“Using no way as a way,
having no limitation as limitation.”
― Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do
Acupressure is known in China as Dian Xue, which literally means "point cavity". It is also the root of Japanese Shiatsu massage. There are about 108 cavities where finger pressure can help release energy flow through the Meridians, or neural pathways as it might be called in western bodywork. My favorite areas for acupressure are the joints; the knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, neck and the Temporal Mandibular Joint, TMJ.
Cupping allows me to "lift" tissues rather than "compressing" them. Depending on the needs, I can vary the negative tension created by the cups to work on superficial to very deep areas. From light gliding cupping (especially good for face, neck and TMJ area), to deeper, more stationary cupping. The last one, where cups can stay on for up to ten minutes, will sometimes create bruises. These will normally fade within a week, but can sometimes stay for up to ten days.
Gua - scraping, Sha - bruises/stagnation, is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to produce bruising without causing the skin to break. This is the kind of work I especially recommend for athletes: nothing will help break up old scar tissue as well. I love to use my traditional Gua Sha tools, made of Obsidian, because I have found that they transfer heat better and are more sensitive than the tools made of other materials, such as steel, used in for example Grafton.
I use both a "tonifying" style, that works in a slower and more contained way, and a more "purging" style, which involves much heavier, faster scraping to bring out as much sha as possible.
The Kinesio Taping® Method is a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting.
Tui Na means "push" and "grab", but also involves vibrating, rocking, rotating, kneading and gliding. It works to balance the body's energy by using pressure points and meridians, and has a lot in common with Acupressure and QiGong. I have learned by receiving work from many highly skilled Chinese practitioners in Seattle's International District.
Thai Stretching is like a passive form of Yoga: guided stretching exercises. In western style of bodywork, this might be called MET, Muscle Energy Techniques, Post Isometric Relaxation, Facilitated Stretching, Active Isolated Stretching, etc. The main difference i see and prefer, is the traditional eastern's style bigger focus on symmetry.