What is Acupressure?
Acupressure is a technique related to acupuncture, where manipulating points on the body regulates the energies of the body. This has effects on the emotions, tension and physical conditions.
The goal of Acupressure, Shiatsu and other forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) is to move Qi and blood in the body. Moving this energy, opening blockages and balancing the Qi happens through holding and pressing acupoints and by doing various hand techniques and stretches to balance and harmonize the body. Pain, stiffness, and illness arise from an imbalance of vital life force in the body. ABT can restore that balance. It is recommended for acute and chronic conditions and as part of an overall wellness plan. ABT uses natural healing techniques that capture the wisdom of more than 3000 years of traditional Chinese medicine powerful way of treating chronic and acute conditions and restoring health and balance to your life energy.
How can acupressure help me?
Acupressure is a system of balancing the body's energy by applying pressure to specific acupoints to release tension and increase circulation. The many hands-on methods of stimulating the acupressure points can strengthen weaknesses, relieve common ailments, prevent health disorders and restore the body's vital life force.
What is the difference between Asian Bodywork, Acupressure and other forms of massage?
Acupressure and ABT use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as the focus and assessment of wellness and healing. I have training in the theory of Chinese medicine as well as the Asian Medical Massage techniques. Western massage styles usually work on muscle attachments and the muscles. Eastern styles follows Qi meridians and acupuncture point. ABT also is done through clothing and most western massage is done on skin and use oils.
Does it hurt?
All forms of acupressure, which includes shiatsu and Tui na, are gentle and safe. Some conditions call for more pressure and some less. Your practitioner should adjust pressure to each client individually. Some like deep pressure and some light. I encourage my clients to be very direct and to always ask for more or less, depending on your comfort level.
How long is each treatment?
Sessions usually are about an hour. If we have to do an assessment or check in it can take a little longer. Half hour and ninety minute sessions are available as well. Some conditions do best with frequent short (1/2 hr) sessions. Some take a longer session to treat.
What can I expect on my first visit?
We will generally fill out some health history forms, do a brief assessment using tongue and pulse diagnosis and discuss your concerns. This usually takes 15-30 minutes. The session begins after the intake portion.
What should I wear?
Acupressure is performed through loose fitting, soft clothing and generally uses no oils. Some techniques require skin contact such as cupping, but this will be fully discussed before treatment is administered. Soft loose pants and t-shirt work well. Please do not wear jeans or heavy sweaters, as it is difficult to reach the points and muscles and to do effective work through thick fabrics.
What is Shiatsu?
Shiatsu is a Japanese word meaning “finger pressure”. Shiatsu massage uses acupressure techniques, which are applied with hands, thumbs, elbows and knees. The acupressure technique has its roots in acupuncture therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The difference between acupuncture and acupressure is that in the first case the practitioner uses very thin needles but in the case of acupressure the therapist uses hands and fingers for deep tissue pressure on the twelve body meridians.
What is Tui Na?
Tuina is a method of Chinese bodywork characterized by the smooth gliding or rolling movements of the hands and arms. Through Tui (push) and na (grasp), kneading, pressing, rolling, shaking, and stretching of the body, acupoints are opened and qi flow is realigned in the musculo-tendon meridians. Tuina techniques are used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal and internal organ disorders by opening stagnant meridian channels and encouraging the flow of qi into deficient areas. Tuina utilizes Chinese Medicine theory in assessing energetic and functional disorders. In addition, the use of external herbal medicines and therapeutic exercise is also included.
What is cupping?
Fire cupping is a traditional remedy in China; a vacuum is created with glass cups. Cupping is used for a variety of reasons; from strains and overuse of muscles, asthma, to preventing colds and dispersing those “knots" that just won't go away. Most people think it feels great! Cupping brings circulation (blood and Qi) to the area promoting healing on a deep level.
How many treatments do I need and how often?
Because each person's body issues are different, and response to treatment is unique, the number and frequency of treatments will vary. Usually injuries need weekly treatments for four to five sessions, sometimes only half hour treatments are required. Other issues do well with once or twice a month. Occasional visits work well for relaxation and stress related issues.
What if I am late or need to cancel?
Please give a call just to let me know, I will still do as much work as possible when you arrive. If you need to cancel, a day in advance is my preference. I can sometimes fill the slot if I know it’s open. Frequent last minute cancellations will result in a fee.
How do emotions affect the meridian system?
TCM theory says:
- Too much anger injures the Liver
- Too much fear injures the Kidneys
- Too much sadness injures the Lungs
- Too much thinking/worrying injures the Spleen
- Too much joy/excitement injures the Heart
- Too much emotion injures the Heart
Keep in mind that in the context of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine the names of the organs when capitalized are not the same as the organs we know from western anatomy. Chinese "Kidneys" is the adrenals and endocrine system, "Bladder" is the kidneys and urinal system, "Spleen" is the energy system located throughout the body, "Liver" is partly the liver but also something throughout the body, "Lungs" is not only lungs but also skin.
These injuries also have an effect in the other direction: an injured Liver causes anger and injured Kidneys cause fear, and so on.