Ren Message  •  Tui Na  •  Zen Shiatsu  •  Shiatsu  •  Cupping  •  Gua Sha  •  Moxa, Moxibustion  •  Cranio-Sacral Therapy  •  Pre-Natal Massage  •  Reiki
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Ren Massage & Acupuncture

Mission Statement

To promote client centered integrative therapeutic bodywork for the purpose of health and wellbeing.

The Work

Ren Massage & Acupuncture is a holistic bodywork technique that combines many East Asian modalities such as, but not limited to: acupuncture, shiatsu, zen shiatsu, tuina, cupping, gua-sha and moxibustion therapy. Our focus is to address the root / the cause of the client's discomfort instead of addressing solely the symptoms. Each session is tailored to the particular needs of the client and the healing process is profound and long lasting. Injury prevention, prophylactic treatment and therapeutic movement suggestions are included in our 60 or 90 minutes sessions. We may provide dietary advices based on the Chinese Medicine paradigms as well as therapeutic essential oils formulas to apply on body acu-points. Qi Gong exercises may also be suggested as part of the healing process.

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Tui Na

What is Tui Na:

"Tui Na is a more than 2,000 years old method of Chinese bodywork characterized by the smooth gliding or rolling movements of the hands and arms. Through Tui (push) and Na (grasp), kneading, pressing, rolling, shaking, and stretching of the skin and muscles, acupoints are opened and the natural flow of energy, or Qi, is realigned in the musculo-tendoneous pathways, or meridians. Tuina techniques are used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal and internal organ disorders by dispersing stagnation in the meridians and promoting the circulation of Qi into deficient areas. In addition, therapeutic exercises are included in the treatment and external herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves may be used to enhance the therapeutic effect of Tui Na.

Benefits, Limitations, Contraindications:

Tui Na is well suited for the treatment of specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems.

Tui Na is not suited for those seeking a mild, sedating and relaxing massage.

Contraindications include conditions involving fractures, phlebitis, infectious conditions, open wounds, and lesions.

In a typical session, the client, wearing loose clothing and no shoes, lies on a table or floor mat. The practitioner examines and assesses the condition of the client and applies a specific treatment protocol. The focus is upon the root of the issue as well as its symptoms.

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Zen Shiatsu

What Is Zen Shiatsu:

ColoradoZen Shiatsu is a form of bodywork administered by thumbs, fingers, palms, elbows, feet and knees. It depends, for its success, on a meditative activity of the practitioner, aimed especially at detecting the body responses to the treatment, which influences the subsequent treatment step by step. Pressure is applied to all parts of the body along specific pathways / meridians. These are essentially the same meridians that are used in traditional Chinese / Oriental medicine. It is understood that this technique stimulates the natural healing powers of the body, wherefore symptoms of disease lessen and vitality is regained. The professional Zen Shiatsu therapist is trained to feel the body's condition in order to find the imbalanced areas within. By skillfully stimulating the depleted or excessive meridians, the therapist attempts to restore the natural flow of Qi. From the Western point of view, Zen Shiatsu works directly to calm the autonomic nervous system, which has the effect of reducing nervous distress and increasing resistance to stress. By helping with blood and lymph circulation in the body, Zen Shiatsu helps to maintain and improve muscle tone and healthy internal organ functions. It is believed that Zen Shiatsu can also strengthen the immune system. Regular and consistent shiatsu treatments can become an important aspect of preventive health care as well as treatment for existing symptoms. Because of its connection to traditional Chinese medicine, Zen Shiatsu serves as an excellent adjunct to acupuncture therapy, Chinese or Japanese (Kampo) herb prescribing and Therapeutic Essential Oil application.

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What is Shiatsu:

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork. The word shiatsu means "finger pressure", and shiatsu is sometimes described as a finger pressure massage. The primary emphasis of Shiatsu is to identify a pattern of disharmony through use of the four pillars of examinations and to harmonize that pattern with an appropriate treatment plan. Assessment methods and hands-on techniques vary with the practitioner, depending on his / her individual background and training. The radial pulse and tongue observations usually provide detailed health information. Palpation of the abdomen and back, as well as a detailed verbal history, serves to confirm the assessment. Considerations of the client's lifestyle, emotional, and psychological factors are all considered important. Like Acupuncture and Tuina, Shiatsu is based on the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine, where illness is thought to result from imbalances in the natural flow of energy, or Qi, through the body.


Gilles Obermayer
  • Relaxation
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Tiredness
  • Recovery from injuries
  • Stress
  • Arthritis pain
  • Poor digestion
  • Constipation
  • Depression

Limitations, Contraindications:

  • Infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
  • Immediately after surgery
  • Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
  • People with osteoporosis should consult their doctor before having shiatsu
  • People prone to blood clots; there is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having shiatsu
  • Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting any type of massage or bodywork.
  • Shiatsu should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.


Do not eat a heavy meal two hours prior to a shiatsu session. Avoid caffeine, tobacco and other stimulants.

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What is Cupping:

Cupping refers to an ancient Chinese practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced so that the skin and superficial muscle layers are drawn into and held in the cup. In some cases, the cup may be moved while the suction of the skin is active, causing a local pulling of the skin and muscles (the technique is called sliding cups). This treatment has some relation to certain massage techniques, such as the rapid skin pinching along the back that is an important aspect of tuina. In that practice, the skin is pinched, sometimes at specific points (e.g., bladder meridian points), until a redness is generated. Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points, as well as to areas of the body that are affected by pain (where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled). When the cups are moved along the surface of the skin, the treatment is somewhat like guasha (literally, sand scraping), a folk remedy of southeast Asia which is often carried out by scraping the skin with a coin or other object with the intention of breaking up stagnation. Movement of the cups is a gentler technique than guasha, as a lubricant allows the cup to slide without causing as much of the subcutaneous bruising that is an objective of guasha. Still, a certain amount of discoloration is expected both from "static" cupping and sliding cups.

Traditional cupping, with the use of heated cups, also has some similarity to moxibustion therapy. Heating of the cups is the traditional method used to obtain suction: the hot air in the cups has a low density and, as the cups cool with the opening sealed by the skin, the pressure within the cups declines, sucking the skin into it. In this case, the cups are hot and have a stimulating effect similar to that of burning moxa wool. Some modern cups have a valve at the top of the jar and a small hand-operated pump is attached so that the practitioner can suction out air without relying on fire; thus, avoiding some hazards and having greater control over the amount of suction.

In order to allow easy movement of the glass cups along the skin, lotion, oil or other lubricant is applied. Medicated massage oils (with extracts of herbs) are particularly useful for this purpose. There is some friction generated with sliding cups, so that there is a small but significant amount of heat applied by that method, especially if warming oil is used as lubricant. In the Chinese tradition, the cups are left in place for about 10 minutes (typical range is 5 - 15 minutes). The skin becomes reddened due to the congestion of blood flow. The Japanese method uses a lesser amount of stimulation.

When combined with massage, herbal therapy, and liniments and poultices, cupping can greatly reduce healing time of musculo-tendinous injuries.

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Gua Sha

Gua Sha is a healing technique used in Asia by practitioners of Traditional Medicine, in both the clinical setting and in homes, but little known in the West. It involves palpation and cutaneous stimulation where the skin is pressured, in strokes, by a round-edged instrument; that results in the appearance of small red petechiae called 'sha', that will fade in 2 to 3 days.

Raising Sha removes blood stagnation considered pathogenic, promoting normal circulation and metabolic processes. The patient experiences immediate relief from pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, nausea, and so on. Gua Sha is valuable in the prevention and treatment of acute infectious illness, upper respiratory and digestive problems, and many other acute or chronic disorders.

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Moxa, Moxibustion

What is Moxibustion?


Moxibustion is an oriental medicine therapy utilizing burning moxa, or mugwort herb, on top of an acupuncture point. Practitioners use moxa to warm body areas and acupuncture points with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi. Different schools of practitioners use moxa in varying degrees. For example a 5-elements acupuncturist will use / burning moxa directly on the skin (direct moxa) protected by a layer of "buring ointment", whilst a traditional Chinese medicine style practitioner will use rolls of moxa and hold them over the point treated (moxa sticks). It can also be burnt atop a fine slice of ginger root or garlic (indirect moxa).

Studies in China have shown that moxibustion increases blood circulation and disperses accumulations of stagnant blood more effectively than other form of radiant heat. Moxibustion is generally used in the post acute phase of sports injuries, after the initial inflammation is gone and the swelling is significantly reduced. In fractures, moxibustion is used during the complete healing stage of treatment. Practitioners consider moxibustion to be especially effective in the treatment of chronic problems, "deficient conditions".

Moxibustion can be used:

  • To help reduce residual swelling, pain, stiffness
  • To disperse remaining accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids
  • To warm injured areas that are cold to the touch, indicating inadequate circulation, or when the injuries ache in cold, damp weather.

Indirect Moxa

With Indirect Moxa something is placed between the burning moxa and the skin. Some common substances used are slices of Ginger, Garlic, Salt, Aconite, Pepper, and mud. Shiatsu practitioner often use "stick-on moxa"; a high grade mugwort cone on top of a shield.

Moxa Sticks

The Moxa wool is wrapped tightly in paper like a cigar. Sometimes the powder of other herbals is mixed in. The most common recipe is 24 grams of Moxa Wool and 6 grams each of Cinnamon, Cloves, Sichuan Pepper, Realgur, Saussurea, Angelica, Asarum, Atractylodes, Myrrh and Frankincense. The moxa stick is lit at one end and held about 1 inch from the skin, the distance varying with the tolerance of the patient and the degree of stimulation required. Normally the stick is burned for up to 15 minutes or until the skin around the area is bright red. This method is used for pain due to obstruction (Arthritic type pain). The two main methods are spiraling, which is waving the stick in a circular motion over the area or point. The other method is called Sparrow Pecking in which the pecking motion of a bird is simulated.


Moxibustion may be contraindicated with Febrile Diseases (when fever is present), on the back or lower abdomen of pregnant women. Moxa is not to be burned in the vicinity of sensory organs such as the eyes, mouth or mucous membranes, nose or anus. Direct moxa should not be used on the face, breast, where large blood vessels are located or on major creases such as the elbows and knees. Care must also be exercised when burning moxa on areas of numbness, in particular with patients with diabetes.

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