Tui Na is the name for Chinese massage. It is a bodywork therapy that has been used in China for more than 2,000 years. Tui Na uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridian as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tui Na seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body to naturally heal itself.
The techniques of Tui Na include the use of hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, acupressure techniques to direct the flow of Qi, and manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships(bone-setting). It is closely related to acupuncture in its use of the meridian system and is considered to be effective for a similar range of health problems.
Compare to Swedish massage, Chinese massage has more hand techniques (more than 70). Some of them are similar to Swedish massage techniques, others are unique. It often combines with acupressure to direct the flow of Qi.
Chinese massage emphasizes that shou fa (techniques) must be gentle and soft yet deep and penetrating. The strokes must be applied rhythmically and persistently. The controlled use of very deep, moving pressure is one of the secrets of Tuina massage.
Just like Swedish massage, Tui Na can treat a variety of conditions from tension headache, whiplash, and muscle strains to stress-related illnesses. It improves blood circulation, helps with lymphatic drainage, digestion. It also brings you a better sleep quality.
In a typical session, the practitioner examines the specific problems of the client and begins to apply a specific treatment protocol. The major focus of application is upon specific pain sites, acupressure points, energy meridians, muscles and joints. Sessions last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on the specific problems of the client, they may return for additional treatments. The client usually feels relaxed but energized by the treatment
Benefits, Limitations, Contraindications
Tui Na is well suited for the treatment of specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems. Effective treatment protocols have been tested in a practical setting. Contraindications include conditions involving fractures, phlebitis, infectious conditions, open wounds, and lesions.
History of Tui Na
Tui Na dates back to the Shang Dynasty of China, 17000 B.C. E. Oracle bones show that Tui Na massage was used to treat children’s diseases and digestive complaints in adults. There are massage textbooks as far back as the Nei Jing (722-481 BC), the most ancient medical texts. By 600 C. E. Tui Na was included in the Imperial Medical College as a separate department. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) it is recorded that there were 56 massage doctors in the imperial hospital, more than the total of herbalist and acupuncturists. Around this time, Chinese techniques were imported to Japan and eventually gave rise to Japanese Shiatsu. Later still Peter Henrik Ling learned from Chinese masters before developing Swedish Massage the origin of Western bodywork.
Tui Na flourished throughout China until the Qing Dynasty where it was suppressed along with other Chinese cultural arts. Following the Communist revolution Tui Na was restored along with other traditional medical arts and was included in the creation of the current system of Traditional Medicine Colleges. From then on, Tui Na massage has continued to develop absorbing western ideas into the traditional framework. It is widely practiced and taught in hospital and medical schools and is an essential part of primary healthcare.
Tunia has a variety of different systems that emphasize particular aspects of these therapeutic principles. The main schools in Chian include the rolling method sholl which emphasizes soft tissue techniques and specializes in joint injuries and muscle sprains, the one finger pushing method school which emphasizes techniques for acupressure and the treatment of internal diseases, and Nei Guang method school which emphasizes the use of Nei Gong Qi energy generation exercises and specific massage methods for revitalizing depleted energy systems, and the bone setting method school which emphasizes manipulation methods to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships and specializes in joint injuries and nerve pain.