acupressure – bodywork

Acupressure is the stimulation of specific acupuncture points manually, by which the practitioner applies pressure with the fingers, thumbs or elbows. By stimulating certain points, the effects can be similar to that of acupuncture and especially effective in clearing meridians, circulating qi, reducing stagnation, and improving the overall function and balance of yin and yang.

Acupressure is just one of the many techniques of tui na bodywork. Others include-tapping, vibration, friction and shaking. These techniques create a response in the body’s energy, used to tonify or sedate the meridian flow to correct imbalance. The understanding of qi (energy) and meridians is essential. Our practitioners are trained to free and alter the flow of energy and blood while relaxing the muscles and manipulating joints. Tui na(meaning push – pullmay also be used to realign skeletal and structural problems.

seeds and magnets apply acupressure

seeds & magnets apply acupressure

In addition to providing relief for painful musculoskeletal conditions, tui na helps relieve:

  • joint pain
  • muscle weakness and atony
  • headaches
  • digestive issues
  • facial paralysis

With acupuncture being a more invasive treatment in comparison, acupressure and tui na can be a gentler approach for those fearful of needles or for young children who are active.  Pediatric tui na and shonishin are commonly used for many childhood conditions as an appropriate alternative to needling children and infants; in fact, it is many times the treatment of choice.  When treating children with tui na the response can be more rapid than with adults because of their abundance of qi and innate ability to heal.

guasha & pediatric tools

guasha & pediatric tools


Pediatric acupressure treatments can be an effective for conditions such as:

  • fevers
  • vomiting
  • digestive issues
  • earache
  • sleep issues
  • asthma


Cupping and Gua Sha are other therapies used to promote circulation of qi and blood.  Both are safe and non invasive, though may leave marks on the skin, which typically fade after several hours or days.

Cupping is the use of glass or bamboo jars (sometimes plastic) to cause a suction/vacuum seal onto the skin, helping to “pull out”  pain or stagnation typically on the neck, shoulders and back.  The marks of cupping are very distinct, circular round bruises.  More recently, these marks have been seen publicly on celebrities and Olympic athletes.  For more information on cupping, click here


marks of cupping

Gua Sha, translating loosely as “to scrape away wind, fever or pain”, employs a gentle scrapping technique which allows for release of blood stagnation that presents as acute/chronic pain in the body. Unlike cupping, the mark of gua sha is a more petechia-like response which presents only in areas where there is underlying pain.  For more information on Gua Sha, click here.