What is Tui Na Treatment?

"Tui Na" literally translates to "push pull" and is the name given to Chinese Medical Massage. 

Tui Na uses a variety of hand techniques and passive and active stretching to restore correct anatomical musculo-skeletal relationships, neuromuscular patterns, and to increase the circulation of Qi and Blood to remove biochemical irritants. Acupoints may be selected to rebalance and harmonize the flow of Qi and Blood through the organ meridians in order to facilitate healing and prevent further injury.

Tuina (Tui Na) has a variety of different systems that emphasize particular aspects of these therapeutic principles. The main schools in China include the rolling method school which emphasizes soft tissue techniques and specializes in joint injuries and muscle sprains, the one finger pushing method school which emphasizes techniques for acupressure and the treatment of internal diseases, and Nei Gung method school which emphasizes the use of Nei Gong Qi energy generation exercises and specific massage methods for revitalizing depleted energy systems, and the bone setting method school which emphasizes manipulation methods to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships and specializes in joint injuries and nerve pain.  

What conditions are appropriate for Tui Na?

Any musculoskeletal disorder may benefit from Tui Na. Tui Na is appropriate for both acute and chronic pain.These include:

  • Body ache and pain;
  • Frozen shoulder and Stiff neck;
  • Joint pain, back, hip, thigh, knee, lower leg and ankle disorders;
  • Pain associated with postural imbalances;
  • Arm/Feet Numbness;
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances;
  • Muscle ache,tightness.
  • Migraine and Headaches.
  • Stress and general fatigue.

How should I prepare for a Tui Na treatment?

As Tui Na does not usually apply any oils or use mechanical devices, it is not necessary to undress during a session. You will be asked to wear loose slacks such as gym pants/slacks and a light, natural fiber T-shirt or blouse, or you may bring the above clothing and change when you arrive.

In a typical session, the client, wearing loose clothing and no shoes, lies on a table or floor mat. The practitioner examines the specific problems of the client and begins to apply a specific treatment protocol. The major focus of application is upon specific pain sites, acupressure points, energy meridians, and muscles and joints. Advanced Tuina (Tui Na) practitioners may also use Chinese herbs to facilitate quicker healing. Sessions last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on the specific problems of the client, they may return for additional treatments. The client usually feels relaxed but energized by the treatment.

The practitioner will also request that the client arrive neither too hungry nor too full (ie: if one is hungry, they should eat; if one is full, they should digest). If you are coming immediately after work, it would be appropriate to have a small snack mid-afternoon, or a hour before arriving.

How often and how many Tui Na treatments are necessary?

This varies greatly, depending primarily on the concern and condition of the client. If the concern is acute, one to three treatments, as soon as possible, are often sufficient to resolve the pain and improve flexibility. If the problem is chronic, treatment on a weekly, twice monthly, or monthly schedule may be advised.

the client's primary concern is maintenance of health and prevention of illness, I will usually suggest treatment on a twice monthly basis. Over 50% of our Shiatsu/Tui Na massage clientele come every 1, 2, or 3 weeks for maintenance and preventative treatment.

What are Benefits, Limitations, Contraindications?

Tuina (tui na) is well suited for the treatment of specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems. Effective treatment protocols have been tested in a practical setting. Tuina (tui na) is not especially useful for those seeking a mild, sedating and relaxing massage since it tends to be more task focused than other types of bodywork. Contraindications include conditions involving fractures, phlebitis, infectious conditions, open wounds, and lesions.

Tuina (Tui Na) is now being popularized in all around world as a powerful therapeutic extension of traditional western massage methods. Tuina's (Tui Na) simplicity and focus on specific problems, rather than a more generalized treatment, make it both an excellent alternative and/or extension of the Swedish-style massage. By utilizing treatments of shorter duration, it can be used in a variety of settings, including home, office, clinic or hospital. It is well suited for both the professional massage therapist or the active, health conscious individual.