Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is thousands of years old and has changed little over the centuries. Its basic concept is that a vital force of life, called Qi, surges through the body. Any imbalance to Qi can cause disease and illness. This imbalance is most commonly thought to be caused by an alteration in the opposite and complementary forces that make up the Qi. These are called yin and yang.

Ancient Chinese believed that humans are microcosms of the larger surrounding universe, and are interconnected with nature and subject to its forces. Balance between health and disease is a key concept. TCM treatment seeks to restore this balance through treatment specific to the individual.

It is believed that to regain balance, you must achieve the balance between the internal body organs and the external elements of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal.

Treatment to regain balance may involve:

- Acupuncture
- Herbal remedies
- Tui Na Massage (see below)
- Moxibustion (the burning of herbal leaves on or near the body)
- Gua Sha
- Cupping (the use of warmed glass jars to create suction on certain points of the body)
- Movement and concentration exercises (such as tai chi)



Moxibustion or “Moxa” is a Chinese herb that is used to warm the meridians, expel cold and increase Qi and blood flow throughout the body. It is helpful for many types of pain, as well as gastrointestinal and gynecological disorders and fatigue.   Cupping therapy is the application of suction cups to different parts of the body. These cups are used to relieve local stagnation of Qi and blood, which are often responsible for pain and tension within the body.   Gua Sha is the use of a small flat tool that is moved across the skin to unblock areas of stagnation. Gua Sha is helpful for the common cold, the flu, headaches and general muscle pain and tension.


Tui na, also called Chinese medical massage, is a traditional hands-on manipulation treatment method guided by TCM theory. Through manual manipulations, tui na is used widely to treat various diseases, including not only musculoskeletal disorders, but also diseases of internal organs.

Tui na is one of the most popular TCM treatment modalities and is frequently used in the treatment of superficial trauma and injury and a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. Tui na is also often used when acupuncture is inappropriate, such as with children, when it is referred to as "Chinese pediatric massage therapy."

TCM practitioners will frequently encourage and instruct patients to do self massage and certain exercises at home. This solidifies and expands the benefits created during treatment sessions.

Here are some conditions tuina massage can treat:

- Neck and back pain
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Fatigue and insomnia
- Carpal tunnel
- Headaches, migraines
- Arthritis
- Osteoporosis
- Stress
- Digestive conditions
- Respiratory conditions
- Pregnancy massages and birth preparation
- Baby and children therapeutic peadiatric massages

Side effects

Tuina massage is a safe treatment and is generally well-tolerated. However, remember that adults treatments are not a gentle or relaxing massage, and you may feel some discomfort during or after a session. Slight bruising is possible. It’s not recommended for people who have fractures or are prone to fractures, vein inflammation, or any type of open wound. It’s also not recommended for people with previous chronic back issues, such as ankylosing spondylitis.

Children paediatrics massages are more gentle and generally consist on extremeties and belly soft rubbing.