AMMA Therapy® for constipation

AMMA Therapy, a 5,000-year-old healing art from Korea that involves a specialized form of acupressure massage, coupled with dietary and lifestyle recommendations

by Maria Troia — 

Moving the bowels on a regular basis is an important key to good health. When we are constipated, in addition to feeling bloated and uncomfortable, our health is compromised because the elimination of toxic waste products has slowed down.

AMMA Therapy, a 5,000-year-old healing art from Korea that involves a specialized form of acupressure massage, coupled with dietary and lifestyle recommendations, can help support a healthy colon.

According to the late Tina Sohn, a healing sensitive and founder of AMMA Therapy, healthy individuals should move their bowels between one and three times per day. Many people only eliminate on alternating days, creating a toxic burden on their systems.

Reasons for constipation are many, and the AMMA Therapy practitioner is trained in assessing the root cause of the condition. Most people know that a diet low in fiber and high in refined carbohydrates will contribute to constipation; however, other factors such as medications and advancing age can slow the bowels. Emotional stress can lead to the colon contracting and reduced motility.

Those who suffer from the pain of hemorrhoids may not want to bear down, which will reduce the frequency of their bowel movements. Menopausal women and seniors have less yin aspect in their bodies, which can contribute to sluggish bowels. Yin is the moistening aspect in the body and, when there is less of it, the bowels are affected.

In Chinese medicine, we also consider the climate and the effect it has on humans. In Arizona, we are influenced by heat and dry air, both considered exogenous pathogenic factors in AMMA Therapy. These factors lead to dryness in the body, including the bowels, and further contribute to constipation.

Hectic lifestyles can also cause us to eat our meals on the run, eat too late at night, or eat refined foods or those laden with chemicals or pesticides. All these things can slow the bowels.

Also according to Chinese medicine, certain emotions can affect specific organs. Worry, anger, depression and sadness can all directly or indirectly affect the function of the colon.

The AMMA Therapy practitioner does a thorough intake to evaluate the root cause of each patient’s constipation. Customized dietary recommendations are made based on the patient’s health history. Supplementation may be indicated, as well as exercises to promote bowel movements. Patients, therefore, become very active participants in their respective care. At the heart of AMMA Therapy is the therapeutic partnership between patient and practitioner.

Most notably though, an AMMA Therapy session involves a highly specialized form of massage. Specific manual techniques and acupressure points are used to stimulate the colon and encourage movement through obstructed areas, which promotes the smooth flow of qi (vital force) in the body. When the qi is stimulated, the body functions better overall, assisting not only the colon, but all organ systems in the body. As AMMA Therapy addresses patients’ physical complaints, as well as their associated emotions, it is a therapy that treats body, mind and spirit.

Most patients experience relief of constipation immediately. Some cases might require three to five sessions before regularity is restored. Many patients continue with weekly or bimonthly sessions because they see a marked improvement in their overall health — their minds are clearer, sleep is improved, energy levels are higher, emotions are balanced, and aches and pains are fewer.

With all of the stresses placed on our systems from toxins in our environment, our diets, and even toxic emotions due to living in a more compressed and stressed world, AMMA Therapy is an excellent way to balance our lives, live in greater harmony and empower us to be more active participants in our health care.


Maria Troia has been practicing AMMA Therapy® for 12 years and is one of two practitioners in the country who can teach continuing education classes in AMMA Therapy and is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education provider. Her practice, East-West Holistic Healing Arts, is located in Old Town Scottsdale. or 480-313-6260.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 2, April/May 2012.

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