Even after more than five years of working with this form of therapy, I am still learning and exploring the answer!
I think it's partly because one of the key factors is less about how it 'works' and more about how, by having a global view of the body (and mind in fact!), we can trace through clues to find the key area or areas that are causing the problem, the restriction or the pain and then deal with them.. It's like any form of problem solving really - by gaining information through asking questions, observing and feeling, by using previous examples and learnt knowledge, it is possible to start a process of deduction. This part of Amatsu is very practical and measurable. Does your head turn better and more freely to the right or left? Do you get pain mainly when you are walking or sitting? Are your muscles tighter on one side of your spine or the other?
But, say my clients, stop dodging the question - HOW does it work? How can your light touch, a press here and there with an elbow, a pull and stretch of my limbs... how does that make a change? Why do I feel better?
So today, I am going to attempt to explain a little more deeply...
However, if our fluidity is compromised and things start to stiffen up, dry up or rub together, it hurts.
A poor posture that causes your shoulders to round and hunch will lead to those nasty knots that your massage therapist will have told you about. Those knots are little areas of tissue that are no longer fluid and therefore they are not receiving enough nutrition or waste removal which makes that area sore.
A twisted ankle causes other muscles and connective tissue in the lower leg to tighten up to protect the joint. Even when the issue has resolved, those muscles may forget to let go, so you end up with stiffness and aches.
If you sit for too long, your hip flexors shorten, tighten and pull on your lower back and pelvis.
The role of Amatsu is to create space. Those light (and sometimes not so light!) touches help to release whichever area it is that is pulling you out of balance. An elbow pressed into the buttock frees off a deep, horizontal muscle called the piriformis which can be a real culprit in sciatic-type pain. This allows your pelvis to have enough space to move freely when you walk, run and sit. It no longer needs to twist and slip causing you back pain so.... no back pain.
A slow, deep pulling stretch of your arm and shoulder allows the muscles around your collar bone to release. Your collar bone is no longer pinching into the muscle so.....better range of movement of your arm and less discomfort.
When I use my thumb on the outside of your shin bone, I am loosening any knots up the gristly tissue that holds your lower leg bones in place so that your ankle can move freely, so....you can walk without limping!
It's all about dealing with restricted movement in one or more places that stops something else from moving freely. It's about creating space. When we restore space, we restore flow - of nutrients, of blood, of energy. It's one of the reasons why it may take a day or two to feel the full benefits of a session, as the body begins to restore the wonderful, natural processes that keep us well.
Because, like all of us, the human body functions better when it has some space.
I hope this has helped to deepen your understanding of how Amatsu works. Let me know your thoughts!