The key in TCM is diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for thousands of years. TCM embraces a holistic view where the focus is on you as an individual, not on your illness, and all symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Everything is connected.
What is Tui Na?
Tui Na Chinese medical massage is both a form of physical bodywork and a subtle energy medicine based on principles of TCM. Tui Na is a highly advanced system of massage which can be used to treat both physical and emotional problems. While it is relatively unknown in the West, the archaeological findings describing its use in Asia date back to 3000BC, while the first books describing its use date back to the Zhou dynasty (700-480BC). This makes TuiNa the ancestor of all other forms of massage and bodywork practised today, from deep tissue massage to osteopathy. As of 2010 TuiNa has been recognised in China as a distinct medical system in its own right.
The effects of Tui Na can be deep and long-lasting while the techniques used are rather gentle. As a physical therapy, Tui Na stands out in the way that it releases the muscles, tendons and ligaments and facilitates the movement of joints. As a form of energy medicine, Tui Na employs Qi or energy that is directed through the hands of a practitioner, into points, along the energy channels or meridians into organs and bones.
Tui Na methods
Tui Na uses a wide range of massage techniques to access specific points and channels or meridians in a body. The Practitioner applies the hands, arms, thumbs and fingers to stimulate a particular point or channel. Techniques include pressing, pushing, kneading, rolling, vibrating, grasping, patting, stretching and rotating. To achieve a particular therapeutic effect these can be applied in a very gentle manner (Yin) or in a powerful, moving, invigorating manner (Yang).
Yin style Tui Na is deeply nourishing and relaxing, and is effective in relieving anxiety and stress, to promote sleep, and to support those who are very weak or chronically ill. Yang style Tui Na is dynamic and physical and can benefit acute and musculoskeletal conditions.
Benefits of Tui Na
In China today, Tui Na is widely used in conventional hospitals for a wide range of conditions. It is popular in the treatment of muscular tension, stiffness, pain and muscular-skeletal conditions such as back pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, soft tissue injuries and chronic joint pains. It is also known to be effective in treating, among others:
- digestive disorders
- menstrual problems
- issues related to sleep and energy levels
TuiNa is an effective way to maintain good health, reduce stress, improve concentration and support the immune system.
Likewise, Tui Na greatly supports pregnancy and postnatal conditions.
Tui Na is a great alternative to acupuncture for people who dislike needles.
What to expect from the treatment?
The first treatment usually lasts 90 minutes as it includes consultation, pulse taking and inspection of the patient’s tongue. Depending on the specific problems of the client, there may be follow up treatments that usually last around 50 mins.
In a typical treatment, the client lies on a massage table. However, Tui Na can also be performed while sitting down to support particular conditions. Whether Yang or Yin style Tui Na, the treatment feels energetically deep, engaging, invigorating or calming as one can experience the sensation of the movement of Qi. Clients often say they feel relaxed and energized by Tui Na treatment.
TuiNa treatment is applied over loose clothing and a Tui Na cloth, or directly on to the skin if an external medium is applied.