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Chinese Medical Massage: Tui Na

Written By Matthew Truhan, LAc on August 29, 2019

tuina1Before the technique known as Acupuncture, the healers in China used their hands as tools. Their instinct led them to rub, knead, push, and pound themselves and others to help warm up or battle anything from fatigue to various injuries. It is these techniques that make up the area of Chinese medical massage known as Tui Na.

A Brief History of Tui Na massage

Starting with the instinctual use of the techniques above, the healers began to ask the spirits of the elders how to properly treat different diseases. Sometimes the spirits were right; sometimes the spirits were wrong. Those healers took the important steps of recording the results. The records they kept led to the development of the channel/meridian system pathways and functions. The practice of massage went through different names, becoming what we call today as Tui Na.

The Tui Na massage difference

Tui Na is a therapeutic style of massage. The techniques are designed to be performed through the clothes due to the culture during its development. This provides the comfort of cover that some people prefer. Tui Na may be performed while sitting or lying down, and both positions may be employed in a single treatment. The massage can be performed for full body relaxation, with area specific protocols to help with regions that need particular attention, like acute injuries or chronic, overuse pain. Along with soft tissue mobilization and muscle work, Tui Na regularly includes stretches and range of motion of the joints, which provides for improved circulation and lubrication.

The Secret to Tui Na massage

A number of techniques used in Tui Na massage are specific to this modality. The secret behind the effectiveness of Tui Na comes from the oscillatory nature of a number of these techniques. The body movement provided by the oscillation softens the muscles, relaxes the body and allows deeper penetration of the techniques. The techniques can be performed with light or deep pressure. This provides patient with a massage that there body needs and can handle. As mentioned above, the inclusion of stretches and traction help return proper function and mobility. The combination of the two helps to keep the body limber and lubricated.

Dos and Don’ts for Tui Na massage (and any treatment)

Whether coming in for Tui Na, acupuncture, deep tissue massage or a chiropractic adjustment, it is a good idea to have at least a little to eat. On the flipside, it can be uncomfortable to have a treatment when you are overly full. Also, drinking water before the massage is as important as drinking water after. It will help soften the tissue, allowing for better release. It also prepares the body for toxin removal.

For Tui Na, or acupuncture, it is best to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. This allows the practitioner access to the points he needs for acupuncture, or allows room for stretches and range of motion. A pair of shorts can also give the access required for acupuncture and the room for stretches. Call into Wellness Doctor today to set up an appointment to give the ancient therapy of Tui Na a try today.

Posted In: Acupuncture