped with roasted red pepper and poblano chili pestos, fresh figs with walnut cream sauce and (DF,SF, GF) brownies and hazelnut cookie drops. While at the event we were  pleased to be able to provide recipes and information about the snacks and nutrition in general. It’s always amazing and satisfying when people discover that food can be healthy and tasty at the same time!

Below some pictures from the evening as well as a recipe for nut cream. The cream sauce is a great recipe to have on hand for the holidays. Substitute for whipped cream on pies, as a thickener for soups and topping for hot cereals or stewed fruits. It’s dairy free and super yummy!

Nut Cream

3 cups walnuts soaked overnight or cashews soaked for 1-2 hours (Whatever nut you like…softer nuts take less soaking time. Make sure to rinse when done and toss out the soaking water.)

½ Tsp. vanilla extract (for sweet cream use)

1 TBS maple syrup (for sweet cream use)

1/4 tsp sea salt (Optional)

3Tbs. coconut oil  (Optional, lends to a thicker texture, like a hard cream.)

Water – quantity depends on desired thickness


Preparation:

1. Put everything in a blender on low speed.

2. Gradually add water until the mixture is smooth and the desired consistency. It may take a few minutes so be patient!

3. Remove to a bowl and allow to chill thoroughly (about 30 minutes)


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July 27, 2011

Big News! All Future Wellspring School Amma Programs will be Offered in Portland!

For those of you who missed the announcement in last week’s newsletter, we thought we’d re-print the Director’s Letter for you. Lots of activity and changes at The Wellspring School! We want to make sure everyone is up to speed on what’s happening, because if you’ve been waiting to take a class or attend a clinic that is part of the Amma Program in Boise, now is most definitely the time!

This summer has been a whirlwind of activity for us at The Wellspring School in both Portland and Boise. Our Amma Therapy clinic is underway in both locations. In June we hosted all WSHA Amma students in Boise for a three-day intensive with Rylen (picture), and we have another one planned for August.  We held an evening event for the Wholistic Nutrition Program (WNP) students, past and present, featuring a lively panel discussion led by alum practitioners, Anne Woodhouse, Kim Rene, and Alisha Smith, in addition to Rylen and Rachael.  We are excited to welcome two new WNP instructors to Boise in the next couple of months. Jessie Hensley and Bari Mandelbaum will be teaching Daily Dose I (August) and Eat to Live I (September) class weekends respectively. Yes, we are busy!

Rylen and Rachael also met in Portland for a planning session to talk specifically about, “What’s Next for The Wellspring School?” We have been working diligently with the Oregon Department of Education to formally establish our school presence and program offerings in the state. We are hopefully approaching the home stretch in that process and once completed we will be publishing our 2012-2014 Portland programs and classes calendar. In conjunction with this process, we also still plan to launch the first Wholistic Nutrition Program in Portland this fall, pending final approval of the Oregon Department of Education.

With all of this underway comes a very big decision for us regarding the Amma Bodywork Therapy Program. Since its inception in 1995, The Wellspring School has matriculated over 100 students into the Amma Bodywork Therapy program in Boise. Very exciting! It is our goal to continue to fine tune this program as a whole as well as evolve components to provide a robust set of CEU/PDA offerings for existing practitioners and public attendees. To make this happen we have evaluated teaching resources, student interest, public demand and opportunities for positive growth. The end result is that we’ve decided not to offer the Amma program again in Boise. Instead we will focus our energies on the future development of this program in Portland specifically.

We hope to bring class sizes back up to the double digits as well as take advantage of the broad set of holistic healthcare practitioners available within the larger Portland metro area. We’d also like for Rylen to spend less time on the road and more time in the classroom. That means that the current Amma Program Group13 is the last group that will graduate from The Wellspring School in Boise! Go, Lucky 13! Make sure to take advantage of Amma student clinic through December, as it will be the last one in Boise! 

We are still going strong with our Wholistic Nutrition Program in Boise, and as mentioned we plan to kick off the next one in Portland this fall. The current Boise WNP group will be hosting a great public event followed by clinic next spring, so stay tuned on that. As always, WNP classes are open to other attendees, space permitting. If there’s a class you’ve been wanting to take that’s part of the Amma Program, especially one taught by Rylen, now’s the time to sign up. Check our upcoming classes page for dates/instructors for Additional Techniques – Asian, Daily Dose, Eat to Live I & II, etc.

All alumni can take classes as a repeat for 50% off! We hope that our Boise Alumni will take advantage of the proximity to Portland and join us for some dynamic upcoming workshops or if there’s a class you wish to take again.  In October, current WSHA Amma Students from both locations will be meeting in Portland for an evening of Taoist Thought and a weekend of Chen Tai Chi with Bill Helm. We are really grateful for the opportunity to have brought Amma Bodywork Therapy to so many people in the Boise community to date. We hope that all of you that have been coming to The Wellspring School as clinic clients, students and teachers will continue to enjoy and promote the benefits of this incredible modality in Boise and beyond!

-Rachael & Rylen

June 3, 2011

Amma Bodywork Clinic – What’s it all about?

It never ceases to amaze me how many calls we get at The Wellspring School from people wanting to know if we have clinic up and running. Even after an almost two-year hiatus (in Boise) it’s great to  know that clinic is something the community looks forward to and values. With that in mind we are really excited to be able to offer clinic in both Boise and Portland!

So what’s so great about clinic? It offers something for everyone. The student gets the chance to gain hands on experience, build confidence and learn skills needed to become a successful practitioner. Instructors get to work directly with students and focus on individual needs as they see a myriad of clients and issues. Alumni have the chance to serve as a clinic assistant and continue to expand their knowledge of Amma Bodywork Therapy to better serve their clients and grow their practices. Finally, the client gets the benefit of a full hour treatment with input from students and instructor at an incredibly discounted price. The general benefit of an Amma treatment is something everyone should experience.

Don’t just take our word for it. We recently asked students, instructors and clients what they thought about clinic and here is some of what they had to say.

Students:

“Being able to have feed back and instructors immediate insight has improved my treatment and diagnostic skills… so that the client gets more insight to a healthy state of life.”    Stephanie O.

“What a great “hands on” learning experience student clinic is.  Treating a variety of people from all age groups, different body types and differing health concerns is vital for my education as an Amma Therapy Student.”  Amma G13 Student

Alumni/Clinic Assistant:

“As a graduate of the Amma Program, the experience in clinic was really valuable.  Treating so many people with guidance from my instructor gave me the confidence I needed to begin my practice.  As a current practitioner, it is extremely useful to be able to take the time to assist in clinic. There is always something more to learn.”  Kim R.

Clients:

“I’ve experienced many massages in my life, but nothing like Amma.  I really felt as though the practitioner was moving energy in very positive ways…waking my body up!”    JB

“Amma Therapy is very calming.  I feel more energized, yet peaceful.” JA

Amma Clinic is something I look forward to every week. My stress melts away and it is the best way to kick off the weekend. Last Saturday my entire family went including my 4-year old daughter. We all walked away feeling good. Can’t wait for next week!” Bill M. 

Boise Clinic  has already started and will run almost weekly through December.  We are very pleased to offer our first Portland Clinic starting June 24th. Check out the website for dates. We are taking appointments for both. Just call the office. We are working on an online booking system we hope to introduce soon as well!

April 6, 2011

The Wellspring School Settles Down in Portland « The Portland Pedal Power Blog

The Wellspring School Settles Down in Portland « The Portland Pedal Power Blog.

March 30, 2011

Have Spoon—Will Gua Sha!

April Crowell, Dipl, ABT (NCCAOM), CI (AOBTA), & CHN, currently serves as lead instructor for The Wellspring School Amma Program. We asked April to give us her take on one of the upcoming classes, Complementary Techniques that she will be teaching in Portland in April 29th & May 1st. Thanks, April!

Complementary Techniques is one of my favorite classes to teach.  If you ask my students they will tell you that I say that about every class, whether it’s a technique or a didactic class.  But Complementary Techniques is truly a class I love to teach.

Each technique has its own set of benefits, uses and contraindications. For example, Moxibustion warms and tonifies, which is perfect for a cold and deficient client.  Fire cupping can relieve deep lung congestion and pain in general.  Gua sha relieves pain rapidly, releases wind and cold, and is very easy to use. These are just some of the great benefits.

All the techniques are simple to apply once the basics are learned and this class is great because students get the chance for lots of hands on practice.  Practice is what is needed to develop the coordination to get an accurate fire cup seal, to safely use those techniques involving fire, or feeling confident enough to apply gua sha. The point of the class is to learn how to effectively use these beneficial techniques and leave feeling confident.

Through the years, we’ve had a few Comedy of Error moments in the classes; self-singed bangs, dropped cups, flaming cotton balls, and even an emotional release or two. However, students have all left saying this was one of their favorite classes whether they are in the Amma program or taking the class for continuing education. Fire cupping, Moxibustion, Gua Sha, Auricular therapy are excellent additions to any practitioner’s set of skills.  And they are just fun to learn. We get to play with fire, literally.

For more information on this and other classes, please check out the website WSHA website.

If you are interested in receiving our newsletter, please sign up here.

March 25, 2011

Survival Skills for the Modern Day Wholistic Warrior – (Part 3)

Seaweed, Green Clay & Other Essential Nutrients

Part 3 of a 3-part series:

Contributed by Rylen Feeney

As noted in my previous post, I can’t spend enough telling you how wonderful wheatgrass is and how everyone should have some in their diet! There are two other nutrients, green clay and seaweed, that I would like to focus on. These really round out what I consider to be the top three essential for daily good health and counter-acting the negative effects of exposure to environmental toxins.

GREEN or BENTONITE CLAY

Clay is a powerful yet gentle detoxifier.  It can been used as an absorbing protective barrier or in baths to remove exposure to radiation and other toxins as well as be consumed with water to bind and absorb toxins internally.

“The Soviet Union put French Green Clay in chocolate bars and dispensed them freely to the masses to remove radiation their citizens were exposed to after the disaster.”
 (www.janethull.com). Furthermore, they buried the reactor in beds of clay and workers at nuclear planet in Russia cover their bodies in Bentonite clay under their radiation suits to prevent the absorption of radioactive substances.

Green Clay is found in seabeds in France and India. The clay helps balances body pH, has a high negative ion charge which in turn in responsible for it’s ability to bind with heavy metals and chemical toxins in the body.
 Green clay is rich in trace amounts of Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Zinc, Aluminum, Silicon, Copper, Selenium, Cobalt, Micro-algae, Kelp and other phyto-nutrients.

Download Handout on: Uses and Directions for Green Clay or see www.aboutclay.com


SEAWEED

Kelp and other seaweeds are wonderful nourishing foods.   Many claim that Kelp can be taken safely and preventively rather than the Potassium Iodine to protect the thyroid from radiation poisoning.

“Seaweed offers broadest range of minerals of any food.  Minerals found in the ocean mirror minerals found in blood.  Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K, B-vitamin folate, and magnesium, iron and calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. In addition, sea vegetables contain good amounts of lignans, plant compounds with cancer-protective properties.  Lignans have been credited with inhibiting estrogen synthesis in fat cells as effectively as some of the drugs used in cancer chemotherapy. Diets high in folate-rich foods are associated with a significantly reduced risk for colon cancer.  An abundance of folic acid helps prevent birth defects and cardiovascular disease. Sea vegetables promote healthy thyroid function. With a good source of magnesium, sea vegetables have been shown to reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart attack, it also may help prevent migraine headaches, and reduce the severity of asthma symptoms.”   (Wellspring School student handout 2009)

“If there is insufficient iodine in the diet radioactive iodine-131 will be absorbed and collected in the thyroid gland. Even if radioactive iodine is absorbed by the thyroid, taking natural iodine helps offset the side effects of exposure.  According to Dr. Russell Morgan, one mg. of iodine for children and five mg. for adults taken daily will reduce by about 80 percent the radioactive iodine accumulated in the thyroid.  Whole foods are the best source of iodine, e.g. sea vegetables like hijiki, arame, kombu and dulse.  Iodine is leached from the thyroid gland by drinking chlorinated water.  Avoid iodized salt, which contains excessive sodium and no potassium.  Sea vegetables are rich in vitamins and contain most if not all of the essential minerals and trace elements.”  (Northland New Zealand ChemTrails Watch)

Sea vegetables are classified by their color.  The most popular types are:

  • Nori: dark purple-black color that turns phosphorescent green when toasted, famous for its role in making sushi rolls.
  • Kelp: light brown to dark green in color, oftentimes available in flake form.
  • Hijiki: looks like small strands of black wiry pasta, has a strong flavor.
  • Kombu: very dark in color and generally sold in strips or sheets, often used as a flavoring for soups or to soften and salt beans.
  • Wakame: similar to kombu, most commonly used to make Japanese miso soup.
  • Arame: this lacy, wiry sea vegetable is sweeter and milder in taste than many others
  • Dulse: soft, chewy texture and a reddish-brown color.

All of the above can be incorporated into many recipes or added as garnish to dishes. There are countless recipes available on-line. For more information on seaweed, check out the website of one of our past Wholistic Nutrition Program instructors, Jennifer Adler, to view her “Seaweed 101” video. http://www.passionatenutrition.com/seaweed-101/.

I think it is important to mention that all seaweed sources need to be clean and free of heavy metals and toxins. Seaweed should still be eaten in small amounts, as it is a powerful and salty food.  It is something that should be part of a healthy diet, not something we load up on in an emergency situation. I think that what is currently available is good but I would be wary of anything coming from the Pacific Ocean in the near future.  Eden Foods is a brand that I trust.

Other important dietary considerations: An anti-radiation diet should focus on the following foods as constants in a daily diet:

  • Miso soup
  • High beta carotene vegetables
  • Beans and lentils
  • Potassium, calcium and mineral rich foods
  • Fermented/Cultured foods
  • High nucleotide content foods to assist in cellular repair including spirulina, chlorella, algae, yeast, sardines, liver, anchovies and mackerel
  • Cod liver oil and olive oil
  • Avoid sugars, sweets, wheat & commercial non-cultured dairy.
  • A good multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement that includes D3
  • Black & Green Tea that contains tannins
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a leading source of selenium and ergothioneine both reported to help protect cells in the body and boost immunity.

For specific reasons for each of these recommendations, see the resources below for explanations and more details.

I hope that something from my posts this week has resonated with you. Whether it’s a renewed commitment to your own health, a new resource or use for a nutrient rich food, or just taking a moment to consider that we are all connected, responsible and capable of transformation, these are just a few of the tools available to the modern day wholistic warrior.

Be well,

Rylen

March 10, 2011

Alumni Spotlight: Rebecca Knighton

The Wellspring School for the Healing Arts (WSHA) is always very excited to hear from our alumni, especially to learn they are enjoying success as practitioners in their respective communities. We are pleased to be able to offer two upcoming weekend workshops from one of our Amma Bodywork Therapy Program alum, Rebecca Knighton, and are looking forward to seeing her in Boise (April 15-17) and in Portland (May 7-8).

Rebecca Knighton graduated from WSHA in August of 1999. In 2004, she opened the school, Eight Branches in Colorado to teach Asian bodywork. There she taught two groups of Amma students until she closed the school to continue her education at Southwest Acupuncture College (SWAC).

The upcoming Inner Wisdom Workshops are reflections of the work Rebecca has done in evolving her own practice. These are excellent opportunities for current Amma students, alumni, massage therapists, Asian Bodyworkers, Acupuncturists, etc. that focus on making deeper connections at both personal and professional levels.

In Boise, Rebecca will also be staying a couple of extra days and offering treatments, so you can have a firsthand view into the benefit of her experience.

That’s enough from us! We asked Rebecca to tell us what she’s been up to. Below a preview of  the interview we recently had with Rebecca that will appear in our upcoming newsletter. If you are interested in receiving our newsletters, sign-up here.

Q: After graduating from The Wellspring School for Healing Arts what next steps did you take?

A: After I attended SWAC for 3 years I became disheartened because, unlike WSHA, the heart of the medicine was missing. The emotional and spiritual elements of Chinese Medicine that inspired me at WSHA just shifted in an unexpected way.  I started to develop a website called Diving for Pearls and recorded the guided meditation CD, Quiet, a guided meditation for a busy life.  Through this I’m offering information and resources for people who want to connect with themselves at a deeper level.

Q: How have you applied what you learned as part of the Amma Bodywork Therapy Program into your work since?

A: Over the years I’ve begun to explore more emotional and spiritual elements in my private Amma sessions with people.  These begin with client conversations, sensing energetic disruptions in their bodies and also by using a combination of my knowledge of Chinese Medicine and the client’s own sensibilities.  I began to uncover some of my clients’ deeper causes of pain/unhappiness/feelings of being stuck in their lives. Some of my clients refer to me as a body translator.

Q: What’s coming up for your practice?

A: I moved to Colorado and am very excited to return to WSHA in both Boise and Portland to share with other practitioners the techniques I’ve employed. I’ve added a lot to my new sessions taking them to an even deeper level.e

For more information and to register for either of the  Inner Wisdom Workshops, please visit our WSHA website.  To learn more about Rebecca’s ongoing work or to make an appointment for when she is in Boise, please visit her website: www.DivingForPearls.org

Take advantage of our Early Bird Registration Discounts and receive 10% off: Boise Deadline: March 18th (It’s coming up!). Portland Deadline: April 15th.

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