Tuina and cupping therapy are forms of Chinese medical massage. Practitioners of these therapies use Traditional Chinese Medicine theory in a similar way to acupuncturists.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory
Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the theory that a vital life-force, known as "Qi" flows through the entire universe. In humans, Qi flows through channels called "Meridians," like electrical current travelling through wires. If the flow of Qi around the body is disturbed or blocked, this can result in problems such as stiffness or pain.
There are points on the body where Qi collects nearer the surface (this can even be measured as a drop in electrical resistance). This allows it to be regulated, for example, with the use of needles, as is the case with acupuncture. Other techniques such as cupping and massage can also be used in this way. In order to ensure the smooth flow of Qi around the body. The circulation of blood, carrying nourishing forms of Qi to the tissues and waste substances away, is also enhanced.
Another fundamental principle in the practice of Chinese medicine is holism. This incorporates the belief that the body and mind are closely connected. Therefore, the smooth flow of Qi is essential for both good physical and mental health. So, techniques such as acupuncture, cupping and massage not only help treat physical symptoms but also improve overall wellbeing.
Chinese massage therapies
Chinese massage techniques include Tuina and different types of Cupping. These help improve blood circulation to and from the tissues and relieve muscle tension. These techniques often target specific points along the Meridians to regulate the flow of Qi.
These therapies are particularly effective for muscle aches and stiffness, for example, resulting from sports injuries. Yet, they can also help to relieve stress. They do this by targeting not just the muscle tension, but also the underlying Qi flow imbalance associated with stress. In this way, Chinese massage is thought to boost overall vitality and wellbeing. Similarly, it can also be used for general health maintenance.
Chinese medical massage (Tuina) - ‘Tui’ means ‘to push’ while ‘Na’ means ‘to grasp’. This technique applies pressure to the Meridians to ensure Qi flows smoothly around the body. Tui Na does not require the use of massage oil so is usually done over the clothing.
Suction cupping - oil is applied so glass cups with a vacuum seal can be moved over the skin, and feels very much like a massage. Cups may be left on the skin to target specific areas, which may temporarily mark the skin (however, the technique can be altered to reduce the likelihood of marks if you would prefer). As the cups target acupuncture points to regulate the body's energy (Qi) flow in this way, it is also a good alternative for those who would prefer not to have acupuncture.
Fire cupping - the cups are warmed to further promote blood flow to the surface, thereby enhancing the effects of cupping. It is particularly beneficial for releasing stiffness associated with cold weather.
Find out more
For more information on the therapies we offer, please visit the links below: