More than just relaxation, bodywork can be used to address pain and tension, muscle spasm, tendonitis, digestive issues, menstrual pain, symptoms of the common cold, headache and more. It is often used in conjunction with acupuncture to provide an all encompassing treatment.
What can Bodywork Treat?
Cupping is a massage technique that uses suction, rather than pressure for massage. It is especially effective for muscle spasm and soreness and decreases healing time for some kinds of muscular injuries. It is also used commonly during the common cold or flu to relieve symptoms of muscle soreness from fever. Bruising commonly occurs after cupping and is likely to heal in 5-7 days. The bruising is said to be part of the therapeutic effect.
Tuina is a form of bodywork based on the principles of Traditional Chinese medicine. It uses deep, therapeutic pinching, pulling, pressure and rolling techniques to make specific changes in the body's tissues. It is most similar to "deep tissue" massage. It is not used for relaxation but for speeding healing of tissue and creating lasting physical change.
Gua Sha is a type of bodywork that uses tools to "scrape" the body. The tool may be made from ceramic spoon, metal, cotton, stone or bone. Gua sha may be gentle or deep, depending on the desired therapeutic effects. It is often used for sprains, strains, fever & chills, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, headache and more.
A form of bodywork developed in Japan, Shiatsu uses the same meridian system as acupuncture to create flow along the channels and remove blockages. It is most similar to acupressure, though is often a full body treatment, pressing through the meridians as they travel from the head to feet, down the back and through the limbs.
Talk to your practitioner about which style of bodywork is right for you before choosing. In our clinic, bodywork is most often combined with acupuncture treatment rather than used alone, though may be used by itself in some circumstances.
Further resources on bodywork: