Claire Papoulis, Certified Amma Therapist and Licensed Massage Therapist
Water House Wellness welcomes Claire to the practice from Oregon. Claire is one of our Master Therapists.
Claire's work feels like:
Claire’s work isn't "massage" traditionally where we would think of Swedish strokes and the hands staying on the body at all times.
Her work is a mixture of manual therapies that feel purposeful and layered. It feels like she is using a variety of tools, one of which is her hands, to apply strokes, pressure and friction. She also uses guasha tools and cups to both assess and treat at the same time applying Chinese medicine similarly to the way acupuncture uses Chinese medicine.
Her work treats what she finds with attentiveness. This is an incredibly relaxing and deep feeling process as our body craves being seen in this way.
The cliff notes are that Amma therapy is Chinese Medicine meridian work that is manual work where the treatment is done with the therapists hands and not with needles.
Amma, the oldest Chinese word used to described massage is a form of bodywork rooted in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Amma offers the therapeutic benefit of massage with the ancient knowledge of TCM. Amma combines deep, therapeutic pressure with acu-point manipulation to access and address imbalance in the body’s energetic system according to Chinese medical theory.
Like acupuncture, Amma Therapy focuses on the movement and balance of Qi (energy) in the body. Amma Therapy is a form of wholistic treatment; assessments and treatment plans address the whole mind-body complex. Amma has been used to help manage a wide range of both acute and chronic conditions including body pain, headaches, digestive disturbances, menstrual imbalance, anxiety, and insomnia.
Read more about Amma here.
Chinese herbal medicine
is a special branch of herbalism, and can be a supportive addition to Amma Therapy.
Like most all practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this approach is focused on treating the root rather than just the branch of an imbalance. There is an old saying in TCM "one symptom, one thousand diseases". This illustrates the idea that there is not just one root cause of a certain presentation. TCM is all about looking at the big picture, identifying what is going on in the body as a whole rather than just isolating specific symptoms (with the exception of certain acute conditions).
Everything is understood as one unified whole, each element interacting and inseparable. This holistic perspective is furthered in Chinese herbalism as herbs are rarely used alone. Multiple herbs are almost always combined in formulas to help address the whole picture, as well as to balance each other out. In essence, TCM is focused on treating the mind-body as one interconnected complex.
"Breathe it all in. Love it all out" Mary Oliver