Tui Na (tuina) massage is traditional Chinese therapeutic massage that has been practiced for thousands of years, evidence suggests it was used as far back as the Shang Dynasty of China, 1700 B.C.E.
Tuina is a therapeutic tool that can also be used for simple and effective relaxation and stress relief in the form of a neck, shoulder and back massage. It is excellent for treating musculoskeletal disorders and with the acupuncturist’s skilled knowledge of points and channels it can be used to treat a wide range of pathologies including stress related disorders, digestive, respiratory and reproductive problems.
Subject to a health consultation, contraindications and a pattern diagnosis* tuina and acupressure when administered by a skilled and caring practitioner is suitable for infants, children, adults and the elderly. I often combine treatments to gain the maximum benefits, so a typical session may include acupuncture and or cupping combined with local tuina massage.
*Patterns of disharmony: Also called pattern diagnosis and pattern discrimination are the diagnosis that traditional Chinese medicine practitioners give to the disharmonies that lead to disease; it is these patterns that are treated to return your body and mind to a proper and healthy balance. After your initial consultation and throughout your treatments I will discuss with you your particular pattern diagnoses, bear in mind that these patterns can change as your condition changes or if you contract new conditions, such as a common cold or stiff neck. There are dozens of pattern disharmonies and some more common examples are Spleen Qi Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation, Dampness, Heat, Coldness, Liver Blood Deficiency, Kidney Yang Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency and Lung Qi Deficiency.
Cupping is perhaps one of the oldest methods of traditional Chinese medicine, historically horn, bamboo or clay cups were used but these days glass and plastic cups are favoured. There are many variations of cupping: static dry cupping, sliding cupping, wet (bleeding) cupping, water cupping and flash cupping, all of which are suitable for differing types of condition. I frequently use cupping in combination with acupuncture or as a standalone treatment
The main component of cupping is to introduce a vacuum to the cup while it is on the skin. The vacuum is typically introduced by holding a flame to a glass cup just before it is placed on the skin or by placing a plastic cup on the skin and temporarily attaching a small hand pump to cause a mild vacuum.
By lifting the skin and to some extent the connective tissues away from the underlying structures blood and Qi are able to flow more abundantly and freely thus alleviating pain, resolving toxins and aiding the body’s repair processes.
Cupping can leave marks and depending on the underlying condition these marks can last from a few hours to some days. Although the marks look like bruising they are not generally painful like a bruise would be. These days it is not uncommon to see athletes and celebrities sporting the tell tale round marks of static cupping.
Because of the different methods of cupping and because skilled practitioners can control the amount of vacuum or strength of the cups it is a treatment suitable for most patients from children to the elderly. Subject to your pattern diagnosis cupping can be very beneficial for painful conditions and respiratory conditions such as back pain, sciatic pain, shoulder pain, bronchitis, asthma, congestion, gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual pain and infertility.