New business in downtown Duluth seeks to heal the Chinese wayKeep Health Massage practices Tuina, a 2,000-year-old Chinese massage technique. It’s part of traditional Chinese medicine that includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition and exercise to achieve holistic health.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
What: Keep Health Massage
Address: 222 W. First St. in Duluth
Business: Traditional Chinese foot and body massage
The technique: The business practices Tuina, a 2,000-year-old Chinese massage technique. It’s part of traditional Chinese medicine that includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition and exercise to achieve holistic health. Tuina uses manipulations — which can be rigorous and deep — of trigger points and meridians or energy lines in the body to
correct physiological imbalances to relieve pain, improve blood circulation and prevent problems. Unlike general massage, Tuina targets specific problems. Except for foot massages, the manipulations are usually made on top of clothing rather than bare skin.
Founded: Summer 2011
Owner: Bruce Wei of Duluth
Previous job: Wei formerly was a massage therapist at Miller Hill Mall
Background: Wei, 39, learned the art of traditional Chinese massage from healers in China, where it is a revered form of medicine. With little work and opportunity in his native country, Wei immigrated to the United States nearly three years ago to have a better life and future, he said. After time spent in California, he moved to Duluth
His dream was to have his own business. And after working at the mall for 10 months, he was ready to set out on his own. Determined to speak and understand English better, he is attending an English language class several times a week before he opens his shop.
Why locate downtown? Wei was living nearby and passed by the vacant storefront every day. He liked that it was right downtown, where there are many buildings and offices and right next to the Holiday Inn.
Why feature foot massages? It is believed that reflex zones on the bottom of our feet are connected to different parts of the body and encompass all the vital organs. And when these areas of the foot are manipulated, healing occurs.
Employees: Currently none besides Wei.
Top customer problems: Neck and lower back problems top the list of ailments among Wei’s customers, which he said are often caused by prolonged periods of sitting in front of computers and long commutes. Many have circulation problems that can manifest themselves in frequently feeling cold.
One customer’s story: Dawn Janousek of Duluth is one of Wei’s regulars. As a professional photographer, hauling her camera equipment around had created chronic neck pain. But after Wei’s chair massages for neck and back work, she soon felt better.
“He works trigger points in my neck and back areas,” she said. “It’s not painful anymore.”
She continues to go to Wei once a month. “Now I do it more for relaxation,” she said.
Cost: Numerous options are available, including $20 for a half-hour foot massage, $17 for a 15-minute chair massage, $50 for a one-hour table massage and $45 for a one hour combination table and foot massage.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.
Call: (218) 464-1891. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted when time allows.