What is Tuina Massage?
Tui Na (also called Tui-Na or Tuina massage) is a form of bodywork based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Working along meridians (energy channels) throughout the body, the Tui Na practitioner taps into these energy points, using stretches, pressure points, and joint rotations, to balance the body’s vital energy (qi).
The name of this massage therapy modality comes from the two words describing actions in the treatment: tui means “to push” and na means “to grab or squeeze.” Tui Na has been called a combination of Shiatsu—a Japanese bodywork practice—and acupressure massage.
Myths about the practice and benefits of Tui Na abound, so here are six important Tui Na facts.
Are Tui Na massages similar to Western massages?
Tui Na massage sessions usually last been thirty minutes and one hour, and normally take place on a massage table. Tui Na is intended to be both relaxing and invigorating. Some techniques and strokes used in Tui Na are much like those used in a relaxing Swedish massage, such as gliding, kneading, rocking, pulling, friction, and rolling.
How are Tui Na massages different from Western massages?
Because it is based on Chinese medicine, Tui Na is also quite different from Western massage therapy. Unlike Western massage techniques, Tui Na goes beyond the muscles, bones, and joints to work with the body on a deeper, energetic level. Tui Na practitioners intend to sense the energy of the client with their hands, and affect the flow and distribution of that energy during the session. Tui Na massage is often used in concert with other TCM therapies including acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies, moxibustion, and cupping.