Traditional Chinese Medicine incorporates several physical bodywork techniques including cupping, guasha, tui-na, and shiatsu. Cupping is a technique that acts in a similar way as a massage, applying suction instead of pressure. The suction helps to break up adhesions and provide better circulation to injured, tight, or sore muscles. Cupping can be performed in two ways, with heat or without. Using heat, a flame is inserted into a glass cup and then removed quickly and placed on the skin. The flame creates a vacuum inside of the cup, which creates suction when placed on the skin. If heat is not necessary, a hand pump may be used with plastic cups to achieve the same suction effect.
Guasha is performed in cases of sore muscles, fever, and the common cold. A Chinese spoon or other scraping tool is used in a quick motion on local pain or the upper back to cause the skin to redden and release heat. This is similar to a technique used by chiropractors to increase circulation to an injured area and break up scar tissue.
Shiatsu and Tui-na are both Asian massage techniques. Shiatsu is a Japanese deep tissue massage that incorporates acupuncture meridians and abdominal massage. Tui-na is a Chinese bodywork technique that focuses more on specific Acupuncture points by applying deep pressure and vigorous stimulation. One or both may be incorporated based on your health needs and personal treatment plan.