Often used in conjunction with acupuncture and Chinese herbalism, tui na (“push and grasp”) Chinese therapeutic massage therapy is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originating in the Shang Dynasty, around 1700 B.C.
Based on the TCM theory of qi flow through the meridians, tui na incorporates acupressure to bring the body into balance, removes obstructions in energy pathways and promotes an increase in the body’s vital energy. Tui na both treats and prevents disease through eight basic methods: Palpating (mo), rejoining (jie), opposing (duan), lifting (ti), pressing (an), kneading (mo), pushing (tui), and holding (na). Similar to principles of acupuncture, tui na focuses on specific acupressure points, energy trigger points and muscles/joints surrounding the affected area.
Tui na plays a role in rehabilitation and health maintenance and is effective in the treatment of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Tui na can treat or complement the treatment of many conditions including internal disorders, chronic stress-related respiratory ailments, shoulder/back pain, musculoskeletal disorders, and joint displacement. Tui na techniques can improve blood circulation, enhance joint mobility, heal soft tissue injuries, and is effective in nerve regulation.
Involving work with anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology and biomechanics, tui na is suited to a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, other health care environments, and offices. Tui na is subdivided into specialized treatment for orthopedics, geriatrics, chiropractic care, physical therapy, sports medicine, energy work, and massage therapy. Many martial arts schools also teach tui na for the treatment and management of injury and pain due to training.
Tui na’s focus on specific ailments, rather than a more generalized treatment, makes it an ideal alternative and/or extension to Swedish and other traditional western massage methods. For more information about tui na massage therapy or Acupuncture & Massage College’s Massage Therapy certificate program featuring a Japanese Shiatsu specialization, contact Dr. Richard Browne or Joe Calareso at (305) 595-9500.