Tui Na (pronounced 'twee na') is the Chinese medical form of massage and is a fundamental part of the healing system that makes up Traditional chinese medicine (TCM), along with the main components - Acupuncture, Acupressure, Chinese herbs & Cupping.
Tui Na is the preferred form of massage in many hospitals across China, and is often used as the first and only choice of healthcare.
The development and evolution of Tui Na has been lengthy, details of its uses and range of treatments were documented over 2500 years ago. This makes the modern form of Tui Na one of the most tried and tested hands-on therapies in the world.
How does it work?
Tui Na works in accordance with the complex theory of TCM. Fundamental to this theory is the life powering energy that the Chinese call Qi (pronounced 'chee'). Every aspect of bodily function depends upon Qi and its flow through the tissues.
At irregular intervals along the meridians or energy pathways there are specific Qi points (the acu-points of acupuncture) where pressure, needles or heat can affect the way Qi flows through the meridian. This effect can manifest itself on some part of the meridian quite distant from where the stimulus is applied.
When Qi flow is disturbed anywhere in the body, Qi can become out of balance can therefore cause pain, stiffness, sickness as well as emotional pain.
The Chinese believe that health and vitality depend on Qi balance in the body. Tui Na is one of the best ways of achieving this and it uses an array of techniques to do it.
A casual observer watching a session sees what appears to be a thorough workout for the soft tissues and joints, but the practitioner aims to do more than this. Attention is focused on meridians and selected Qi points. They are massaged in different ways to remove all blockages to the flow of Qi.
In China, Tui Na is used for conditions that, in the West, would be treated by osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists or with drugs.
How can I expect to feel after a treatment?
Tui na is a firm massage, done through clothing so there should be no chaffing to the skin, although you may notice some superficial redness for a short while after the massage and there is a possibility of mild superficial bruising. You should feel relaxed and rejuvenated following your treatment, however, if it is the first time you have received this sort of massage you may feel a little achy the day after (symptoms can appear to worsen for the first couple of treatments).