Welcome to AMMA!






Welcome to AMMA’s home on the web.  Please browse our site to learn more about how we can help you achieve your health-related goals. Feel free to call us or email us if you have questions or would like to set up an appointment for a complete consultation.

We are a small, locally owned, practitioner run medical office.  We see clients from 8am until 8pm Monday through Friday.  If you call during business hours and we don’t answer, we are probably giving undivided attention to our clients.  You can expect the same when you come for an appointment.

Please leave a message! We will follow up with you to assess your needs within 48 hours.

Be well!

Amber & Paul Vachon


Money Back Guarantee

Did you know that we offer a money back guarantee to all of our new clients?  We are so confident that you will like our work that we’re willing to say, “If you don’t like it, you won’t be charged.”  You’ll pay nothing.  It’s as simple as that!

So, give us a call. . . .  What do you have to lose?


Staying Fit: Yoga, Rolfing and the Elusive Cinderella Tissues

Image result for fasciaHere’s a nice little blog article about fascia.  If you’ve worked with us, you’ve certainly heard about this fascinating structure!  Read on to learn more . . .

By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.

What is the most plentiful tissue in the body — and the most ignored?

The answer is fascia — the gooey, gliding stuff that holds you together. Fascia is a broad term for the extracellular matrix of fibers, “glue” and water surrounding all your cells, and wrapping like plastic wrap around muscle fibers and muscles, organs, bones, blood vessels and nerves — and finally as a second skin around your entire body.

“Fascia is like the Cinderella tissues of the body,” says Tom Myers, a leading thinker in integrative anatomy and author of Anatomy Trains. “It has been the most ignored of all the tissues in the body — at least up until recently. Yet, fascia is critical to understanding the body and what it takes to keep your body functional and healthy all life long.”

In recent years, the interest in fascia has surged. In 2007, fascial researchers and practitioners banded together to initiate the biennial Fascia Research Congress, where researchers and health practitioners can share new discoveries. (The Fascia Research Congress 2012 will be held in Vancouver in March.)

Understanding the elusive Cinderella tissues offers an important glimpse into important, yet not widely known, aspects of bodily health and function. Here are four fascinating facts about fascia:

1. All You Learned About “Muscles” Is Wrong

A primary lesson emerging from new research into fascia is that all we learned about muscles is wrong.

“That illustration in your doctor’s office of the red-muscled human body is a body with its fascia cut away,” says Myers. “It’s not what you look like inside, but it’s a lot neater and easier to study. And, it’s the way doctors have been taught to look at you.”

We commonly speak about the musculoskeletal system, and the muscles attached to the bones of the body. But according to Myers, muscles in fact don’t attach to bones. Fascia does.

“Muscle is like hamburger; it can’t attach to a bone,” says Myers. “There’s fascia going around and through the muscle. And when the muscle runs out, that fascia from the outside and the middle of the muscle spins into a tendon, just like yarn.”

It may be useful for our thinking mind to dissect the body in to some 600 muscles and their tendon attachments to bones. However, the body doesn’t think in terms of 600 individual muscles.

“Your brain does not think in terms of biceps and deltoids,” says Myers. “There is one muscle that exists in 600 fascial pockets. Ultimately, the brain creates movement in terms of large fascial networks and individual motor units, not our named muscles.”

2. Much More Than a Wrapping Material

Fascia is not just a passive wrapping material, but a live, biological fabric, which directs the traffic of forces around the body, and responds and remodels itself as forces change.

Some researchers, like Helene Langevin of the University of Vermont, suggest that the connective tissue network may function as a whole body communications system, which influence the function of all other physiological systems.

How exactly such a whole body network would be communicating within itself is as yet unknown, and there may be several pathways. Langevin has developed evidence, for example, that the fascial network may correspond to the network of acupuncture pointsand meridians. In this framework, acupuncture needles produce cellular changes that propagate along connective tissue planes.

A similar effect is created by the stretching of the connective tissue created by yoga poses or externally applied stretch and pressure during bodywork and massage.

3. Redefining Chronic Pain

In its healthy state, the fascial network stretches and moves without restriction. However, age, injuries, repetitive stress, poor postural habits and even emotional trauma can cause fascia to lose its flexibility and become tight and restricted.

This helps stabilize the body in the short term, but unfortunately, it also locks you into a chronic strain pattern that can be hard to correct. Think of it like wearing a thin silk suit. If you pull on one part of the suit, the tension patterns will show up throughout.

Fascial strain patterns translate through the entire body, and affect the structural network of the entire body. They may lie at the root of chronic pain issues like migraine headaches, chronic back pain, or fibromyalgia, or other pesky pain problems that just won’t go away.

For this reason, bodywork techniques focusing directly on the fascia, such as Rolfing and myofasical release therapy, can sometimes stimulate tremendous physical and/or emotional release where other modalities come up short.

4. A New Understanding of Fitness

While we usually think in terms of fitness as strong muscles and cardiovascular endurance, we ignore fascia at our own peril. Having an integrated and well-trained fascial network is important not just for anyone engaged in sports, but for anyone wishing to retain a healthy and functional body throughout life.

When you train the body, the fascia is trained as well. However, it may not be the way you would want to train it. If your fitness routine involves mainly machines, you will not end up with a fascial network that is as strong, versatile and capable as you’d like, but rather a one-dimensional network that may respond less efficiently to challenges.

“Exercise machines are great for building individual muscles and terrible for training your fascia, because they train the fascia in one particular direction, one particular vector,” says Myers. “You end up training fascia, which is not prepared for life, because life doesn’t come at you right straight down the same vectors that the machines do.”

In terms of training, Myers says, favor movement forms that involve a lot of variety in direction and load, which builds versatile balance and stability into your body. Yoga asanas are particularly useful for stretching the long chains of fasica in numerous directions ways, offering the kind of system-wide engagement it needs. Training too hard or repeating the same routine without variation can lead to fascial adhesions or injury.

For more, see Tom Myers free report on YogaUOnline10 Tips for Fascial Fitness

See here for the full interview with Tom Myers: Fascia, Yoga and the Medicine of the Future

For more by Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D., click here.

For more on personal health, click here.


How to Overcome Ergonomic Issues With Laptops


While the laptop is a wonderful piece of technology, the way in which it is placed on a desk or on a lap is not always the most ergonomic. But, there are several practical steps that can be taken to increase the ergonomic setup of the laptop in the home or office. Here are a few of the ergonomic issues with laptops:

Keyboard spacing

Laptop keyboards can be quite compact with some keys having camped spacing while others have odd placement. There is a greater risk of repetitive stress injuries and hand cramp in those that regularly use the small keyboards.

Screen size

The screen size is typically a lot smaller with the laptop compared to the standard desktop monitor. The compact screen is certain to lead to the more noticeable cases of eye stain compared to the larger ones.

Screen placement

The position of the laptop screen and keyboard is fixed. While it is possible to tilt the angle of the screen, there isn’t the option to place the screen and keyboard at different heights or spaced apart. This is necessary for the proper ergonomic setup.
Small pointers

Laptops are built with integrated pointers such as a dot or touchpad. They aren’t the easiest to use or very comfortable. It can put the hand and wrist in an uncomfortable position and can lead to repetitive stress injuries over the longer periods of time.

Ergonomically setting up your laptop

There are several useful steps that can make the laptop setup more user-friendly. A simple solution is to create a setup that is similar to a full desktop computer. The wrists should be kept in a comfortable and natural position. Plus, the screen should be angled to minimize the need to bend the neck.

One of the best ergonomic solutions is to invest in a laptop docking station. This is a great choice for the laptop that is regularly used in a single location. The docking station is essentially a keyboard, monitor and mouse that are ready to connect to the laptop. This helps to create a setup that is similar to a full desktop computer with the screen at a more favored height and more flexibility to place the keyboard and other peripheral devices.

The next best solution is simply to use a stand with a separate mouse and keyboard. This gives the option to position the laptop screen at a height and angle that gives the desired comfort.

Find out more about the more useful PC accessories and office accessories for a comfortable working environment.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Leo_Eigenberg/1776992


5 Ways to Counteract Wearing High Heels

Image result for blue high heels

We all know that wearing high heeled shoes can be detrimental to our physical health, even though they may help us to look glamorous!

Since we don’t want to take away your high heels if you really enjoy wearing them, we’d like to share what you can do to balance yourself out when you do.  You know, we’re all about giving you options for self-care!

Check out the original post by Greg Robins on Eric Cressey’s website:





New Gymnastics Facility in DownTown Kingsport!

We are thrilled to welcome Victoria Cunningham and her team to DownTown Kingsport and look forward to the grand opening of Flight Athletic Academy.  Our three-year-old is SUPER excited to begin training with “Miss Toria.”

In addition to gymnastics classes for the little ones, Flight Athletic Academy offers classes for all ages, including competitive gymnastics and cheer, dance, adult fitness, and homeschool activities.  They even offers classes in aerial silks and juggling through a partnership with Night Owl Circus Arts!

FAA offers free evaluations and their Parents’ Night Out is a great way to check out the facility!

Check out the Sunday Stories feature at  http://www.timesnews.net/Community/2017/01/31/Flight-Athletic-Academy-lifts-off-in-Downtown-Kingsport


Lymph System Animation

lymphWe’ve just added a neat little animation to our Lymphatic Drainage page.

Amber found it on the Dr. Vodder School International website, where it was provided courtesy of Prof. Neil Piller of the Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide, Australia.

Enjoy the tutorial!  The lymph system is AWESOME!!!!





A New Online Start!

2016-11-14 18.33.11So. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We’ve gotten out of the habit of making new posts to the website and hope to do better at it in the new year. Perhaps that can be one of our New Year’s Resolutions?

We’ve been a little busy on the homefront lately. As you can see in the photo above (thanks to the amazing Jennie Case of Denim & Lace Photography), we’ve added a daughter to the family!

Even though we’ve not spent much time in our online home, we’re still in the same physical location, working with folks by appointment only.  Amber has cut back her hours in order to spend more time caring for our two little ones, but is in the office on Mondays and Fridays.

Our rates are going up for the first time in nearly a decade!  Please see the Menu of Services for details.

We look forward to seeing you soon.  Let us know what we can do to help you!


Paul & Amber Vachon


Goodbye, Francois!

We are sorry that Francois is no longer practicing with us.  He has moved back to Raleigh.  We will miss him and his gifts, but we wish him the best!


1952 Video: “Posture Pals”

If you’re looking for a few laughs, here’s a classic Young America Films video on posture from 1952.  Not quite as useful as the 1953 Posture Video, but even more entertaining (thanks to Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffs). Look for a young Melissa Gilbert!