Q. I have heard of a treatment called Tui na but what is it please?
A. Tui na is actually Chinese Therapeutic Massage. It is named after two of its techniques, Tui and Na, and it means push pull. Tui na massage uses Chinese Medicine theory, as would acupuncture, but the treatment is delivered using a variety of massage style techniques rather than needles. The techniques are applied to acupuncture points, along acupuncture channels and to areas of the body, limbs or head relevant to the treatment. With some exceptions, such as the head, the treatment is conducted through clothing and/or a cloth.
Tui na is one of the Four Pillars of Chinese Medicine, the others being Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Tai Chi/Chi Gong. Tui na can be used on its own, or as a support to an acupuncture treatment or acupuncture could be used to support a Tui na treatment.
Its techniques include rubbing/scrubbing, pushing, pressing, pulling, tapping and rolling techniques as well as some very still techniques. Typical to Chinese Medicine theory, the aim is to look at the big picture. It therefore aims to treat holistically rather than targeting symptoms in isolation. Tui na is very often used for pain but similarly to acupuncture, its application is considered to be much broader.
As with acupuncture, some people turn to Tui na for help with a specific problem or condition. Others choose to have Tui na to help maintain good health or to improve their general sense of wellbeing. Some people have Tui na simply for its relaxation and calming qualities. Tui na can also be used as a Cosmetic Facial Treatment, applying gentle techniques to the face with supportive body techniques.
As ever, please use properly qualified practitioners, who are members of a professional body.