Chinese Cupping, Moxa, and Marma Seminar Recap!

Our students recently completed the Chinese Cupping, Moxa, and Marma Seminar !

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.

The cups may be made of:

• Glass

• Bamboo

• Earthenware

• Silicone

Cupping therapy might be trendy now, but it’s not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.



Swedhana Therapy - Tent canopy steam sauna & other methods

Swedhana Therapy

Definition: A healing therapy inducing sweat by heating the body’s core temperature. SAMA’s form of swedhana therapy uses a specially designed, portable tent canopy sauna that fits directly over the massage table.  Swedhana Therapy is a form of thermo-therapy.  In this case, we are using steam to induce perspiration and detoxification. Swedhana Therapy removes impurities and melts toxins within the body so that they move more readily into the gastrointestinal tract, supporting elimination. Prior to Swedhana Therapy, the client should receive oil massage or dry brushing. Lavender, lemon, amber, juniper and eucalyptus used in base of sesame oil are a safe choice. Swedhana Therapy ignites digestive fire, metabolic fire and the immune system of all the cells within the body. Swedhana Therapy brings deep relaxation, removes stress and crystallized negative emotions. Swedhana Therapy should be personalized according to the client’s emotional and physical current doshic constitution by a professional.


Five methods that facilitate Swedhana:

1. Ushma Baspa (Steam) Use with: Eucalyptus, ginger, sandalwood, mint, herbal teas, herbal oils, sauna bath, steam box, steam tent.

2. Drava (Liquid) Examples: Hot tub, hot shower, hot mineral bath, pouring of warm oil, baking soda, ginger powder.

3. Tapas (Fire/heat) Examples: Hot Item, sitting near a fire, lying on hot sand, lying on hot rocks, hot stone therapy.

4. Upanaha (Poultice) Use with: Calamus root, hot black pepper, cloves, mustard seed, castor oil, maha herbal massage.

5. Anagni (Fireless) Examples: Warm closed rooms, warm clothes, warm blanket, rubbing/vibrator, fasting/thirsting, sunning, drinking hot teas, using hot herbs, induced fear/anger, running.

The most common use of swedhana is the steam tent. Herbs and detoxifying oils are used according to the person’s dosha. The herbs and oils should also be chosen to heighten the profuseness of swedan and at the same time, help balance the needs of the dosha of your client.

  • Vata imbalances need: ginger
  • Pitta imbalances need: sandalwood
  • Kapha imbalances need: eucalyptus (tri-doshic)

Steam Swedhana lubricates the skin and is excellent for vata and kapha imbalances and is an effectively to lose excess fat and swelling. It is used to pacify pitta in moderation and with precautions.

Tags swedhana therapyswedhana therapy tentsteam canopy sauna tentswedhana steam therapysvedanha therapy

SAMA Students are now eligible for Veterans Education Benefits

The Newport Massage School at SAMA is thrilled to announce that we have partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs. We have been approved for veterans’ benefits, including Yellow Ribbon benefits, for both our Massage Therapy Certification Program and our Ayurvedic Bodywork Specialist Certificate Program. 

Starting in January 2017, we welcome service members, veterans and their eligible dependents/spouses to join our sacred community of Ayurvedic learners.   With both day and evening massage programs starting in January, it is the perfect time to begin something new.  Our students graduate as a traditional and professional massage therapists with a specialty in Ayurvedic Massage.  They are pioneers in the industry! 

SAMA is the first credentialed, holistic massage school in the country, inspired by Ayurvedic and Shamanic Medicine.  Our school is dedicated to helping people live a life of balance and health and we offer a variety of payment options and a convenient payment plan for our students.

We are looking forward to partnering with members of our honorable military and their families on their educational journey.

Please contact our office with any questions.

Ayurvedic Eating Guidelines

By Michael Dick 

Food is the source of life. And digestion is the root of all health. It nourishes, maintains, and cures. Ayurveda holds that we are what we eat–literally. The ancient authorities say that food is our medicine and no amount of medicine can overcome the effects of a poor regimen of diet.

What is not appreciated, however, is that how one eats is just as important as what one eats. Specifically, the quality of digestion is related to what is going on in the mind, in the body, in our environment, and in our emotions. The autonomic nervous system takes charge of digestion automatically but since it has two aspects, sympathetic and parasympathetic, which operate in a contrary manner, the results of digestion can be good or bad. When one is not focused in the mind while eating–thinking about work or other things–the energy of digestion is diverted away from the activity of digestion. If one is emotionally charged while eating then the sympathetic nervous system functioning dominates–blood supply is shunted to the peripheral muscles away from the stomach, etc., digestive juices stop flowing, and the peristalsis of elimination stops. When the body-mind is at rest then the parasympathetic nervous system dominates and digestion and elimination proceed normally.

  • Eat only if hungry.
  • Skip a meal rather than eat with incompletely digested food still in the stomach. Eating would produce toxic materials, ama, which degrades physiology and health.
  • No snacking–this introduces confusion in the nervous system about the timing of secretions and other digestive activities. The nervous system likes regularity.
  • Eat at regular times in order to culture regular functioning of the nervous system.
  • Eat the biggest meal at noontime to take advantage of the body’s greatest digestive capacity.
  • No food within 3 hours of bed time. Food in the stomach interferes with sleep, which affects digestion.
  • Avoid eating foods having opposite energy (virya) for example, milk and fish.
  • Thoughts, emotions, and frustrations–much like material things–are energies, which influence the quality and action of food. Therefore, never criticize food while preparing or eating it.
  • Eliminate bowels and bladder before eating.
  • Remove shoes before eating–releasing pressure on the nerves here promotes better digestion.
  • Pray before eating. This calms the mind and body and gives direction for use of the food.
  • Eat only while sitting. Do not drive a vehicle while eating.
  • When practical, sit in a cross-legged fashion on the floor.
  • Eat in a settled atmosphere to promote parasympathetic nervous system functioning.
  • Eat with awareness–recognize and enjoy the tastes, the appearance, the smell, the textures, and even the sounds, if any. This produces emotional satisfaction and balance.
  • Don’t read or watch television while eating–focus on the meal. This improves digestion through awareness.
  • Don’t talk unnecessarily while eating. Do not talk at all when food is in the mouth.
  • During the meal, soft, gentle, healing music is OK to listen to (Gandharva music is best).
  • Eat with your cleaned fingers–prana circulates and goes into the food with touch.
  • Eat without attachment or aversion.
  • Bring all items to the table necessary for the meal–to avoid getting up.
  • Eat warm, cooked food rather than cold food or drink whenever possible.
  • Avoid all ice-cold food or drink–the digestive process slows in a cold environment and this strains the digestive process.
  • Sip hot water (with lemon or lime) during the meal to aid digestion. Avoid drinking lots of fluids with meals as the digestive juices are diluted and the stomach has to work harder.
  • Eat about that amount of food which would fit into the hands when they are cupped together. Others say to eat approximately 1/3 stomach in solid foods, 1/3 liquids, and 1/3 for air (v±ta, pitta, kapha).
  • There is no concept of dessert in Ayurveda. Sweets should be taken first (if taken at all), because they are hard to digest and they have the effect of reducing appetite and the possibility of overeating.
  • Eat slowly–this means chew the food well. Some Vaidyas say this means chewing 32 times for each bite. Research suggests that the incidence of stomach cancer is related to not chewing food properly. Salivary amylase, a digestive secretion in the saliva, begins digesting carbohydrates while in the mouth and the longer food stays there, the more complete this activity can be.
  • Fast on a liquid diet one day or more per week–the same day of the week is best. (Consult a doctor before trying this.) This gives the digestive and eliminative systems opportunity to rest and clean.
  • Always eat only fresh food–no leftovers, no canned food, no frozen food, as these are hard to digest and lack the vitality of fresh foods.
  • Brush teeth after eating–traditionally in Ayurveda a neem stick is used for this purpose.
  • Lie on the left side after eating for about ten minutes. Digestion is improved with this action.
  • Take a short walk of 100 steps after the meal.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise within 2 hours of eating.
  • Never waste food.
  • Don’t eat alone–this means that sharing food with others is sacred and beneficial.
  • Have a clean, well-equipped kitchen–this means utensils and condiments are important.
  • Use glass pots for cooking whenever possible; stainless steel, copper, and cast iron may be OK, too; avoid
  • use of non-stick surfaced utensils.
  • Avoid too much raw foods, undercooked foods and overcooked foods.
  • Prefer organic foods, fresh, locally grown foods.
  • Before undertaking this or any other health regimen, be sure to check with your primary health care provider.

(c) copyright 2012 Michael Dick.

A Massage School That Offers a Certification in Ayurveda

The Newport Massage School (NMS) is the only massage licensing school in the U.S. that offers a certification in the holistic medical science of Ayurveda. While Ayurveda has been time-proven for over 5,000 years in Indian culture and parallels Traditional Chinese Medicine in many ways, it has only recently started growing in popularity in the Western world.  Appearing on shows such as Dr. Oz and being accepted into many college curriculums, Ayurveda is here to stay and will become as popular as yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage. NMS merges the art of massage, yoga and Ayurveda under one roof and creatively blends traditional, allopathic western medicine with ancient eastern medical systems, specializing in Ayurveda. NMS one of the first and only private massage schools in Rhode Island to be approved by the RIBGHE. They are also the only credentialed massage school in the United States to offer state licensure as well as certification in Ayurvedic Massage and yoga.
    Starting on January 3rd 2015, the owner and founder of NMS, Karyn Chabot, D.Ay, LMT, will lead her inaugural class on the path to becoming Licensed RI Massage Therapists, Registered Ayurvedic Health Counselors approved by NAMA and Yoga Teachers approved by Yoga Alliance. With the call for holistic medicine ever increasing alongside the advances in scientific discoveries to back the claims, these classes will be a valuable experience to anyone interested in the field of massage therapy. The Newport Massage School is credentialed by the NCBTMB, NAMA, and accredited by the RIBGHE. They also offer continuing education credits for LMT’s, Ayurvedic Spa Technician Certification, Massage Therapy licensing, and a myriad of other seminars and services. The Newport Massage School is on its way to being one of the most valuable holistic education centers in New England. 

What is Ayurveda?

 The term "Ayurveda" is becoming more and more prevalent in western society with figures such as Dr. Oz and personalities on ABC starting to recognize the healing effects. It is one of the top 3 medical systems in the world and it is a lifestyle in eastern culture. With more and more people discovering the wonders of ayurveda it is important for people to have a basic understanding of what it is. 

      In the past, Ayurveda has been misunderstood and seen as a religion or a cult, but now, with the yoga craze, people are starting to see that it is a beautiful medical science that encourages people to live in harmony with the earth, the elements and the seasons.  While Yoga and AV are not Upavedas, by blood, they may be viewed as sister sciences--practitioners of both use data of the other science in daily life. It is a sister science to yoga and astrology.  Ayurveda does not involve mandatory worship of mysterious deities.  Instead it embraces all spirituality and recognizes the divine intelligence within all living things.  It is the ancient healing science of India.

"Ayurveda identifies what is wholesome and what is unwholesome. It explains the nature of happiness and the nature of misery, as well as what is conducive to wellness and happiness and what is detrimental to it. It also seeks to understand and extend the span of a healthy life, and it can be applied to anything that is measurable. "-Charaka Samhita

      The origins of Ayurveda are uncertain and certainly predate extant historical records.  Thousands of years ago, men and women of wisdom or Rishis (meaning seers), cognized some truths known as the Vedas. About 1700 BC these thousands of verses were organized or compiled into four distinct groupings: Rg Ved, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. Within two of these--Rg Veda and Atharva Veda--are many verses dealing with medical matters. There is a verse in Rg Veda that states that balance of the three dhatus is necessary for health. Also among the content are themes of agni, soma, and prana--all concepts native to Ayurveda. While AV is not mentioned specifically, and the verses in the Vedas do not constitute a formal theory, they do point to the existence of a science of life.

It is the science of long life; of daily living; of digestion. Ayur: “span of time” or “life” Veda: “wisdom”.   Ayurveda is an ancient medical science, with mystical and spiritual orientation. It can help individuals make wise, conscious choices about daily living and staying healthy.  It is a comprehensive medical system of mind, body, and spirit with therapies including yoga, diet, bodywork, psychology, surgery, herbs, gynecology, pediatrics, astrology and much more.  

     The sacred knowledge of Ayurveda has been handed down from the guru (teacher) to the student for thousands of years. Reading about Ayurveda is one way of learning, but the highest, most powerful platform will only unfold in the presence of the guru that exists within you and outside of you. The Shakti (vibratory space) that is transferred from the guru to the student is very significant and carries the very essence of the teaching. This transference is called "entrainment". The guru is usually vibrating at a higher frequency as compared to the student. The lower vibration will naturally entrain to the higher vibration. Through this transference, the cosmic dance of Shakti and Shiva (energy and matter or creation and transformation/destruction?) will manifest within the student. 

     The elements are listed from most subtle to most dense. Without these elements, our five senses would not exist. For example, ether is responsible for sound.  We would not be able to hear without ether. Ether is a subtle aspect of air. If one of the elements within our bodies is out of balance, one of the 5 senses will be deranged to some degree. Ayurveda classifies these 5 elements into 3 aspects.  These aspects are referred to as doshas, a Sanskrit word meaning: biological principle, which generally refers to an imbalance due to ‘excess’ of one of the elements within the body.

  1. Ether….hearing
  2. Air…..touch
  3. Fire….vision
  4. Water…..taste
  5. Earth…..smell

What is a Dosha?

It is a Sanskrit word, which means a biological principle.  It usually refers to an excess of one of the five great elements and is prone to change. It is not a description or definition of our constitution, which is not prone to change.


Most people get confused between the word dosha and constitution. They are totally separate from each other. Here is the definition of dosha in one of Dr. Lad's books: "Three psycho-physiological functional principles. The doshas support and maintain the proper functioning of the body when normal, and they can create disease when imbalanced.

The meaning of dosha is most completely stated in Sharngadhara Samhita 1.5 23-24: “Vata, pitta, and kapha are called doshas (blemishes, vitiators), dhatus (supports, tissues), and malas (wastes) in different contexts: doshas because they vitiate the body, dhatus because they support the body, and malas because they contaminate it.”