Oriental Bodywork: Shiatsu, Tuina and Other Modalities


Shiatsu massage originated in Japan. It is based on the meridian system. Shiatsu practitioners use thumb and finger pressure at acupressure points to bring balance to the body’s organ systems. Shiatsu is often described as being very precise. Patients notice muscle tenderness and tightness when the practitioner applies pressure to meridians that are most in need, Shiatsu may be used alone or as a complement to acupuncture treatment.

When a complete Shiatsu massage is scheduled your practitioner will lightly palpate your abdomen to diagnose which meridians are most in need of balance, and will tailor a full body treatment accordingly. It is done fully clothed on a massage table or futon mat.

We use Shiatsu commonly as a complement to acupuncture over the area of pain and tightness. Since Shiatsu meridians lie all over the body is helpful when done before or after acupuncture for indigestion, pain in the extremities, neck pain, headache, and for relaxation.

"Awesome Shiatsu session - Oh I love how my neck feels right now...awesome work Annette" ~ Sandy S. (LMT)

 “I feel the layers of my neck unraveling” D.C., Palmer, AK



Tuina Massage originated in China, and feels great after receiving acupuncture for its ability to literally rub out tightness, scar tissue, adhesions, and knots. Tuina focuses on specific muscle groups or acupoints and uses a series of light to deep kneading, pressing, and rolling techniques, sometimes with the use of oils or linaments. Tuina is typically done on bare skin.

Pediatric Tuina is a non invasive way to treat infants and children 6 and under, by stimulating the body’s natural healing. Kids are active by nature. They grow fast, move fast and are able to overcome health issues quickly with minimal effective treatment. Pediatric Tuina is well known for it’s ability to treat poor appetite, constipation, diarrhea, cough, fever, ADHD, and autism.

Foot Reflexology

Foot Reflexology stimulates reflex points on the foot, by the application of very firm pressure. Uric acid and other metabolic wastes settle in the feet due to gravity and cause poor circulation. Hard deposits settling in the feet cause blood flow to be sluggish and make the heart work harder. Reflexology stimulates movement of blood and breaks up obstructions in the feet, leading to better circulation throughout the entire body, resulting in better oxygenation and functioning of the internal organs and freeing up the burden of the heart to pump blood.

For several days after Reflexology treatment the urine will be cloudy and have a strong odor, this is due to wastes being excreted through the urine. It should hurt a bit but ‘hurts so good.’ In our clinic we use Foot Reflexology to treat a variety of disorders and especially foot pain.’

Gua Sha

Gua Sha refers to the scraping of the skin with a soup spoon, water buffalo horn or other instrument to release Qi and blood stagnation and adhesions in the fascia. It stimulates an increase in Qi and blood flow, releases tight muscles, and improves mobility.


Cupping refers to the use of a vacuum suction on the skin, which causes a myofascial release, breaks up stagnation and increase blood and lymph circulation. Cupping moves qi and blood, and lymph. It relieves back pain and muscle tension, and it can be helpful for respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and common cold.


Moxabustion is the burning of mugwort leaves over an acupoint to stimulate healing. Moxa may be used to warm the body if you have a condition related to cold. If you have ever experienced an increase in pain due to cold or damp weather, relived by heat, then you can begin to understand the mechanism of Moxa. It burns at a high temperature producing infrared heat that penetrates the body at specific points, better than a heating pad.

A study published in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) showed that 75.4% of pregnant women showing breech baby presentation at 35 weeks who were treated with Moxabustion to have baby turned into normal position by birth.