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Tui Na is a hands-on treatment which uses Chinese principles to bring the body to balance. The motions that are used include kneading, brushing, and rolling/pressing between each of the joints. This technique results in optimal health benefits when used in conjunction with Acupuncture.
Tui Na (pronounced “Twee Nah”) is a manual technique aimed at enhancing health and treating various clinical conditions. It includes techniques such as pushing (Tui) and grasping (Na) of soft tissue, that are specific to the practice of TCM and are guided by its principles.
What to Expect…
This massage can be performed either seated or on a massage table. It is optional to wear clothing, but when working on the back it is best to not wear clothing because oils are sometimes used. The sessions can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on what the patients prefers.
Benefits of Tui Na Massage
Currently, Tui Na is practiced globally, and practitioners are known as Tui Na practitioners, Tui Na therapists or Tui Na doctors. Tui Na is commonly used for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. In some countries, including China, it is used not only for injuries to soft tissues, but also concurrently with allopathic medical care, for bone fractures and joint dislocations. Tui Na has been widely incorporated into the practice of other clinical disciplines, such as acupuncture, internal medicine, gynecology and pediatrics. Tui Na may be used for symptomatic relief of pain and/or as the primary therapy for a range of conditions. Tui Na uses a variety of manual techniques guided by the theory of TCM.
The philosophy of TCM strongly influences the attitude and approach of Tui Na practitioners towards health care. This has made Tui Na distinctively different from other manual therapies. Benchmarks for training in Tui Na Consistent with the philosophy of TCM, the practice of Tui Na is guided by principles such as yin and yang, five elements, qi, blood and body fluids, and by the identification of syndromes and patterns. Tui Na practice involves a range of conventional diagnostic methods, such as imaging, laboratory tests and orthopedic and neurological assessments. Patient management includes a range of manual techniques, rehabilitative exercises, patient education and other therapeutic advice. As for any health-care treatment, the community of practitioners of Tui Na recognizes the importance of referring their patients to other health-care providers when necessary. Tui Na treatment aims to unblock the meridians, promote the circulation of qi and blood, regulate the functions of the zang-fu organs, and strengthen the body’s resistance to pathogens by using various manual techniques at specified locations (e.g. acupuncture points) on the body’s surface. In addition, patients may be asked to perform prescribed exercises as supplementary therapies (1).
The therapeutic effects of Tui Na depend upon three key factors:
- Traditional Chinese medicine and biomedical diagnosis;
- Selection of location, meridians and acupoints for the application of the therapeutic techniques;
- Effective application of the techniques.
When properly used, the techniques are expected to regulate the functions of the meridians and the zang-fu organs.
History of Tui Na
The World Health Organization states that Tui Na Massage has been used in China for over 2000 years (1). In ancient times, Tui Na was also called “An Mo”, “An Qiao” or “QiaoMo”. The term “Tui Na” was first recorded in literature during the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD) (2). Tui Na was developed empirically, and its achievements and development have been documented in a large number of classical texts. The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing: 475-221 BC), the first comprehensive medical text in TCM, included records on “An Mo”. From the Wei to the Jin dynasties (220–420 AD), Tui Na was used in the practice of emergency medicine. In the Sui dynasty (581-618 AD), Tui Na became an independent area of study and the title of “manual therapy practitioner” began to be used. Tui Na was then included at the highest level of the medical education system in China during this period of development. The department of Tui Na was one of the four clinical departments in the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD). In the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD), pediatric Tui Na became an independent field of study.
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