What is Tuina?
Tuina is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping and qigong. Tuina is a hands-on body treatment that aims to bring the body into balance. The practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press and rub the areas between each of the joints to open the body’s defensive (wei) chi and get the energy moving in the meridians as well as the muscles. The practitioner can then use a range of motion, traction, massage, with the stimulation of acupressure points. Tuina is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Brief History of Tuina
Archaeological studies have unearthed evidence of Tuina dating back to around 2700 BC, making it the forerunner of all other forms of massage and body work that exist today, from shiatsu to osteopathy. The most famous ancient text on Chinese medicine‚ Huang Di Nei Jing‚ (The Classic of Internal Medicine of the Yellow Emperor) completed between the first century BC and the first century AD includes records of the use of massage techniques and how they should be used in the treatment of certain diseases.
What to expect
Tuina Chinese massage can be applied either lying down or sitting in a chair. You do not usually need to remove any clothing unless the practitioner needs to apply herbal liniment to your skin, or use moxa, guasha and cupping techniques. Very often, you will be wrapped in a sheet or towel. Your Tuina practitioner will also take a full medical history, including examining your tongue and reading your pulse on both wrists.
Depending on the condition being treated and the practitioner’s background, the style of a Tuina treatment can vary from a vigorous deep-tissue style massage, to a subtle energetic treatment not unlike Reiki or Cranio-sacral therapy. RTCM members are trained to use manual manipulation and Qi Gong techniques to stimulate the body’s web-like meridian system and encourage the smooth flow of Qi around the body.
Tuina is more than just massage
Tuina practitioners are skilled at both manipulating joints and muscles to relieve musculoskeletal pain and stiffness like arthritis and sciatica and directing the flow of Qi within the body to treat deeper seated conditions like depression and insomnia. It effectively relieves many common health conditions, especially when combined with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
In addition to the massage, your Tuina practitioner might also use other Chinese therapeutic techniques including –
- Moxibustion Moxa is a dried herb related to Mugwort. Burnt like incense to warm and relax muscles and energy meridians
- Cupping glass cups with a vacuum seal are placed on the skin to stimulate blood flow and clear stagnant Qi.
- GuaSha vigorous rubbing of the skin to increase blood flow and clear stagnant Qi.
- Herbal liniments, oils and lotions applied directly to the skin to prevent chaffing, stimulate the flow of Qi and enhance the energetic effects of the massage.
Cupping and GuaSha may leave superficial red marks or small bruises, but these are painless and quickly fade.
How can it help me?
Tuina is effective at relieving a wide range of common health problems. Because Tuina massage can be very relaxing, it is particularly useful for stress related condition. Like other forms of massage it can be used preventatively, to encourage the movement of Qi (vital energy) and Blood. It can be used in combination with the other branches of traditional Chinese medicine such as Acupuncture.
What does Tuina treat?
Tuina massage offers a wide range of benefits, both physiological as well as psychological, increasing well-being and the feeling of euphoria. Tuina speeds up the bodies ability to heal it self. Tuina massage can be used for a variety of purposes, from general massage to sports injuries. It can be used to treat a variety of ailments:
- Neck pain and Frozen Shoulder
- Headache, Migraine
- Low energy, Poor circulation
- Back pain, Sciatica
- Digestive Disorders and Stress
- Rheumatism, Arthritis
- Joint pain or Moving pain
- Ankle or Wrist pain
- Sports injuries
- And more….