Tui Na Therapeutic Massage

Tui Na is one of the four main branches of Chinese medicine. Its sister therapies are acupuncture, herbal medicine and Qi Gong. This ancient physical art differs from other forms of massage through its ability to treat particular internal ailments as well as skeletal and soft tissue injuries and problems. Tui Na is very relaxing and so is particularly useful for stress related conditions.

What is Tui Na?

Tui Na is a ‘hands on’ therapy that has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a therapeutic massage therapy that uses the same Chinese medical model as acupuncture, but instead of using needles the practitioner uses different specialist hand, arm and elbow techniques to stimulate acupuncture points and channels (meridians) of energy on the soft tissues to promote the body’s own healing process.

It can be applied lying down or sitting. Tui Na manipulation procedures can help to realign the musculo-skeletal system, mobilise joints and tendons to increase the range of movement and also regulate the function of the internal organs.

The massage will also stimulate the circulation to the area being treated and by doing so increase the delivery of nutrients and hormones to optimise the healing process and so alleviate any pain.

Tui Na uses the same energetic channel principles as acupuncture, which means that many patients find that they feel better generally as well as specifically as the treatment works holistically.

How is Tui Na different to other massage?

The practitioner makes an individual diagnosis based on an in depth understanding of the principles and philosophy of Chinese Medicine to treat specific disorders of an internal (organ based) and external (musculoskeletal) nature. Depending on the condition being treated, the practitioner may choose to use ancillary techniques to optimise the results:

Glass cups are applied to the skin with a vacuum to stimulate blood flow and move stuck qi (energy).

The herb ‘mugwort’ is dried and smouldered over points and channels to warm, relax and improve energy flow and thus encourage the healing process.

Gua Sha
Is a repetitive scraping of the skin with a smooth edged tool to release toxins and improve the flow of blood and qi.

How does Tui Na feel?

Tui Na is typically applied over a sheet covering the patient so that there is a smooth surface to work on, or directly on the skin if the Practitioner feels that an oil or liniment is appropriate for the condition. Tui Na feels warming and deeply penetrating – its rhythmic nature makes it deeply relaxing treatment. As with acupuncture, some people may feel a little sleepy after the massage and others will feel energised.

How many treatments will I need?

As with acupuncture, the frequency and duration of Tui Na treatments will depend on the individual person and problem. It is often the case that more acute condition will respond relatively quickly with one or two treatments, whereas more chronic situations will typically take longer to address.