What is it?
Tui na (pronounced “tway-nah”) is Traditional Chinese Medicine bodywork; it is where Shiatsu massage has its roots. Tui na traditionally involves muscle manipulation, bone-setting, and restoring range of motion to heal the body in addition to acupuncture. Some view it as a combination of massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy and it is likely where these Western equivalents originated from. Tui na helps to restore proper movement to the qi and the blood to alleviate pain, stiffness, and reduced motion of the joints.
Tui na is often used at the end of treatment to reinforce the acupuncture that was performed. However, it can also be used before needles are inserted to activate channels to enhance the effect of the needle acupuncture. A relaxation protocol can be performed at any time to calm the shen, or spirit, which is very soothing to alleviate stress.
Several hand techniques are used within tui na, which are all used for a different purpose, such as:
- Rolling – using a closed fist to roll back and forth, like kneading dough, to strongly move the qi
- Cupping – using cupped hands to briskly pat the body to invigorate the qi
- Wiping – using thumbs or flat palms to gently wipe an area to smooth the qi
Oftentimes a combination of hand techniques are used when treating for increased effectiveness.