Tuina is actually a form of massage therapy!
Tui Na massage therapy is a form of acupressure massage and an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), originating in the Shang Dynasty around 1700 B.C.! Tui Na, along with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, are the main components of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can be used to treat specific areas, or it can be used to improve the overall Qi or energy flow throughout the body. Tuina is thought to be the oldest system of bodywork practiced today.
Tui Na or Tuina massage can improve blood circulation, increase range of motion and is effective in nerve regulation. Tuina massage plays a role in rehabilitation and is effective in the treatment of muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Tui na is not generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather as a treatment to address specific patterns of disharmony.
As such, practitioners use it for many of the same reasons and according to the same principles as acupuncture. Acupuncture involves releasing and connecting energy at 12 specified points throughout the body through the use of tiny needles. Tuina, which means “pushing and grasping” addresses the same points using manual stimulation. To those who’ve experienced both acupressure and Shiatsu, a Tuina session may seem like a cross between the two. Like Shiatsu, Tuina uses rhythmic compression along energy channels of the body, as well as a variety of techniques that manipulate and lubricate the joints. Like acupressure, Tuina directly affects the flow of energy by holding and pressing the body at acupressure points.
The main benefit of Tuina massage is that it focuses on the specific problem, whether it is an acute or a chronic pain associated with the joints, muscles or a skeletal system. This technique is very beneficial in reducing the pain of neck, shoulders, hips, back, arms, highs, legs and ankle disorders. It is a very effective therapy for arthritis, pain, sciatica and muscle spasms. Other benefits of this massage therapy include alleviation of the stress related disorders like insomnia, constipation, headaches and other disorders related to digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems.
In ancient China, medical therapy was often classified as either “external” or “internal” treatment. Tuina was one of the external methods, thought to be especially suitable for use on the elderly population and on infants. In modern China, many hospitals include tui na as a standard aspect of treatment, with specialization for infants, adults, orthopedics, traumatology, cosmetology, rehabilitation, and sports medicine.