January 20, 2009
“Acupressure” is a term sometimes used to describe Asian Therapeutic treatments where a practitioner will use his or her hands or fingers, or even elbows or other body tools to influence the flow of energy along the acupuncture channels of the body and treat injuries or other health issues.
“Acupressure” is a term that was often used in English some years ago, before it became more widely known that Asian bodywork therapies actually are very diverse, and that there are many different styles or practices that have very deep lineages. In some of the oldest written records of Asian Medicine, manual therapy was considered to be a unique branch of medicine, equal to Acupuncture, Herbal medicine, Moxabustion therapy, and some other forms of medicine. Often, manual therapy was associated with schools of martial arts and injury treatment.
In China, manual therapy is often referred to as “Tuina” - and in fact, specialists of Tuina therapy are trained and respected as practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine in their own right. Manual therapy or Tuina departments are common in Chinese hospitals.
In Japan, “Shiatsu” is a generic name for a type of manual therapy that is sometimes known in the US as “Acupressure”. There are many other names for Japanese manual therapy schools - Amma, Sotai, Reiki, Judo-Seifuku, etc.
My original teacher of Japanese manual therapy called what he taught “Teate”, or simply “Handwork” or “Hand Treatment”. At the Kototama Institute, where I first trained, Teate therapy was a very big part of my training. My fellow students and I spent over a year being carefully trained in Teate as a foundation for the other therapeutic practices taught at the Kototama Institute. I have been studying and practicing this kind of treatment for over 25 years now.
One thing that is unique about the practice of Teate is that it includes extensive treatment of the abdomen, to harmonize the internal organs and make sure that your belly is in working order, with everything moving through as it should, organs in the places where they belong, and able to function at their best. This is often a new experience for people, and most people find the benefits of this treatment to be very powerful.
Treatment of the myofascial system and its integration with the bones of the skeletal system is also a big part of Teate treatment, and this can be very beneficial if you have experienced any sort of injury, even one long ago that might still be affecting you.
Overall, the goal of Teate treatment is to help to harmonize and re-integrate your whole system, and to restore optimal function of your many circulatory pathways - energetic flows through the acupuncture channels, blood and lymph circulation, other fluid movements in your body, and musculo-skeletal integration. Manual treatment will be a big part of your experience in receiving treatment at Hibiki Natural Therapeutics.
Techniques used during a Teate session include direct pressure, indirect pressure, vibration, rhythmic pressure, stretching, twisting, and other movements, and techniques comparable to medical qigong. The range of pressure used varies greatly from very light pressure to relatively strong techniques.
In addition to my early training and long practice of Teate therapy, I have been trained in Tuina as part of my Chinese medicine training, and have also studied under teachers of manual therapies from other cultures and specialties. I draw from a wide variety of influences in the manual therapy that I use in my practice.
For more information, please give me a call at (206) 632-5640, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Click the envelope icon at the top right of this page)
Ed Antkowiak, L.Ac. - Seattle Acupuncture and Professional Education