Tuina, literally translated as push-grasp, is an ancient system of massage that withstands the test of time. From 2300 B.C., The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine recordstuina among the five major therapies of the time.
Oracle bones dating back to 1700 B.C., show that tuina was used to treat children’s diseases and adult digestive complaints. By 600 B.C., tuina was included in the Imperial Medical College as a separate department. Tuinaflourished throughout China until the early 1900s. Following the collapse of the dynastic system, the central government promoted an extreme implementation of Western ideology that excluded all traditional healing modalities, including tuina. This healing art, however, continued to be practiced discretely in China and openly in other Asian countries influenced by traditional Chinese culture. After the Communist revolution in 1949, tuina was restored to mainstream China along with traditional medical arts and is included in the current system of Traditional Medicine Colleges.
Tuina is a form of massage that involves pressing, tapping and kneading with the palms of the hands, fingertips, knuckles or implements.
These actions remove blockages along the meridians of the body and stimulate the healthy flow of chi (vital energy) and blood. The patient’s innate self-healing mechanism is thus energized. Tuina encompasses a broad range of techniques ranging from light stroking to deep tissue work. Hand and arm techniques are used to massage the soft tissue of the body, stimulate the acupressure points and mobilize various joints. Other manual techniques include gliding, kneading, percussion, friction, pulling, rotation, rocking, vibration and shaking.
Tuina is primarily used for therapeutic purposes rather than exclusively for relaxation. Practitioners of tuina bodywork often utilize herbal liniments to aid in the healing process. Back pain, stress and detoxification are among the many conditions for which tuina is recommended. Tuina also serves as an effective complement to other modalities of Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and herbs.
$25/hour Body Massage
How Does Hot Stone Massage Work?
The hot stones are usually made of basalt, a type of rock that is rich in iron, so they retain heat. River rocks are normally used because they are so smooth – they have been smoothed over time by the river’s current.
The stones are immersed in water and heated in an electric heating device until they are within a certain temperature range. The stones may be placed at specific points on the back, in the palms of the hand, or between the toes.
The heat warms and relaxes the muscles, which allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure, if desired.
The warmth of the hot stones improves circulation and calms the nervous system.
Some massage therapists place stones on points that are thought to be energy centers of the body to rebalance the body and mind.
Why Do People Get Hot Stone Massage?
Many people find the warmth of the hot stones to be comforting and get it for relaxation.
Hot stone massage is suited to people who tend to feel chilly or who have cold feet. It’s also suited for people who have muscle tension but prefer a lighter massage. The heat relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist to work the muscles without using deep pressure.
People also get hot stone massage for a variety of health conditions:
- Back pain and aches
- Poor circulation
- Osteoarthritis and arthritis pain
- Stress, anxiety and tension
How Do the Hot Stones Feel?
The hot stones are never rough. They are always flat and smooth. The hot stones used on the back are about the size of a large egg, only flat.
The stones are heated in an electrical heating unit that either provides a temperature reading or has an adjustable thermostat control.
The massage therapist always holds the stones first before touching them to your body, which ensures that the temperature will not be too hot. Everyone, however, has their own comfort range. Be sure to speak up if the stones are too hot for you.
Cool marble stones are occasionally used during a treatment, particularly if there is inflammation.
What Can I Expect During my Hot Stone Massage?
The massage therapist often begins by applying oil to the body, which allows the hot stones to glide smoothly along the muscles. You are lying face down, and the massage therapist often then uses the hot stones to massage the back.
After the hot stones have relaxed the muscles, the massage therapist may put down the stones and use his or her hands to directly massage the skin.
The hot stones may then be placed back on to the body and left for a short period of time.
You are then asked to turn over onto your back. The massage therapist may place small hot stones between your toes or in the palm of your hand and repeats the sequence.
A typical hot stone massage is between 60 and 90 minutes long and ranges between $35 and $50.