Irene Hong, LAc. LMT.
Acupuncture Moxibustion, Acupressure, Cupping, Traditional Chinese Medicine
Massage TCM Bodywork

Massage is believed to be one of the oldest forms of medical care, dating back to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Its vital role in healthcare was universal. In 2700 BC, a Chinese book of internal medicine recommended “the massage of skin and flesh”. More than two thousand years later, Hippocrates – the father of modern medicine – wrote that “the physician must be acquainted with many things and assuredly with rubbing” (the ancient Greek word for massage).

Today, the term massage therapy is used to describe the manipulation of soft tissue – muscles, skin and/or tendons – by fingertips, hands, fists, elbows and even feet. Bodywork is a general term for manual techniques that involve touch and movement and are used to promote health and healing.

Almost a quarter of all American adults have received at least one massage in the past twelve months. And the number continues to grow as more and more people discover the benefits of massage – for relaxation, rehabilitation and rejuvenation.

Experience the many benefits of massage, make an appointment today!

Traditional Chinese Bodywork  
Tui Na & Acupressure $69
Cupping / Gua Sha $30 Add-On
Herbal Aroma & Heat Therapy $15 Add-On
Swedish Relaxation Massage $69/60min; $99/90min
Myofascial Release / Trigger Point $120/90min
Pregnancy Massage $90/60min

EveryBody Deserves a Massage.

At Irene's Massage & Bodywork, every massage treatment is tailored to the specific needs of each individual client. Irene strives to create a relaxing, healing and centering experience for you. With a variety of massage techniques to choose from, I want to make sure you are happy, relaxed and rejuvenated after your visit!

Since the beginning, Irene has focused on providing professional, high-quality, yet affordable service to residential communities in Northeast NJ. In addition to volunteering in local health events and charity relief activities, by providing home visits, Irene brings care to senior citizens and patients with chronic illness as well. Various discounts are also available for customers currently experiencing financial difficulties. So if you or your loved one is in need of massage therapy, please do not hesitate to contact for assistance.

Traditional Chinese Bodywork

Two types of traditional Chinese massage exist - Tui Na (推拿) which focuses on pushing, stretching and kneading the muscle and Zhi Ya (指壓) which focuses on pinching and pressing at Acupressure points. Both are based on principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Traditional Chinese massage is usually performed with the client's clothes on. As always, client can undress as much as they are comfortable with. Every client will be well draped during the entire massage.

Tui Na is Chinese Medicine's Physio-Therapy. Utilized for medical purposes instead of relaxation, Tui Na works to correct patients' problems, from musculoskeletal conditions to headaches, and even assist treatment of diseases such as cancer. Within the foundation of Tui Na, Traditional Chinese Medicine principles are followed, from Meridian Applications to Herbal Formulas, Qigong Therapy and heated herbal application (Moxa). Technique applications such as friction and vibration are used as well.


cuppingCupping (Ba Guan 拔罐) is one of the oldest methods of TCM. Originally, practitioners would use hollowed-out animal horns for cups. Today, most practitioners use cups made of thick glass, plastic, or rubber.

Cupping involves heating the air inside a cup and placing the inverted cup on the body. A vacuum is created, anchors the cup to the skin and pulls the skin upward. More recently, vacuum can be created with a suction pump acting through a valve located at the top of the cup (called "air cupping"). By creating suction, cupping is used to soften tight muscles and lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to the tissues, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways. In TCM, disease is due to stagnated or blocked Qi. Cupping will unblock and realign Qi, thereby restoring health.

While cupping is considered safe (especially air cupping, which eliminated the risk of fire and heat), it can cause some swelling and bruising on the skin. As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the skin surface expand. This may result in circular bruises on the areas where cups were applied. These bruises are usually painless, and disappear within a few days. It is highly recommended to drink plenty of water after cupping to help move blood and body fluids, general massage is able to help reduce the blood bruising immediately after cupping.

Gua Sha

guashaGua Sha (刮痧), literally "to scrape away fever" in Chinese, is a traditional healing technique used throughout Asia. Gua means to rub or friction. Sha is the term used to describe congestion of blood at the surface of the body. Gua Sha involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edge. Commonly a ceramic Chinese soup spoon was used, or a well worn coin, even honed animal bones, water buffalo horn, or jade. A simple metal cap with a rounded edge can also be used.

The benefits of Gua Sha are numerous. It moves stagnated blood, promoting normal circulation to the muscles, tissues, and organs directly beneath the surface treated. Normal metabolic processes are restored by the movement of fluids as nutrients are carried to the tissues and metabolic wastes are carried away. Gua Sha cools who is overheated, warms who is chilled, nourishes who is deficient, and clears who is excess.

After Gua Sha, it is highly recommended to cover the area, avoiding wind and exposure to the sun or sudden change in temperature. Stretching is recommended but not a heavy workout on the day of treatment.

Herbal Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering one's mood, cognitive, psychological or physical wellbeing. The use of essential oils for therapeutic, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes goes back to a number of ancient civilisations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who used them in cosmetics, perfumes and drugs.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy, also called thermotherapy, is the application of heat to the body for pain relief and health. The therapeutic effects of heat include increasing the extensibility of collagen tissues; decreasing joint stiffness; reducing pain; relieving muscle spasms; reducing inflammation, edema, and aids in the post acute phase of healing; and increasing blood flow. The increased blood flow to the affected area provides proteins, nutrients, and oxygen for better healing.

Swedish/Classic Full Body Massage

Designed primarily for relaxation. It includes a combination of techniques from different massage modalities, including but not limited to: Swedish, Oriental and other specialized treatments. Swedish Massage is a very relaxing and therapeutic style of bodywork. It combines oils or lotion with an array of strokes such as rolling, kneading, and percussion to help the body improve its circulation.

Myofascial Release

fasciaMyofascial release refers to the manual massage technique for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, and muscles with the goal of eliminating pain, increasing range of motion and equilibrioception. Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle. This soft tissue can become restricted due to psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and corresponding diminished blood flow. Although fascia and its corresponding muscle are the main targets of myofascial release, other tissue may be affected as well, including other connective tissue. Myofascial release usually involves applying shear compression or tension in various directions, or by skin rolling.

Trigger Point

A trigger point is a hyperirritable spot that is painful. It is called a trigger point because it "triggers" a painful response. But a trigger point is more than a tender nodule. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is located, but also causes "referred pain" in tissues supplied by nerves. Trigger points are located in a taut band of muscles fibers. The trigger point is the most tender point in the band. The therapist will locate and deactivate them using finger pressure. One technique is to pick up the muscle fibers in a pincer grip.

Trigger point therapy is used to treat painful trigger points that cause referred pain. It took a while to get the muscle in that condition, and it will likely take more than one massage to get rid of it. These points are often areas of chronic "holding" and you need to learn how to move in different ways to keep them from recurring. It will probably be uncomfortable.

Pregnancy Massage

Massage during pregnancy not only makes a woman feel pampered, but offers undeniable physical benefits as well. Massage can relieve fatigue, enhance sleep, and calm an active baby. During the entire term of the pregnancy, massage can stimulate blood flow, which may assist in the prevention of anemia. An increase in muscle tone and flexibility will occur, alleviating leg cramps and muscle spasms. Massage during pregnancy is also a great way to relieve everyday tension and the general aches and pains your body is suffering. It stimulates your lymphatic system, increasing immunity and the removal of excess toxins, while also stabilizing hormonal levels and balancing the glandular system.

When receiving pregnancy massage, you are positioned on your side to give the therapist access to your back or in a semi-reclining position for massage on the front of your body. Your body will be supported with pillows or special cushions. You will be properly draped while the therapist is working, except for the area being massaged.

The massage therapist may use essential oils during your massage. Since many have physical effects on the body, you should be aware of the oils the therapist may use. Oils that have stimulating effects should be avoided, such as basil, cinnamon, cedarwood, and peppermint. Clary sage should also be avoided as it can initiate labor. The following are recommended as safe for use during pregnancy: lavender to relieve nausea, headaches, and constipation; neroli and ylang-ylang may help reduce stretch marks.

Women with normal, low-risk pregnancies can benefit greatly from massage by a trained pregnancy massage therapist. However, women in high-risk pregnancies should consult with their doctor or midwife before beginning a massage therapy program. If at any time during the massage you experience discomfort, tell the therapist immediately. It is very important you obtain approval from your obstetrician before receiving any form of massage during pregnancy.

Deep Tissue

Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity (such as athletes), and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is not uncommon for receivers of deep tissue massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly.

The term "deep tissue" is often misused to identify a massage that is performed with sustained deep pressure. Deep tissue massage is a separate category of massage therapy, used to treat particular muscular-skeletal disorders and complaints and employs a dedicated set of techniques and strokes to achieve a measure of relief. It should not be confused with "deep pressure" massage, which is one that is performed with sustained strong, occasionally intense pressure throughout an entire full-body session, and that is not performed to address a specific complaint. Deep tissue massage is applied to both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, fascia, and other structures. The sessions are often quite intense as a result of the deliberate, focused work. When a client asks for a massage and uses the term "deep tissue", more often than not he or she is seeking to receive a full-body session with sustained deep pressure throughout. If a practitioner employs deep tissue techniques on the entire body in one session, it would be next to impossible to perform; it might lead to injury or localized muscle and nerve trauma, thereby rendering the session counterproductive.

© Copyright 2018 Irene Hong, LAc. LMT.. All rights reserved.