About Tuina Medical Massage
Tuina Chinese Massage (pronounced Twee Naa) is similar to Swedish style massage but undertaken trough loose clothing rather than using oils. It uses the Traditional Chinese Theories of diagnosis and treatment through working on the channel meridian system.
Tuina is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy that follows the theories found in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It uses a wide variety of hand and body techniques, stretches and manipulations to restore the natural balance of the body.
The term Tuina is the combination of two Chinese words, Tui and Na. These two words are joined to describe the core mechanics of Tuina. Tui means to push and Na means to grasp. These are two common techniques that are used often in many of the Tuina routines and because of this have found their way into the name itself. Some other techniques used in Tuina are:
- Gun fa (Rolling technique)
- Rou fa (Kneading technique)
- Ba Shen fa (Stretching techniue)
My good work colleague Chris Tappenden demonstrating Ruo Fa technique.
Tuina’s strength comes from its ability to treat both the physical and energetic systems of the body. The Physical form or Yin can be viewed as the muscles, tendons, bones and blood and body fluids within the body. Various hand techniques are used to soften, stretch, warm and relax then body which will relieve pain and stiffness, increase function and improve your range of motion.
The Energetic form or Yang can be viewed as the Qi, (body energy), channels and acupoints within the body. This is where Tuina surpasses other forms of bodywork. It uses these techniques to strongly influence Qi, by removing blockages in the channels (tight muscles), and by warming, cultivating and spreading the Qi. This will also relieve pain and stiffness, increase function and improve range of motion.
This two-fold approach is what makes Tuina effective as both a way of treating musculoskeletal issues and problems, internal diseases, and as a form of preventative medicine to help keep you healthy.
What can I expect from Tuina?
Tuina is performed over your clothed body, as a patient you will sit on a chair or lie on a couch. Tuina is a medical treatment and as with all TCM modalities, a case history and diagnosis will be done prior to treatment.
Some techniques performed may be familiar to you. The massage is usually done using gentle to quite firm pressure using palms, thumbs, fingers, and elbows, added to this are various stretches.
It can be more vigorous than other forms of massage, and as with other body therapies you may leave a little sore, light-headed or supercharged after your treatment, but mostly patients always feel better after Tuina. Ointments, herbal compresses and cupping maybe applied as an additional benefit to your personalised treatment.
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