What is Tui Na?
Tui Na is a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves the manual manipulation of tissue between the joints. Like many other forms of TCM, it works to alleviate any blockages or stagnations that might be happening in the body and return the body’s natural energy flow back to balance. The underlying principle behind Tui Na and TCM is that our bodies have Qi (energy) flowing through the eight meridians, or systems, of our bodies at all times. When it becomes blocked, we are susceptible to disease and illness.
History of Tui Na
According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Tui Na has roots dating back more than 2,000 years ago to ancient China. It’s unknown who exactly pioneered the practice, but Tui Na gradually became more popular as it spread throughout Asia and eventually the rest of the world. Today, Tui Na is even used in many Chinese hospitals as a standard form of treatment and rehabilitation. Here in the United States, it’s often used in conjunction with acupuncture for even greater benefits.
Tui Na can be used in conjunction with many other types of TCM and practices, including moxibustion, fire cupping, herbalism, qigong and more. The practitioner will first identify the patient’s problem, at which point he or she will decide the best course of action regarding treatment. This may include a single session of Tui Na, or it may consist of a combination of Tui Na and other forms of TCM.
Tuina is frequently used for treating chronic pain, stress-related disorders and musculoskeletal problems. However, because tuina has the ability to restore Qi flow, there may be benefits to other systems for the patient being treated. Tuina is not intended to be a relaxing type of massage. In fact, it can be quite vigorous and people may actually feel a little sore after the first session. Tuina is specifically designed to be this way, which allows it to be more focused than other types of bodywork.
One of the advantages of tuina over simple massage is the ability to focus on specific problems. It is very effective for joint pain, as well as muscle spasms. But tuina does not just work on the bones, muscles and joints. It works with the energy of the body at a much deeper level and can actually help prevent problems before they arise. By keeping the energy or Qi in balance, overall health is maintained long term. And when physical health is maintained, mental and emotional health can also be maintained more effectively.
Tui Na is used to treat and prevent a wide variety of adverse conditions, some of which include the following:
- Muscle knots
- Chronic pain
- Ankle disorders
- Muscle spasms
- Digestive disorders
- Respiratory problems
There are things to be taken into consideration when contemplating receiving a tuina massage and a good Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner should be able to inform you if you are not an ideal candidate for tuina. Specific contraindications would include things like fractures, infections, open wounds, lesions and phlebitis or deep vein thrombosis. In the presence of these conditions, tuina should not be utilized. But generally, tuina is a wonderful weapon in the arsenal of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and many people can benefit from it.
What to Expect from Tui Na
While the exact process may vary depending on the practitioner, the patient’s preference, and the condition being treated, a typical Tui Na session lasts between 30 to 60 minutes. During this time the practitioner will manually manipulate (brush, roll, press, rub, etc.) the areas between the joints in an attempt to correct blockages of Qi while simultaneously stimulating the body’s defensive mechanism (Wei Qi).
Is Tui Na the right practice for you? There’s really no way to tell without trying it for yourself. Tens of thousands of people have reported success using this non-invasive practice to treat their adverse conditions, so give it a shot. Who knows, it could prove more effective than prescription drugs and medication.
Give me a call today for more information on how you can better your health! Your initial consultation is free at River Point Family Acupuncture – let’s meet in person so you can learn more about how acupuncture can benefit you! Complete this form or call (715) 716-5909 to schedule with Dr. Barbie today!