Of the four branches of Oriental Medicine, bodywork is the oldest and arguably the most influential. Beginning with the instinctive action of a mother rubbing a child’s belly because of a stomachache or a concerned son patting an aging father’s back to calm a coughing spasm, the use of the hands to help the sick has been the first tool of every medical system on the planet. The hands, fingers, palms, elbows, and feet are used to release tension in the muscles, increase the circulation of Qi and blood, calm the nervous system, and apply pressure or warmth to specific acupuncture points along the course of meridians where blockages and imbalances exist.
Tui Na is the most general Chinese term for bodywork, although it is practiced in a number of different styles and with different emphasis throughout Asia. In the Oriental Healing Clinic, Yin Style Bagua is the style of bodywork practiced. Like most forms of bodywork, Yin Style Bagua utilizes many hand techniques and an understanding of the anatomy of the human body and the flow of Qi and blood. A unique aspect of this style of bodywork is the emphasis on the energetic connection between the practitioner and the patient.
Dr. Xie Peiqi was the third generation lineage holder of Yin Style Bagua, a martial and medical tradition based on the Yi Jing or Book of Changes. This lineage arose to fame in the mid 1800′s and remained in the Imperial court until the Qing Dynasty’s fall in the early 1900′s. Believing touch to be the foundation of all healing methods, Dr. Xie had the following to say “Bodywork is the ancestor and origin of healing without reliance on medicines. The abilities of healing are a natural part of the human being. In fact, every life has regenerative abilities. It is my belief that the regenerative powers of life are truly great and without limit.”
Dr. Xie’s teachings have been brought to the USA by the Association for Traditional Studies (ATS), a not for profit organization, working to preserve traditional knowledge (practitioner educated prior to 1949) in China.