Time & Cost of Treatment:
50 minutes, $165
Manaka tapping is a tough treatment to properly describe, so I’ll start by quoting from the spa’s brochure: “your body’s acupoints are softly tapped with a wooden hammer and peg in percussive stimulation technique.” Which is true, but my practitioner did much more than that during our treatment, which I found both interesting and very effective.
That practitioner was Aaron Rubinstein, an acupuncturist with a practice in Austin. I have acupuncture monthly, so we began by having a conversation about what sorts of treatment I’d been having and why, while he also checked my body for trigger points.
He started the treatment with some Japanese acupuncture, using a gold-plated blunt needle. It felt like someone was writing on my back using a ballpoint pen – not at all painful, but interesting. Later, in an email, Aaron explained that this was done to “adjust the overall balance of the nervous system, to move it into a more recuperative mode of function.”
This was followed by the actual Manaka tapping, which was done using a wooden peg and a small mallet. Aaron used these to tap along my meridians, to a specific beat/time set by a metronome. Aaron explained that the “thinking is that by striking the peg, a piezoelectric effect is produced that then stimulates blood flow and produces a relaxation of the muscle.”
Aaron asked if I’d be open to cupping to help release some of the (probably massive) tension in my shoulders. At first he left the cups on various spots across my shoulders – then he started sliding them around. I’d never had that before – it was intense, but fantastic. Very deep kind of a la shiatsu, but not painful, and I felt it really worked.
I feel everybody could benefit from this treatment – especially those into trying something new. Manaka tapping is not something you’ll find offered in many (if any) spas in the United States.
If you want to lie down on a table and totally space out, maybe fall asleep, then this is not for you.