Tuina massage (or Tui Na, pronounced tooweena) is one of the four main branches of traditional Chinese medicine. Many practitioners use it in conjunction with acupuncture to help heal many conditions. You can combine it with Gua Sha, cupping and moxibustion to help nourish move stagnation in the body.
HOW DOES TUINA MASSAGE WORK?
Most people will not have heard of Tuina massage. It’s a massage style based on Chinese acupuncture points and meridians. An ancient healing art, it uses the hands to press on key points on the surface of the body to stimulate the body’s own natural healing process. Practitioners utilise and direct Qi through their hands into points along the channels. When they stimulate these points, they release tension and increase the body’s circulation of blood and nutrients to help the body heal itself.
In Chinese Medicine, you can achieve good health only by balancing the forces of yin and yang. When these are in balance, the flow of energy throughout the body is smooth. Any loss or blockage of this balance can lead to chronic disease.
WHAT CAN YOU USE TUINA MASSAGE FOR?
Generally, people think of having a massage for either muscle pain or to relax. Tuina massage can aid with both as it is a form of physical bodywork and a subtle energy medicine. It can help damaged muscles to repair by breaking down adhesions and scar tissue at the local level to increase the flow of blood and Qi. It can help re-balance the body by improving the flow of Qi and Blood thereby aiding relaxation.
Tuina massage may also help with many other conditions including:
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- menstrual pain,
- back pain
- and poor energy.
The advantage of Tuina massage is that it focuses on maintaining overall balance within the body. Anyone who wants to avoid drugs should consider the use of massage and acupuncture to help relieve pain.
WHAT TECHNIQUES DO WE USE IN TUINA MASSAGE?
Tui Na means to “push and grasp”. It stimulates the flow of the body’s vital energies by intensely stimulating combinations of acupuncture points on the meridians to both strengthen the body’s energies and simultaneously remove any blockages.
The Tuina massage basic techniques are:
Gun fa (rolling)
Gun Fa dredges the channels promoting the circulation of Qi and Blood and dispersing stasis. This is both as warming up or down technique. Its main use is for muscle pain including back pain, sciatica, frozen shoulder and tennis elbow; numbness and pins and needles in the limbs.
Yi Zhi Chan (meditation pushing)
Whilst it looks like a very mild technique, this is the equivalent of an acupuncture needle and so can be very helpful for those patients who are worried about needles. (Read “Does acupuncture hurt?” to find relieving information about this ancient art, which can be truly painless)
The technique is applied in a rhythmic rocking way and can be used to tonify the body or disperse stagnation. It can be used for headaches, dizziness, poor digestion and sinus problems among other things.
Rou Fa (kneading)
This is one of the most common Tuina massage techniques. Rou fa stimulates the action of the points, reduces swelling, relaxes the muscles and relieves spasm. It is very helpful for
- menstrual pain,
- muscular pain,
- stress and anxiety.
These are just 3 of the many techniques used by a Tuina practitioner.
The massage itself may be vigorous or gentle depending on the nature of the problem. A major difference between this and other massages is that we can perform it through the patient’s clothing, or through a sheet. Therefore, it is advisable to wear loose, lightweight clothing when coming for treatment.
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About Jackie Graham Acupuncture
Jackie Graham is a licensed acupuncturist working in Ealing W5 and W13. She is passionate about helping people toward good health. You can also find Jackie at the Bridge to Health Ealing clinic. To discuss your condition and to book an appointment call her on 07733 274745