What is Tuina?:
Tuina is a type of massage theraphy that is able to restore any energy blocks within your body. This is done by removing any obstructions to the flow of energy in your body increasing your Qi and blood circulation, realigning joints, healing of tissue, adjusting organs, and others. It is a series of pressing, tapping, and kneading that removes blockages along the meridians of the body and stimulates the flow of Qi and blood to help in the healing process which is very similar to principles of acupuncture and acupressure. Tuina's massage-like techniques range from light stroking to deep-tissue work which would never to considered during a recreational or relaxing massage. Tuina has a variety of different systems or methods that emphasize particular aspects of these therapeutic principles. The main schools in China teach the rolling method, which specializes in joint injuries and muscle sprains. The one-finger pushing method uses techniques similar to acupressure, and is used for the treatment of internal diseases. The Nei Gong Qi method is used to realign joints and healing tissues and nerves.

History of Tuina:
Tuina was used in China as early as 1700 B.C. It was used to treat diseases and problems with digestion. By 600 A.D. Tuina was taught at the Imperial Medical College. It flourished in China until the Qing Dynasty, when all chinese culteral arts were getting to a point of restriction. Currently, Tuina is taught in the major traditional Chinese medical colleges.

Who is Tuina for?:
Almost anyone will benefit from receiving a Tuina massage. Areas in which it has been found to be particularly effective include pain, stress, and digestion. Pain includes back pains, headaches, migraines, arthritis, sports injuries, and other pains found in the joint or nerves. Stress includes tiredness, weakness, anxiety, and a weak immune system. Digestion includes constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.

When Tuina should not be used?:
Tuina can be quite powerful and sometimes quite painful during the massage therapy. Tuina is not used for conditions involving compound fractures, external wounds, open sores, or with infectious conditions such as hepatitis. Tuina also should not be performed on the abs of women during their menstrual or pregnant periods, and it should not be used for treatment of tumors and some other diseases.

What to Expect?:
If you are getting a Tuina massage, you should not expect a light, relaxing massage. This therapeutic method goes directly after the problems, sometimes requiring significant pressure, which may cause a pain or discomfort in the patient. The practitioner might use talcum powder, sesame oil, or a specialized massage oil developed for Tuina, to aid in the massaging process. Treatment sessions last from 30 minutes to over an hour. After a session the patient will usually either feel relaxed and tired, or they will feel surprisingly energized by the treatment and release of pain.

What are the Names of the Techniques of Tuina?:
These are some of the terms from the notes I took while I attended one of the Tuina Massage classes. These are the various techniques used in Tuina, depending on the problem in the patient that the practitioner is trying to fix. Each different technique, though its basis and foundation may be similar, serves a different purpose in order to fully utilize the beneficial factors of Tuina.
  • Tui: Pressing and dragging
  • Na: Grasping
  • An: Pressing
  • Mo: Palm rubbing
  • Rou: Kneading
  • Dian: Finger pressing
  • Ca: Rubbing
  • Gun: Rolling
  • Zhen: Vibrating
  • Cuo: Twist and rub
  • Mo: Wiping
  • Tina: Lifting and grasping
  • Anrou: Pressing and kneading
  • Boyun: Forearm kneading
  • Ji: Beating or drumming
  • Pai: Patting
  • Dou: Shaking
  • Yao: Rotating
  • Ban: Pulling
  • Bashen: Extending
What are the Overall Benefits?:
Tuina is a very beneficial type of massage therapy. Although it can be somewhat painful to go through, the end results more than make up for any discomfort. You will feel completely energized after a session, and any areas of your body that were ailing will definitely feel much better. You will almost feel as though you have been completely rejuvenated.


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