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Back Massage

Manual Therapy Techniques

Astym / Guasha

This treatment is a regenerative therapy that utilizes a sterile instrument. It is applied topically (on top of the skin) to locate dysfunctional (unhealthy) soft tissue and to transfer pressure and shear forces to the underlying soft tissue structures. The protocols, the force, and direction of the treatment induce a healing/regenerative response in tendons, muscles, and other soft tissue structures. This treatment stimulates tissue turnover, scar tissue resorption, and the regeneration of tendons, muscles and other soft tissue structures. 

It reduces inflammation, improves the immune system, prevents and treats acute infectious illness, reduces pain, treats acute and chronic musculoskeletal issues, and supports internal medicine concerns like digestive and respiratory disorders. At HealingTree, astym/guasha is an adjunct or stand-alone modality.


Cupping is a therapeutic modality used for centuries to enhance immune function and reduce pain. A negative pressure created through cupping increases blood circulation, loosens muscles and connective tissue, clears “heat”. It also helps to draw out dead or stagnant blood cells, cellular debris, lymph fluid, and toxins out of the deeper tissues and up toward the surface, allowing the body to circulate out unwanted substances and improve blood circulation within the area. 

The cup can remain stationary or using a medical topical lotion as a medium moved back and forth across a localized area on the body. Occasionally ‘wet’ cupping is done by making a small incision on the skin and then applying the suction of the cup to draw out small amounts of blood. At HealingTree, cupping is an adjunct or individual modality.

Self-Care for Cupping and Guasha

Before receiving any body work but specifically for cupping and astym/ guasha it is important to take note of the following to avoid the achy flu-like and to get the most benefit out of your treatment session.⠀

1. Drink plenty of room-temperature water before your session and for 24-48 hours afterwards. Ideally, a person should consume half of your ideal body weight in ounces of fluid.

2. Eat a meal or snack, 1- 2 hours before your appointment. It takes a lot of energy to heal the body! ⠀

3. Avoid vigorous exercise immediately after the session. Instead, walking, stretching, gentle yoga, or other gentle movements are better options to help your body adjust to your new alignment.

4. Avoid drafts, sitting in front of fans or in windy places, or getting chilled, showering or swimming, especially 24 hours after a treatment. Cupping and astym/ guasha opens the pores and the channels, making the body vulnerable to attack from outside influences like wind, cold, and damp. From a Chinese medicine perspective, these environmental factors can trigger stiffness and pain and reduce the flow of energy and blood. ⠀ 

If you have any soreness post-session or if your cupping or sha marks are very dark, massaging Arnica gel, cream, or oil into the area can help promote healing and reduce any discomfort. You can also use a heating pad or hot water bottle on the treated areas to help promote circulation and relax the muscles.

Neuromuscular Re-set

Neuromuscular Re-set refers to 're setting' the nervous system and thus affecting musculoskeletal system in order to 

reduce pain, relax the body and mind, and improve movement in patterns in the body. A variety of techniques are utilized to accomplish this but Myofascial Release Technique is the most commonly done. These techniques are very gentle but also effective and can be done on anyone. Neuromuscular Re-set is an adjunct or stand-alone modality. 

Tui Na

Tui Na, or tuina (pronounced Twee nah) is a therapeutic form of massage. It has been practiced in China for more than 5,000 years. It is a safe and effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions for infants to older adults. Practitioners use their fingers, hand, elbow, knee, or foot to apply pressure to a specific body location while using various techniques such as gliding, kneading, rubbing, vibration, tapping, friction, pulling, rolling, pressing, and shaking. These techniques trigger biochemical and physiologic responses in the body that stimulate the body’s natural healing response. Tuina is very condition specific as in the technique for pain relief differs from the one utilized for digestive issues. At HealingTree, it is an adjunct or stand-alone modality.

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