Acupuncture Center Chicago Square Logo

Call (312) 863-0731 For An Appointment

17 N. Wabash Ave. Ste 678 Chicago, IL 60602

Acupuncture Center Chicago Square Logo

17 N. Wabash Ave. Ste 678 Chicago, IL 60602

Chinese Bodywork

Providing Tui Na, Gau Sha & Cupping Therapies

While many people don’t pay much attention to it, there is a mind-body connection that should not go ignored. Bodywork helps to reconnect the body with the mind, which in turn improves chi and overall wellness.

What is "Chi"?

Chi (Qi) is the lifeforce that all beings have within them. With the right flow of chi energy, people are at their absolute best both mentally and physically. Health is improved, depression is decreased, focus is boosted and the body is able to properly function at its full capacity. Sadly, your chi can get interrupted. When this happens, various ailments begin to occur. In order to boost chi, various bodywork techniques are used. These bodywork techniques help to improve the circulation of energy, which optimizes the functions of the body and mind.

What is Chinese Bodywork?

Chinese bodywork is a term that refers to a variety of different techniques that both heal the body and improve the flow of energy. Some of the different forms of bodywork include reiki, tui na, cupping, gau sha and more. While some of these types of bodywork include touch, some do not. It’s important to note that while deep tissue massages are often considered a form of bodywork, not all bodywork involves massaging.

Below are four common forms of bodywork, and their benefits:

Tui Na

Tui na is a form of Chinese massage that is hundreds of years old. While it may feel good, the actual purpose of tui na is to balance the patient’s energy, and help treat illness. Tui na consists of brushing, rolling, pressing, rubbing and kneading techniques that are performed between the joints. This is done to stimulate the energy in the body.

Tui na is great for the treatment of certain injuries, joint pain and muscle pain. It can be used to treat short-term pain, and chronic pain. Many people also find tui na to be soothing, and to alleviate stress, headaches and even insomnia.

Gau Sha

Gua sha (sometimes referred to as “scraping”) is a traditional Chinese form of bodywork that involves the scraping of skin to create light petechiae. This helps to stimulate oxygenated blood flow to muscles that are sore, tired or stiff. It also helps to “open up” the different muscle areas to help them to heal more effectively.

Unhealthy matter in the body causes a variety of muscle ailments, and gua sha helps to combat these ailments by repairing cells, regenerating cells and helping with overall health and recovery.

Gua sha starts with the spreading of an ointment to protect the skin and relax the muscles. A Chinese soup spoon is then used to scrape the back. This process leaves the back red, which is completely normal.

It is important to ensure that gua sha is being performed by a trained professional, as it can irritate the skin and can even spread infection pathogens if clean  equipment is not used. Practitioners that attended acupuncture school are generally trained in the practice, and are taught the correct safety measures to ensure the health of the patient.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy has become extremely popular over the years, even though it is an ancient practice. This is in part due to the practice being used more and more by professional athletes.

Cupping helps to support the recovery of athletes, and people that work out regularly at the gym.

Cupping therapy brings blood to an area on the surface of the skin, which in turn improves circulation and helps to support healing. This is done by placing the cupping tool and then creating a partial vacuum. A flame is sometimes used to raise the skin into the cup (which is called “fire cupping”). As technology has advanced, though, different methods and tools have become available. Some of the other methods include moving and wet cupping, with tools that are made of materials that include glass, plastic, bronze and bamboo.

There are many benefits of cupping, such as:

  • Pain Reduction
  • Blood Circulation
  • Improvement of Respiratory Issues
  • Digestive Issues Relief
  • Increased Relaxation
  • Improved Skin Health

Cupping is not a good practice for pregnant women and people with infections in the area in which the cupping would occur.


An extremely popular form of bodywork is acupuncture. As the popularity of acupuncture has grown, so have the amount of practices—as well as the need for certification. Because there are so many competing practices, though, it is easier than ever to find a certified acupuncturist that can help with your particular needs.

Acupuncture is a bodywork treatment that involves the use of small needles to improve the flow of chi throughout the meridians of the body. This is done by stimulating acupuncture points throughout the body.

Acupuncture can be used to treat a large variety of health issues that include:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Neck Pain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Chronic Back Pain
  • And More

Not only does acupuncture help with increasing the flow of energy, but it also helps to release endorphins and interrupt pain signals. This helps to reduce pain, and increase comfort.

While traditionally acupuncture simply involves the use of needles, modern practices may also include electrical equipment. This electroacupuncture helps to treat patients with more severe pain, while also often cutting down the treatment time.

While there are various types of acupuncture, most serve a similar purpose, and can be used to treat a variety of different issues.

Which Treatment is Right For Me?

There are many different forms of bodywork, and what form of bodywork that is needed is a decision that should be made between a certified professional and a patient. While some patients may need reiki, other patients may need electroacupuncture. Set an appointment with an alternative medicine practitioner to discuss what problems you are having, and what treatments would best meet your needs.

To decrease your pain and discomfort and increase feelings of ease and tranquility, speak with a Chinese bodywork professional today.

Services We Offer : Conveniently Located in the Chicago Loop

Sunae Son, L.Ac, M.S.O.M. has spent much of her life exploring and researching western and eastern medicines, combining these practices over a decade of field and laboratory studies into mindful patient care in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Bodywork

Bodywork helps to reconnect the body with the mind, which in turn improves chi and overall wellness.


This ancient treatment has helped people for literally thousands of years to relieve a variety of different conditions.

Moxibustion & Infra-Red Therapy

The therapy involves the stimulation of acupuncture points in the body to increase the flow of chi.

Herbal Medicine & Dietary Counseling

Through gathering of different plants, our ancestors were able to decipher what these plants could be used to treat.