Massage & Bodywork

March/April 2013

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Page 103 of 140

Sample Methods from Tui Na similar to fire (warmth, brightness, excitability, lightness, activity, or a tendency to rise). In a healthy body, yin and yang uphold and restrain each other to maintain a dynamic equilibrium, but if there is a predominance or deficiency of one aspect, this equilibrium is lost and disease or dysfunction can result. Qi Pronounced "chee," qi is the energy that underlies everything in the universe, including the human body. If we view the body as an energetic system, as Eastern cultures do, it makes sense that outside forms of energy such as the changing of the seasons, the nutritional value of food, the quality of the air, pathogens, or environmental factors like cold and dampness could alter the flow of qi in and around the body, thereby influencing health and wellness. In ABT, the goal of treatment is to promote the harmonious flow of qi through and around the body. The Five Elements The five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—are believed to manifest as particular physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual characteristics in people. Understanding the five elements and their correspondences provides ABT practitioners clues that can influence treatment goals and techniques. For example, if the wood element is balanced, a person demonstrates benevolence, patience, and compassion. If the wood element is unbalanced, a person may be prone to anger, belligerence, or irritation. If one element exerts undue control over another, an Cuo Technique The cuo technique, also referred to as foulage, is most often applied to the extremities or upper torso region. The practitioner's hands are placed on either side of the area and rubbed back and forth rapidly so that the area twists with the movement. This technique is believed to regulate the flow of blood and qi, lubricate joints, and relax muscles. Grasping Technique Use one or two hands to slowly lift tissue in a particular region. Lift the tissue until all the slack in the tissue is removed. Continue to lift the tissue as you slowly and gently pull and twist it back and forth. Repeat this application to the same region until the tissue starts to soften. It is believed to improve consciousness, expel excess wind and cold, promote blood circulation, and relieve pain. Bashen Technique (Pull-Extend) In this technique, the ends of a joint are pulled with even force in opposite directions at a slow pace and for a prolonged period. On the extremity, pull the arm out from the shoulder, then grasp the hand and pull on the hand while pushing the forearm back toward the elbow. Finally, pull each finger while holding directly above the wrist and pushing the tissue above the wrist toward the elbow. Photos courtesy of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. See what benefits await you. 101

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