Posts tagged ‘Rylen Feeney’

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: 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 8, 2011

Community Classes in Portland Start This Week!

We are very excited about launching our first series of community based self-care classes entitled Nurture Your Soul This Holiday Season & Beyond.  We are bringing together a number of Portland-based practitioners of various modalities and interests to offer a variety of low-cost community classes created to sustain the mind, body and soul through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  Classes are a mix of meditation, self-massage, progressive relaxation, building the immune system and nourishing one’s whole self.  We are excited to bring a lot of great practitioners together and bring a healthy close to 2011. We hope everyone can take advantage of these!

All classes will be held at the Portland school location at 214 SE 18th Street, from 6-7PM unless otherwise noted . Advance registration is requested and payment due at beginning of each class.  You can call us at 503.688-1482 or register directly. 

book now
A brief snapshot of each class is provided below and you can find additional information on our website


9th: Progressive Relaxation & Guided Imagery w/ Rylen Feeney – $10.00
14th: Qigong Self-Massage w/ Jennie King LAc & LMT. $12.00
16th: Holiday Health Survival Guide: Renewing your energy and mood to thrive during the holiday season and beyond! w/Elise Schroeder ND. 6–7:30pm.  $25.00
21st: Pivotal points. Using ancient exercises learn how to rehabilitate our joints and keep them healthy w/ Sylas Navar, LMT, Tuina Practitioner.   $12.00
28th: Acupressure and Massage for Hand, Feet and Shoulders w/Jennie King & Rylen Feeney.  6 – 7:30pm.  $20.00
30th: Progressive Relaxation & Guided Imagery w/ Rylen Feeney – $10.00

5th: Enhancing the Immune System Using Jin Shin Jyutsu (Japanese  Acupressure) w/ Patricia Blakeslee LAc, RN. 6:00-7:30p,. $25.00
7th: Exploring Your Breath & Managing Stress w/ Michael Guida. $10.00
12th: Fertility Awareness for natural birth control, achieving pregnancy, and reproductive healthw/ Leilani Wong Navar, certified Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner. 6 – 7:30pm. $25.00
14thProgressive Relaxation & Guided Imagery w/ Rylen Feeney – $10.00
19th: Still Points. Exploring your center through movement & standing practices w/ Sylas Navar LMT, Tuina Practitioner. $10.00
September 30, 2011

How To Make Coconut Kefir & Open House!

So what does coconut kefir and an Open House have in common? A lot actually!

As part of our overall Wholistic Nutrition Program, we ask our students to constantly try new things and tackle projects where they can explore firsthand the multiple facets of whole foods nutrition. We’re sharing another one of our student projects at the end of this post on making coconut kefir. Coconut Kefir is an awesome source of probiotics, micronutrients and other essential good things for your body. See how a student literally cracks this project wide open!

Now for the Open House Part. We will be hosting a very informal Open House at our school location (214 SE 18th) in Portland next Monday, October 3rd, from 5:00-7:30PM. Click here for directions!

The focus of the evening is to provide an opportunity for any of you who’ve expressed interest in our Wholistic Nutrition Program and/or classes to meet the school directors as well as other prospective students to learn more about the field of wholistic nutrition, career opportunities and our upcoming nutrition classes (which start October 15th!). Find out how you can get in on the fun too! If this is something you’ve been thinking about this is a great opportunity for you to get more information and perhaps even take the plunge and register for classes! There will be prizes, snacks and great fun overall.

Check out our website for more information on individual fall classes that are part of our Fundamentals of Healthy Living class series.


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.


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.”
 ( 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


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.

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,


March 21, 2011

Survival Skills for the Modern Day Wholistic Warrior – It’s Not Just About the Food!

In the wake of so much recent tragedy and global uncertainty, one of The Wellspring School Directors, Rylen Feeney, shares her views on maintaining positivism, forward movement and authenticity for the individual as well as collective consciousness. She provides some real-time wholistic advice on staying healthy as well as a call to action for all of us to recognize our unique responsibility and power in facilitating healing on a global scale.


Part I of a 3-part series – Contributed by Rylen Feeney


The world is and always has been full of uncertainty and there are times when we become acutely aware of this truth. This is one of those times, in the wake of the tragedy of the earthquake, the subsequent tsunami off Japan and standing at the precipice of another war in the Middle East. It was profound to lose the countless souls to the hunger of that fateful wave. It is a greater tragedy to think of the losses that will be suffered by the many more annihilated in war or those who may die or fall ill due to nuclear fall out. We all suffer as a result of our continued arrogance.

How do we go on living our daily ‘little’ lives? How do we contribute? How do we react to such a set of circumstances? These are the questions I am sure many of us are pondering right now. Getting caught up in fear is not only counterproductive but also dangerous. Nations ruled by fear historically perform heinous acts. It is incumbent upon us all to come together and act not out of fear but with a level of intention and authenticity needed to heal ourselves as well as our planet.

Ironically it is in these troubled times that I am even more cognizant of our oneness and that we, the global we, are all in this together. We are often reminded of our powerlessness when faced with overwhelming forces of nature. When this is compounded by the fallibility of man-made systems, such as nuclear power, the challenges can seem insurmountable. The claim has been that nuclear power is safe and efficient –when it works. However, when something goes wrong, the potential devastation is incomprehensible. Instead of allowing fear to drive our actions and reactions, we have the power to transform this into something positive vis-à-vis the evolution of our collective consciousness. Transformation in general is often uncomfortable, but always the necessary ingredient for real change.

So what is the Wholistic Warrior to do?

1. Meditate daily. It is the best and surest way to evolve.

2. Stay calm, stay aware and focus on doing the right thing. As individuals we may be overwhelmed by the current state of affairs in the world and feel cynical or insignificant. However, we can harness our minds to be part of a larger collective. Alone we are small but united and together we are awesome. Taking the lead from a fellow practitioner, Mary, I have begun giving a mere 5 – 15 minutes a day at 1pm PST to breathe, focus light and strength to those everywhere who are suffering and literally hold space for those who can’t right now.

Collective consciousness can make a difference! Please consider joining me.

3. Get Strong. Eat well, feed your glands, bones, blood and qi with healthy nutrient-dense, clean food. Our physical strength and health is as important and worthy as any other cause. It gives us endurance, clearer minds and makes us less vulnerable to toxins.

Although we are not currently in danger of being exposed to the level of radiation poisoning that our Japanese brothers and sisters are – there will be some level of exposure here in the states. Friday, March 18th the first trace levels of iodine-131 and cesium-137 were measured and detected in Sacramento, California. (NYTimes 3/18/11).

I am grateful that the heroic efforts to prevent full-scale meltdowns of the six nuclear plants in Japan have been successful to date. Regardless, it is important to nourish yourself in ways that are helpful and will minimize the impact of any toxins you may be exposed to from this incident or from today’s life in general. More on that in the next post.

Blessings to all,

October 6, 2010

Busy Fall at The Wellspring School!

Programs, Public Classes, Workshops, Events, Clinic and more!

Fall is always a busy and productive time for most of us. This is no exception at The Wellspring School. Amidst the buzz of new classes and events, we are also working on a new logo and hope to have that out in the next few weeks. We can’t wait to share our new look, which includes a new website, with you!

On the class front, we kicked off October with a weekend workshop with 13 attendees in Portland, Food in the Treatment of Disharmony, taught by Rylen Feeney, Dipl. CH & ABT (NCCAOM). We are working on all to final details to launch our first Wholistic Nutrition Program in Portland as well, so stay tuned!

In Boise, we are busier than ever. We kicked off our third Wholistic Nutrition Certification Program in September.  The second program group is hosting a free community event on Friday, October 15th from 5:30-8:00PM. The soon-to-be-graduating class also clinic openings in October and November. Check out our events page for more details on all these.

We are definitely all about movement around here. Our weekly Saturday morning Tai Chi class (8:30-9:30) will run through the month of October.On Sunday, October 10th from 10AM-5PM, Nedda Jastremsky is teaching a 1000 Hands Buddha Qigong workshop. On Friday, November 12th we will begin a new weekly Qigong class, Return to Kidney, from 4:30-5:30.

Whether you are curious about Wholistic Nutrition or Amma, want to investigate a new career, are looking for a CEU source, or you just want to take a couple of classes for your own enjoyment, we think we have a little something for everyone here. Come visit us or call us for more information!

September 30, 2010

Fresh Figs two ways: Sweet and Savory

contributed by Rylen Feeney

Figs are finally resuming their rightful place on the food deliciousness scale!   For several years running Bon Appetit readers voted figs their least favorite fruit – but no longer.  Figs have made a big comeback.   They are rich, complex and glorious.  Higher in fiber and overall mineral content of any other fruit.  Grab them while you can they are  only available from May – October depending on the variety and once bought only last a few days.  You want to select figs that are plump and yield slightly when gently squeezed.

They are a nutrient dense burst of fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium and beta carotenes, lutein, zeaxantin, vitamin C and K, and phytosterols.

Figs are said to be a premium food to consider adding to your diet for constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, fertility and libido.

To see complete nutritional informational data see: or


Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Figs
adapted from Berryhill & Co

This will make extra fig and onion spread and can be put in omelets, or served with pasta and goat cheese or stuffed in chicken breast or legs or just eaten straight!

Serves 2
Preparation time:  50 – 60 minutes (onion fig spread can be made ahead)
Cooking time 10 minutes

4 Slices Sourdough Bread or Unleavened Sprouted Grain Bread
1/3 cup shredded raw sharp cheddar
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) of crumbled good sheep or goat feta cheese
2 large yellow onions, sliced
2 cups or more of fresh figs, cleaned and chopped.
1 tbs of olive oil
sea or kosher salt
small amount of butter (room temperature)

1. Heat the oil over medium high until it shimmers. Saute onions, coating them with oil, and sprinkle a big pinch of salt over them. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook the onions slowly, stirring every few minutes until they soften and turn an even, deep brown gooey and are sweet. (about 25 – 40 minutes).
While the onions are cooking, wash the figs, slice off their stem ends, and cut them into ¼ inch chunks.  When the onions are completely caramelized, turn the heat back up to medium and stir in the figs. When the figs just begin to break apart, after about 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and transfer into a bowl.
To make the sandwiches, heat a dry skillet on medium high heat and once hot turn down to medium or medium low.  Spread a thin layer of butter on each slice of bread, put 2 slices of bread butter side down in a hot skillet and spread both evenly with the cheddar cheese.  Let it begin to melt.  Add large scoop of onion fig spread and feta and top with the remaining two slices of bread, butter side up.  Press down and cover to help cheese melt.   When bread is evenly browned – carefully turn over and press and brown the second side.
Enjoy warm!

Baked Figs with Honey & Toasted Nuts

from my brother

Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time less than 15 mins
Cooking time 15 to 30 mins

24 – 36 ripe fresh figs
Honey or Amber Agave Nectar
6 – 8 oz  Greek natural yoghurt*
1 cup chopped pecans**

Trim the end of the stalks off each fig and then cut a cross into the top of each one    and open it up like a flower.
2. Place the figs into a 9X13 baking pan.
Drizzle the honey equally over each fig. Sprinkle with the nuts.  Place them into a 375° oven and cook for 15 – 30 minutes, or until tender & figs have started to collapse a little and juice is running.
4. Add a good spoonful of Greek yoghurt to each one and eat while they’re still warm.
* cream fraise, marscapone, or fresh ricotta are all scrumptious substitutes
** Any nut would be acceptable: e.g. pecans, hazelnuts or combinations

September 7, 2010

The value of Tai Chi and Qigong – Why do a daily practice?

Submitted by Rylen Feeney Dipl. ABT, CH (NCCAOM) LMT (Or 14733 & NY)

Tai Chi and Qigong –  In a world filled with hustle and bustle; a world of “too much” to do in not enough time.  We may find ourselves multitasking in nearly every level of our lives – losing sight of the importance of one.  Losing sight of how powerful single minded intent can be.

I find reprieve in a daily practice of meditation, or tai chi/qigong.  Sometimes it is enough to just sit.  But sometimes to just sit, first I need to move gently and intentionally.   Tai Chi and Qigong are classic intentional movement arts that serve to harmonize the mind and body.   Both are designed to cultivate one’s consciousness and spirit.  To fill the body with life force (Qi) and to circulate it freely and harmoniously – so that we may have greater vitality, health, and so that we my feel congruency within ourselves.

Tai Chi and Qigong are the diligent practice of developing and directing one’s Qi.  They deeply and positively synchronize the the body and the mind.  In Chinese Medicine we say “where the mind goes, Qi flows and and where Q flows, Blood goes.”   When we practice Tai Chi or Qigong we learn to hone our focus and to direct the movement of Qi and blood in our bodies.   This leads to increased alpha brain wave states (the calm alert state experienced in deep meditation), it strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure, increases endurance and stamina, tones and strengthens the body, reduces chronic pain, improves proprioceptive awareness and balance.

The beauty of Tai Chi or Qigong is that they can be practiced by anyone of any age and like all of Chinese Medicine, they’re effects are immediate and profound – and yet continue to unfold and multiply as we deepen and continue our practice.

Discover the benefits first-hand and consider taking a little time-out of the frenetic pace of life and cultivate wholeness through a daily practice of Tai Chi or Qigong.

Ongoing Chen Tai Chi – Saturday mornings 8:30 – 9:30 with Troy Lentell.
1000 Hands Buddha Qigong workshop, Sunday, October 10, 10 – 6pm with Nedda Jamstremsky

1000 Hands Buddha Qigong, Friday afternoons 3 -4pm 9/10 – 11/5 with Polly Maliongas

Call 208-388-0206 or email us to register or for more details.

August 1, 2010

Food in the Treatment of Disharmony

Rylen Feeney Dipl. CH & ABT (NCCAOM)
Saturday, October 3rd & Sunday, October 4th, 2010, 9:00AM – 5:00PM

This class reviews the principles of a preventive diet and then explores what it takes to create a remedial diet to treat according to Chinese Medicine patterns of disharmony. We will cover the four phases of life, the four seasons, the five elements, temperature, taste, channel/organ route, direction, therapeutic action, specific symptomatic actions, common clinical use, and contraindications of foods. This class is open to Acupuncturists, students and alumni of the Amma and Wholistic Nutrition Program. Eligible for 15 NCCAOM PDA’s Cost $275 LOC

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