Acupressure Massage & Cupping
What is Acupressure Massage?
Acupressure Massage (or Tui Na pronounced Twee Naa) is an ancient form of Chinese massage. During a treatment your posture and alignment is assessed. Acupressure Massage is then applied to release tight muscled/meridians and strengthen slack/weaker areas. Appropriate stretches and exercises may be suggested to be done afterwards to help resolve any imbalance.
A range of techniques may be used from very gentle pressure to deep tissue release, alongside joint rotation, shaking, stretching, postural release and cupping.
Massage wax is sometimes used, but treatment can be given through loose clothing.
What are the Benefits of Acupressure Massage?
Acupressure and Massage has a deeply relaxing effect on the body. Some of the main proven benefits are:
• Alleviates Pain, improves range of motion and increases joint flexibility. There is an increase of endorphins – these are natural pain killers.
• An increase of oxygen and nutrients into soft tissue and vital organs: improves circulation, lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
• Helps reduce feelings of anxiety , depression and emotional difficulty.
• Reduces spasms, cramping, post surgical adhesions and swelling. Exercises and stretches weak tight or atrophied muscles.
• Helps athletes at any level prepare for and recover from strenuous workouts.
What happens during a Treatment?
You will be asked:
• If you have any main symptoms or areas of concern you would like the treatment to focus on.
• What treatment or medication you may have had or still be undergoing.
• About your general health and lifestyle.
The practitioner will also look at:
• Any physical problems you may be having in more detail: location and variation of discomfort, check range of motion etc
• Your posture: due to repetitive movements/habits hips and spines are often slightly twisted and /or shoulders are out of alignment. This can cause a variety of problems and discomfort often away from the area of the original problem.
• Firstly with ensuring the patient is in a comfortable position:
• Acupressure starts with a gentle warm up of the areas that are going to be worked on- often alongside the spine or legs.
• The pressure of touch increases – but NOT to the level of causing pain. Where possible deep layers of muscle and soft tissue are released by using the correct level of pressure and movement.
Cupping is a suction technique designed to pull toxin build up and muscle spasm from the body's deeper tissue to the surface of the skin.
The cells of the body give off carbon dioxide; when the energy is blocked / muscles are tight the cell waste or carbon dioxide gets blocked. This is called acid or toxin build up.
Physical pain implies a blockage in the flow of energy through a particular area. When toxins or cell waste stagnate in the muscles or joints, it can be very difficult for the body to get rid of this waste, causing further blockage and discomfort.
By using cupping techniques we are able to pull the blockage out of the deeper tissue and move it to the skin's surface, it is much easier for the body to eliminate toxins through the superficial blood supply or capillary system.
In only ten minutes of cupping , not only can we pull toxin build up out of specific areas, but we can also pull the fresh new blood into those areas, which will vitalise and restore the proper flow.
It is extremely effective at relieving fixed strong pain and will usually have immediate results.
Can Acupressure be used alongside Acupuncture?
Yes. Acupressure has a long history of being used before or after an acupuncture treatment. This often improves treatment outcomes and gives the practitioner a greater understanding of a patient’s structure.
Can Acupressure help prevent re-occurring pain and injuries?
Yes. In sport and every day life our habitual patterns of movement create a muscle memory that defines our posture.
Gradually some muscle groups become excessive- the tissue is tight, knotted and /or scarred, while other areas become passive- deficient, slack and/or lacking tone. Given time and regular treatment ( usually weekly then as things improve less frequently) our muscle memory and structure improve. This leads to-
• The tight areas becoming more supple and the weaker areas becoming stronger.
• Our bodies moving in a more fluid and effective way
• Conseuently injuries are less likely to occur.
Can I have Acupressure if I am pregnant?
Yes, Acupressure can help during pregnancy and labour.
• Reduces aches and pains, stress and anxiety.
• Helps improve circulation.
• Can help sleep and postural awareness.
• Help connect with the baby.
Treatment position: in a comfortable position ie lying on side or in a specialist massage chair- designed to support the back and give space for the abdomen.
Husbands and birth partners can also be trained in acupressure to use during labour. These techniques are excellent for reducing labour pains as well as helping increase/decrease the rate of contractions.
Can I have Acupressure if I have Arthritis?
Yes. Recent studies have shown that regular treatment can;
• Reduce muscle pain and stiffness
• Increase a greater range of movement.
• Improve hand grip strength and overall joint function.
Areas of extreme pain or sensitivity are always approached with care. If necessary these areas can be treated
• Indirectly using trigger points ( areas further along a muscle / nerve that will have an effect on the painful area.)
• By using gentle touch- that encourages internal movement.
"Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go everything that isn’t you etc"