Tui Na Massage

Tui Na

What is Tui Na Massage?

Tui Na Massage is a massage style originating from China that differentiates itself from other modalities in the specific application of the massage techniques. Generally speaking, Tui Na practitioners do not use oil or lotion on the whole body or even massage the whole body. Instead, they apply pressure with their fingers, hands, elbows, or even tools like cups or rollers to specific meridian points on the body. These points are the same points used in acupuncture. By applying pressure to these points, the practitioner promotes the circulation of vital energy (Qi), leading to a state of equilibrium and balance in the body’s functions.

Tui Na Massage often works deep in the muscles and cartilage of the body, employing precise techniques that concentrate on particular muscles and body regions. Studies have indicated that Tui Na massage techniques has been shown to improve conditions such as chronic pain, muscle tension, and joint mobility. Tui Na Massage offers both physical and mental benefits, including stress reduction and relaxation for overall wellness.

Tui Na Massage is commonly used alongside other traditional Chinese medicine treatments like acupuncture and herbal medicine. Tui Na practitioners often receive training in multiple modalities, enabling them to customize treatments based on individual patient requirements. Unlock the power of Tui Na Massage to ease your pain, soothe your mind, and indulge in pure relaxation. This ancient technique will help you on your path to whole body health.

Contact The Root Acupuncture Now to Book an Appointment

Why Tui Na Massage Therapy

Tui Na has a long history dating back thousands of years, with its development documented in ancient texts and teachings. It is currently utilized as a standard treatment in hospitals and clinics throughout China, together with traditional Chinese medicine therapies including acupuncture, cupping and herbal medicine.

Tui Na massage therapy is gaining recognition due to its unique approach, which focuses on addressing specific problem areas and energy blockages, while also promoting overall balance between mental and physical wellbeing.

Tui Na massage is believed to offer therapeutic benefits for a range of conditions, such as chronic pain, stress, and respiratory issues. It has the potential to alleviate discomfort and promote revitalization, from joint pain management, tight muscles from stress, or just to enhance relaxation. Tui Na has been found to offer mental and emotional benefits in addition to physical healing. By promoting balance and harmony in the body, it can help to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Tui Na

History of Tui Na Massage

With origins dating back to 2700 BC, Tui Na massage is one of the oldest and most deeply rooted forms of bodywork still in practice today. The term “Mosuo” was mostly used to describe this form of massage in ancient times, while the modern term of “Tui Na” first came out during the Ming Dynasty in China. Roughly translating to “pushing and grasping”, Tui Na massage relies on various hand, wrist and elbow techniques to positively affect an array of presentations ranging from musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions to digestive upset to headaches.

Many of the ancient texts that first described the early techniques of Tui Na were lost in wars. The two most important early texts first preserved were found on inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells from the Yin-Shang Dynasty and also from medical books from the tombs of the Han Dynasty in Mawangdui, Changsha. These texts describe a time period where prayer and sacrifice were mainly used to “cure illnesses”. Tui Na was the only real form of medicine that was widely used at the time and records show that the people of that age were very skillful in using various external ointments and Tui Na massage to treat diseases.

Ever since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, this medicine has entered a new development age with modern research studies, the consolidation of ancient texts, fresh imaging capabilities (x-ray, MRI’s, etc…), and professional worldwide teaching practices. The gate control theory in neurophysiology has been employed to successfully explain the analgesic (pain-reducing) effect of Tui Na. It helped conclude that Tui Na creates distinct changes in the circulating speed of blood and lymph vascular fluid, which aids in lowering blood pressure, eliminating swelling, and reducing blood stagnation in the body.

Today, Tui Na helps to prevent and treat disease by means of applying these therapeutic massage/manipulations to the parts of the body to regulate the physiological and pathological conditions. Its primary principles include:

  • Balancing Yin and Yang – part of the ancient concept of two opposite but unified aspects in life, Tui Na is used to help find that balance between the yin (referring to the lower half of the physical body and also the internal portion body) and the yang (referring to the upper half of the physical body and the exterior portion of the body).
  • Relaxing muscles and tendons, and regulating/balancing the meridians – through the concepts of meridians/channels in the body, Tui Na can help balance these various aspects of the body and bring about an overall balance or homeostasis.
  • Treating and restoring injured soft tissues and promoting their recovery and renovation – the direct eternal force exerted through Tui Na can aid in everything from joint dislocation to restoring states of soft tissue injuries to their normal state.
  • Promoting blood circulation to remove blood stasis – Tui Na promotes the activities of the tissues of the body, the circulation of Qi and Blood in the acupuncture meridians, and the passive movements of the body’s joints.
Tui Na

Tui Na Massage shares several similarities with Western massage techniques but is considered a distinctive and separate style of massage. Both Tui Na massage and Western massage use techniques such as kneading, rolling, and gliding to manipulate soft tissue and provide relief from physical tension. While Western massage is mainly focused on relaxation, Tui Na is intended for a more profound purpose. While Tui Na massage will relax muscles, it’s primary focus is to also promote energy flow and distribution within the body allowing the benefits to continue long after the massage is done.

Unlike many massage therapists and chiropractors, Tui Na relies on the theoretical base of Traditional Chinese Medicine to create a tailor-made treatment protocol for each patient. Using the traditional concepts of Qi, blood, organ function, and yin & yang in addition to any subjective feedback provided by the patient, a unique treatment plan is formulated by the practitioner. By doing this, Tui Na is not limited solely to musculoskeletal discomfort such as massage or chiropractic care. Instead, it is able to address and help regulate physical pain as well as other internal disorders.  By stimulating acupressure points and applying pressure to specific areas, Tui Na aims to bring the body back into balance and harmony.

These differences lead to practical distinctions between Tui Na and other massage styles. For example, Tui Na sessions typically last between 30 minutes and an hour, and massage oils are used only on certain areas of the body.  Tui Na may also involve deep tissue massage but only as needed and only on specific spots.

Want to know more?  Tui Na can be used alone or in combination with other modalities.  Contact The Root Acupuncture for more information.

Techniques used in Tui Na therapy

There are eight basic techniques used in Tui Na massage:

  • palpating (mo) – palpitation has two objectives, locating the target muscle and assessing the health of the target muscle.  Your Tui Na practitioner will determine if there are any trigger points, inflammation or adhesions as part of palpitating the muscle.
  • Pushing (tui) – pushing is a form of stretching the muscles and joints in which the Tui Na practitioner gently pushes the muscles and joints a bit past their threshold to relieve tension and relax the joints.

Holding (na) – holding is exactly what it sounds like; holding particular body parts in a specific position from a few seconds to a few minutes to improve the flexibility and relieve tension.

Rejoining (jie) – rejoining is when your Tui Na practitioner applies pressure to points at the joints, cartilage and other areas that cause involuntary reflexes.  By applying pressure to these points, blood circulation is increased.

Pressing (an) – pressing is similar to a standard massage except the Tui Na practitioner will use hands and legs to apply the pressure to specific acupuncture points.

Kneading (mo) – in kneading, the Tui Na practitioner will lift, roll and squeeze tissue in a circular technique which will compress underlying muscles and breakdown and realign the muscle fibers.  This realignment relieves pain and increases the ability of the muscle to move freely.

Opposing (duan) – opposing is a trigger point therapy where the Tui Na practitioner targets a specific affected point and massages that point to release the tension and relieve the pain.

Lifting (ti) – lifting is a gentle motion using light strokes with the palm and fingers and oil or cream for smooth motions.

Overall, Tui Na has similarities to Western massage techniques, but its emphasis on energy flow sets it apart as a distinct and effective therapy. Tui Na can be a beneficial component of a self-care regimen for individuals interested in a holistic approach to health and wellness.

For an appointment, or just to learn more about Tui Na, contact The Root Acupuncture today.

Tui Na vs. Chiropractic

Although similar bone setting techniques may be shared between Tui Na and Chiropractic care, generally speaking, Chiropractic is most effective at reducing misalignments within bony structures, but it lacks in addressing the surrounding muscles; resulting in a rebound effect post treatment. Tui Na, however, is able to address the skeletal issue as well as the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments to minimize this rebound effect.

At The Root Acupuncture clinic, Tui Na massage may be used as a standalone treatment or as a part of a regular acupuncture treatment. Patients remain clothed throughout the medial massage and are encouraged to wear loose fitting clothing. Unlike many other forms of massage, Tui Na is not generally used for the sole purpose of pleasure and relaxation, instead, used as a treatment to address a specific ailment. With this being said, however, similar techniques such as kneading, rubbing, tapping or shaking may be experienced. Patients often report feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated after a Tui Na massage.

It is also important to note that Tui Na massage is not just a physical form of therapy, but it also incorporates the use of Chinese herbal medicine to enhance its healing benefits.  Chinese Herbal topicals, compresses, or plasters may also be used during your Tui Na massage to further promote healing effects.

If you have further questions about what to expect, contact The Root Acupuncture and we will be happy to provide any additional answers you need.

One of the focuses of Tui Na massage is addressing chronic pain and health issues. This form of bodywork offers a wide range of therapeutic benefits such as joint mobility improvement, alleviation of body pain, and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Tui Na massage can also help with issues such as knee pain, neck pain, and pain in relation to the body’s pain receptors.

Tui Na massage is specifically designed to cater to individual needs, as the therapist can apply specific techniques in various ways to provide a personalized service.

There are a wide-range of beneficial effects with Tui Na, but here are the most common ailments that we use this technique for in the clinic:

  • Headache
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Neck Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Sciatica

If you are not sure if a medical condition or ailment can benefit from Tui Na therapy, contact us today and we will be happy to discuss the best modality for your situation.

For all ages

Zach Young is our most skilled Tui Na practitioner and has experience working with everyone from adults to small children with Tui Na.   Tui Na massage is a massage technique that incorporates traditional Chinese medicine practices to target various health ailments, from chronic pain and musculoskeletal problems to alieving symptoms of infantile fever and ADHD in children. This gentle massage technique can easily be adapted in its strength to treat a patient of any age.  The use of specialized techniques and herbal medicines in this form of massage therapy makes it a viable alternative to Western methods.

Please reach out to us via phone or email if you have any additional questions about Tui Na or wish to book a treatment at our offices.