Developed by Tina Sohn, an empathic healer born into a long, matriarchal line of healers in Korea, and brought to America in the 70's.  Amma is rooted in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) where therapeutic body work has been an integral part of medical treatment for thousands of years. Also referred to as an-ma.  Broken down "am-ma" means "push-pull" and relies primarily on the strength and sensitivity of the practitioner's hands.

TCM holds that disease is an imbalance between opposing forces in the body (yin and yang, cold and hot, etc.).  Mind, body and spirit are all united and, on the most fundamental level, are energy or Qi (pronounced chee). 

Each internal organ and system is related to a specific channel (sometimes called meridian) which has points of entry and specific function.  Correcting an imbalance in this Qi or energy system will manifest change in the physical body as well, and vice versa.

Amma employs aspects of most major forms of therapeutic bodywork.  Deep pressure, point manipulation, stretching, and various other techniques are used to move Qi and release muscle tension.

Pulse and tongue diagnosis are utilized to choose appropriate point manipulations and to evaluate the relative strength or weakness of the Qi of an organ or system.