|What is Shiatsu? What is Tuina?|
OCOM trains its students in two distinct forms of Oriental therapeutic massage: shiatsu and tuina. Schedule a treatment by contacting the Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic reception desk at 503-253-3443 x550.
What is Shiatsu?
The experience of shiatsu is quite different from traditional massage. Treatment is done on a futon mat on the floor, with the patient fully clothed, while the practitioner applies a series of rhythmic presses along the energy channels. At the beginning of treatment, the practitioner palpates regions in the abdomen, called the hara. This procedure, based in Oriental medicine theory, assesses the activity of the organs and energy channels, guiding the focus of each session. The practitioner will works to release blockages of qi within these channels, creating a deeply relaxing and energizing effect. The therapeutic benefits of shiatsu can be longer lasting than traditional massage, because it addresses the root causes of individual symptoms, and informs the overall health picture. Because shiatsu combines touch with a theoretical component, treatments can address a wide range of health concerns, including musculoskeletal imbalance, chronic conditions, immune response, emotional adaptation and mental well-being.
Some of the conditions that respond well to shiatsu treatment include: neck and shoulder stiffness, back pain, joint dysfunction, injuries, headaches, digestive disorders, mild depression, mental and emotional difficulties, anxiety, and pre-menstrual symptoms. As with acupuncture, the effects of shiatsu are cumulative; we recommend 3 – 5 sessions when beginning treatment. Your practitioner will then evaluate your progress and determine frequency of visits, based on your individual health and treatment needs.
What is Tuina?
In Chinese, the phrase Tui Na means “push-grasp” and describes a form of body work that was developed as early as the Shang Dynasty, around 1700 BCE. Ancient inscriptions on oracle bones indicate that massage was used to treat infants and adult digestive conditions. In the Jin Gui Yao Lue, Zhang Zhongjing, a physician of the Han Dynasty wrote, “As soon as the heavy sensation of the limbs is felt, Daoyin, Tui Na, Zenjiu, and Gaomo, all of which are therapeutic methods, are carried out to prevent the disease from gaining a foothold.” Around 700 CE, tuina had developed into a separate area of study in the Imperial Medical College.
Today, tuina is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, along with acupuncture, moxibustion and herbal medicine. It is used to treat many conditions, including musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems.
In a typical tuina session, depending upon the area of the body to be treated, the patient will wear either loose clothing or a patient gown and lie on a treatment table. The practitioner will ask a series of questions to determine the location and nature of the problem to be treated, as well as questions about the patient’s general health, health history, allergies and other medical conditions. The practitioner may then perform a series of orthopedic tests to more precisely determine the location and nature of the problem. Occasionally during the treatment, clothing is removed or repositioned to expose an area of the patient’s body that requires direct skin contact. The severity of the condition and the patient’s response to treatment will determine how many sessions will be required to bring about a satisfactory resolution of the condition.
To make an appointment for shiatsu or tuina treaments, contact our clinic reception desk at 503-253-3443 x550.