Tui Na massage therapy is an ancient form of Chinese massage therapy that has its origins in the Shang Dynasty of China in 1700 BC. It is still taught in Chinese Medical Colleges as a traditional therapy.
Tui Na is based on the traditional Chinese medical principle of the flow of Qi, or the ‘life force’ through the energy meridians of the body. It seeks to promote a more effective flow of Qi throughout the body by using massage and manipulation techniques. Tui Na involves the use of hands to massage soft tissue and apply pressure on the pressure points. It also involves some manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal system. These techniques may be supplemented by the use of herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves.
How does Tui Na Massage work?
A typical session of Tui Na massage could last from anywhere between ten minutes to an hour. There may be more than one session of massage therapy depending on the severity of the ailment. This massage therapy is performed with the patient lying down on a table or floor mat. The patient is required to wear loose clothing and remain barefoot to facilitate the massage process. The therapist will initially examine the area to be treated and make some enquiries into the patient’s general health, history of allergies and other existing conditions. After this the practitioner will decide on the appropriate method of treatment to be followed.
The treatment is carried out by the manipulation and massage of acupressure points, energy trigger points, muscles and joints surrounding the affected area. Most of the treatment is carried out by hand and may include techniques such as pressing, tapping, and kneading with palms, fingertips, knuckles or implements designed for this purpose. Chinese herbs may also be applied to facilitate faster healing.
Benefits of Tui Na Massage
Tui Na massage therapy concentrates on the freeing the blocked energy meridians in the affected areas of the body to bring about prompt relief from pain and to allow the body to heal itself. It is used for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems. It is very useful in treating chronic problems such as shoulder pain, joint pain, back pain, and disorders in the lower leg and ankle.
Tui Na is an intensive form of massage therapy and focuses on curing specific ailments and is not suitable as form of general body massage therapy for aiding in relaxation. It should not be used in conditions involving fractures, phlebitis, infections, open wounds, and lesions. It should also be avoided during pregnancy and menstruation.