Tui-na Massage, Cupping, Gua Sha
During a session, practitioners use oscillating and pressure techniques that differ in force and speed. Tuina massage can be done as a stronger deep-tissue massage or a more gentle, relaxing treatment.
Some techniques are more yin, which is more gentle, passive, and meditative. The yang approach is more active, dynamic, and physical, creating more intense sensations.
The practitioner massages the muscles and tendons and uses manipulation techniques to relax these tissues. Passive joint movements are used to restore function to muscles and joints.
Depending on your practitioner as well as your specific needs, various techniques will be used in a session.
Tuina massage uses massage techniques such as acupressure, myofascial release, and orthopedic manipulation. Sometimes, techniques that are common to physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic, such as stretching and joint mobilizations, are also used.
There are eight basic techniques used in tuina massage:
- palpating (mo)
- rejoining (jie)
- opposing (duan)
- lifting (ti)
- pressing (an)
- kneading (mo)
- pushing (tui)
- holding (na)
Other techniques include:
- Rolling. This is used for injuries such as sprains and strains.
- One-finger technique. This is one-finger stimulation of acupressure points.
- Nei gung. This is a full-body manipulation technique.
This technique utilizes actual cups, which are specially made for applying to the patient’s body. Some cups are made from glass, but more commonly now we see the employment of acrylic and/or silicone cups which are preferred by my clinic because they can be controlled more easily and there is no risk of burning, which can sometimes happen with glass cups.
Cupping creates space between skin and muscle, which allows more flow of blood and lymph circulation in the mid layer or fascia. this technique not only improves localized circulation, but has pain relieving benefits as well.
Gua sha is a natural therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. This ancient Chinese healing technique may offer a unique approach to better health, addressing issues like chronic pain.
In gua sha, a practitioner scrapes your skin with short or long strokes to stimulate micro-circulation of the soft tissue, which increases blood flow. They make these strokes with a smooth-edged instrument known as a gua massage tool. Sometimes, the practitioner applies massage oil to your skin, and then uses the tool to repeatedly scrape your skin in a downward motion.
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