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    Our Somerville Office is closed in June 1, 2017. You are welcome to visit us in Boston or Waltham Offices.
    Waltham Office is relocated with parking behind the building thru Music Hall Ave


    Does TCM include Tuina massage?

    Over 5,000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has evolved systematic methods of diagnosis and treatment tailored to the individual's subtle patterns of disharmony. This allows it to not only treat fully manifest diseases, but also to assist in maintaining health and balance (i.e. wellness) to prevent illnesses from occurring.

    Tuina, the oldest therapy, is one of six major modalities in TCM:

    • Tuina: Massage & Physical therapy
    • Acupuncture: Needle on an acupoint
    • Herbs: Herbal Medicine, Dietary Supplements (seasonal adjustment)
    • Moxibustion: Burning an herbal stick placed above an acupoint
    • Cupping: Vacuum suction cups on the skin (near acupoints)
    • Therapeutic exercises: Tai Chi, Qi Gong and many others

    What is Tuina?

    Tuina (also called An mo) is the oldest known system of massage and physical therapy in the world. Originating in China 15,000 years ago, the oldest record of medical massage for trauma was carved on turtle shells. In the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (the first comprehensive treaty of Chinese medicine) from 230 B.C., Tuina was described as one of the five major therapies of the time. Tuina has remained an organized and systematically developed form of massage and physical therapy since that time. Currently in China, Tuina is taught as a separate but equal field of study in the major traditional Chinese medical schools. Tuina doctors receive the same demanding training as acupuncturists and herbalists, and enjoy the same level of professional respect.

    Tuina uses the Traditional Chinese Medical theory of channels and collaterals (meridians or pathways) and the flow of the Chi energy, as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques, Tuina seeks to establish a more harmonious Chi energy through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body to naturally heal itself. Tuina methods include the use of hand and arm techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, stimulation of acupressure points to directly affect the flow of Chi energy through the system of channels and collaterals, and manipulation techniques to realign the musculo-skeletal and ligamentous relationships (bone setting). External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.

    How many different techniques does Tuina therapy offer?

    Tuina has a variety of different systems that emphasize particular aspects of therapeutic effects. The main schools in China include the rolling method school, which emphasizes soft tissue techniques and specializes in joint injuries and muscle sprains; the one finger pushing method school, which emphasizes techniques for acupressure and the treatment of internal diseases; the Neigong (internal) method school, which emphasizes the use of Neigong Chi generation exercises and specific massage methods for revitalizing depleted energy systems; and the bone setting methods school, which emphasizes manipulation methods to realign the musculo-skeletal and ligamentous relationships and specializes in joint injuries and nerve pain. In addition to these four main schools, there are hundreds of "family systems" that have been passed on from generation to generation and utilize aspects of each major system.

    Which health conditions can Tuina treat?

    Tuina is well suited for the treatment of headaches, specific musculoskeletal disorders (stiffness, spasm, cramp, inflamation, pains, numbness, and tingling), allergies and sinusitis, chronic stress-related emotional disorders, digestive disorders, respiratory conditions, and reproductive dysfunctions. It can generally improve poor blood circulation and related symptoms. It can help to improve muscle and skin tone for women after child birth, age-related changes in men and women, and patients who have suffered prolonged illnesses.

    How is Tuina used at Chi Wellness Clinic?

    At Chi Wellness Clinic, Tuina is considered a major therapy. It is a deep and strong manipulation involving mostly the hands. Patients may feel some soreness for a couple of days after a session of Tuina (similar to a workout), and then experience deep relief of tension and pain that can last for 1-2 weeks. Tuina is in contrast to many massage establisments in the U.S., where massage is light, as for "relaxation" and pampering. At our Chronic Pains and Injuries Specialty Unit, we have developed a proprietary treatment protocol in which we combine Tuina with acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs to treat chronic pain and inflammation.

    We use Tuina to detect sore and tight spots in the body, and then relieve them locally. At this stage, we hope to eliminate secondary pains. Next we achieve sustainable relaxation and relief in those spots. At this stage, we hope to identify the primary pains and the underlying causes (injuries), which may include: traumatic injuries, wear and tear, poor posture, auto-immune attacks, and prolonged emotional or mental stresses. Finally, we try to heal the primary injuries.

    The treatment serves to quickly mobilize one's innate capabilities to heal primary injuries, underlying chronic pains and other skeletal or neuromuscular dysfunctions. The end point is to activate the body to heal the injuries and to restore its physiological balance. The treatment, combined with exercises and stretches, also serves to prevent pain and other neuromuscular dysfunctions to from becoming chronic.

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    Provider of Acupuncture, Herb, Massage & Tai-Chi in Massachusetts