History of Amma Therapy

Predating even the practice of acupuncture, "Amma" is the oldest Chinese word for bodywork. 


Amma Therapy was brought to the United States by Tina and Dr. Robert Sohn in 1964. Tina (Kim) Sohn was born into one of the eight hundred families who constitute the ruling class of Korea. The Kim family was comprised of acupuncturists, herbalists, artists, philosophers, and masters of the martial arts. This healing art form, was passed on through Kim family and taught to Tina by her grandmother.


Tina and her and husband Robert Sohn formed a school, eventually to be called the New York College for Wholistic Health Education and Research, in 1981 to continue the lineage.


The Amma Therapists at The Amma Therapy Collective, and our fellow colleagues here in Portland,  were trained under the guidance of Rylen Feeney and Michael Guida. who learned the modality directly through Tina and Robert Sohn, and some of their first students. Rylen Feeney founded the Wellspring School for Healing Arts in Boise, Idaho and later moved to Portland, OR in 1995 where she joined forces with co-owner Racheal Myles. This small apprenticeship style program they created offered us a depth of wisdom and valuable technique we feel honored to have received.

Our group was comprised of seven women who became like sisters over the course of our training. Toward the end of the program four of us decided to go into business together and formed the Amma Therapy Collective right after graduating with a shared vision of bringing this healing modality to our Portland community. 

In the development of our business we created an image that we felt symbolized the word Amma, meaning" push, pull"  This translation is a reference to the gentle rhythmic, circular motion created by the practitioner during treatment is used to open the meridians and acupoints, causing the motion of the body work to penetrate into the tissues, similar to the way ripples travel through water. The logo we created, that you see on our cards and main window in the clinic, is meant to  pay homage to the push-pull that happens in nature., symbolizing the way the lunar and tidal energies play off one another, creating balance and constant motion, the ebb and flow of nature that is all around us, as well as within. 

Tina Sohn: lineage holder of Amma Therapy

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