Tuina is a bodywork therapy that was developed in China over 2000 years ago. “Tui Na” literally translates to push pull, and is the name given to Chinese medical massage. Very different from Swedish massage popular in America, tuina techniques include brushing, rolling, grasping, and kneading. These techniques are used along muscle groups, meridians and acupuncture points to stimulate muscle, circulation, and Qi flow. It can alleviate pain, stiffness, headaches, and other musculoskeletal imbalances.
Cupping, an ancient healing modality, helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body.
The cups are placed on the skin by either heat or suction creating a partial vacume. This increases circulation and brings lactic acid and other toxins which have been stuck in muscle layers to surface . When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place.
Cupping therapy has been further developed as a means to open the ‘Meridians’ of the body. Meridians are the conduits in the body through which energy flows to every part of the body and through every organ and tissue. There are five meridians on the back that, when opened, allow invigorating energy to travel the whole length of the body. It has been found that cupping is probably the best way of opening those meridians.
Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins.
Cupping, helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body.
Depending on the condition being treated, the cups will be left in place from 5 to 10 minutes. Several cups may be placed on a patient’s body at the same time. Some practitioners will also apply small amounts of medicated oils or herbal oils to the skin just before the cupping procedure, which lets them move the cups up and down particular acupoints or meridians after they have been applied.
Cupping is often used to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and congestion; arthritis; gastrointestinal disorders; and certain types of pain. Some practitioners also use cupping to treat depression and reduce swelling. Fleshy sites on the body, such as the back and stomach (and, to a lesser extent, the arms and legs), are the preferred sites for treatment.
In this procedure massage oil is applied to the skin of the area to be treated. A smooth edged instrument is used to apply strokes on the skin typically in the area of pain or on the back parallel to the spine.
In the TCM tradition, pain is oftentimes caused by the stagnation of blood in the local area of discomfort. The guiding principle behind guasha is that this technique has the ability to break up stagnation to promote the smooth flow of blood and qi in the area, stimulates the bodies natural pain relieving opiod systems, blocking pain response pathways.