Known collectively as Asian Bodywork, they are in actuality not only bodywork modalities, but forms of energy work founded in the discipline of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The theory behind TCM is that the body has unseen energy channels or "Meridians" along which the body's energy flows (known as qi in Chinese or ki in Japanese). All Asian Bodywork restores and balances the flow of this energy throughout the body in a similar way to acupuncture.
Obviously this makes them the perfect complement to acupuncture!
These forms of energy work allow the practitioner to address the whole body rather than focusing on only one area where symptoms are most obvious. Stimulating the energy flow and blood in turn reduces pain, improves joint function, balances yin and yang of the body and improves overall wellness leading to better sleep, increased vitality, better digestion and less stress.
Shiatsu, and Tui Na both use hand and finger pressure along the body’s meridians and the glass cups used during cupping treatments open these meridians.
When you're healthy, energy flows freely along the meridians, supplying all parts of the body with vital energy. But when the body has been weakened by stress, poor sleep, poor diet, caffeine, and/or drugs the qi no longer flows smoothly. It may be deficient in some areas and excessive in others. Going further into this concept; each meridian is related to an organ (kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, stomach etc.) as well as an emotion or mental state (fear, sadness, anger). It is worth noting that if there is tenderness in your liver meridian, it doesn't mean you have liver disease. It just means that your liver energy is unbalanced. If the energy is deficient, the practitioner introduces energy to that area with her touch. If the point is hard and painful to the touch, there is an excess of energy that they practitioner needs to drain.
Shiatsu's name comes from two Japanese words--shi (thumb) and atsu (pressure)--but a practitioner may also apply pressure using other parts of the hand, elbows and knees. The rhythm of Shiatsu includes rocking movements, stretches and joint rotations.
Similar to Shiatsu, Tui Na is the Chinese modality whose name comes from the two words describing actions in the treatment: tui means “to push” and na means “to grab or squeeze.”
During both Shiatsu and Tui Na treatments your practitioner will apply firm, relaxing pressure through a sheet or clothes on the entire body. Oils are not traditionally used.
Cupping is an ancient Chinese method that uses cups from a cupping set to create a suction (or a partial vacuum) on the skin. This helps in activating the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing can take place much easier.
There are five meridians on the back that, when opened, allow invigorating energy to flow through the entire body. TCM teaches that placing cups on the these meridians is the most effective way to get the energy flowing again,
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.
Oil can be used during a cupping treatment. Here at Tiny Needles the practitioner will use stationary and moving cups during your session.
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Tiny Needles is an oasis for healing in the center of San Francisco.. We are located in a Victorian built in 1900 in Japantown.
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