Tui Na is a Chinese term that means pushing and grasping. It is a form of massage therapy that has been developed in China over the last three millennia. A lot of modern styles of manipulation and massage are based on the Tui Na techniques.
The healing tradition of Tui Na encompasses different classifications of treatment methods:
1. Nei Gong: Internal development of vital energy or Qi to stimulate the Qi of the patient for healing
2. Bone Setting: Joint alignment that follows Traditional Chinese Orthopedics
3. Soft Tissue Manipulation: Performed for muscle sprains and joint injuries
4. Acupressure: Application of finger pressure on pressure points to treat internal disorders
How does Tui Na differ from other massage therapies?
There are scores of manipulative techniques used in Tui Na therapy that can be used to adjust the joints, bones, and muscles. Practitioners of Tui Na hone their healing skills by practicing different styles of Tui Na exercises. They have the ability to increase focus and control, and even enable the practitioner to discharge the energy in his body. Moreover, Tui Na exercises can help the practitioner become more sensitive to disturbances in the Qi going on in a patient’s body. When combined, these abilities enable the practitioner to palpate, observe, diagnose, and treat energetic imbalances and injuries in the patient. Same as acupuncture treatment, Tui Na can change the flow of vital energy in your body.
It was believed that Tui Na therapy was handed down from master to apprentice by experts of this healing system who were also usually martial artists themselves. It takes years of training to learn the development of Qi internally in order to attain the required level that could enable a person to discharge Qi in his body to heal a patient. Moreover, the wide range of techniques to perform tasks such as bone setting required the development of internal strength. Now, this internal strength technique is now taught in schools teaching Traditional Chinese medicine usually that mostly teaches herbal medicine and acupuncture exclusively. A few of the rather mysterious training techniques have been discarded when schools of Chinese medicine were standardized during the Communist takeover of China.
How does Tui Na massage therapy work?
According to Chinese Medicine theory, all illnesses are the result of an imbalance in the movement of Qi in the body. This Qi blockage or imbalance can appear as mental symptoms, organ dysfunction, weakness, or pain. When the movement of Qi is harmonized, the body will initiate its innate self healing abilities.
A master of Tui Na has the power to thrust his Qi into his hands and control its discharge from his body. When this practitioner touches your body, you may feel a dry warm hand that elicits a relaxing sensation. In instances of severe illness, the master of Tui Na master can discharge his Qi into important energy meridians of your body to help with the body’s self healing process. Shaking and grasping techniques and other soft tissue methods can be extremely intense and can result in the removal of stagnation within the tissues and in restoring the smooth flow of Qi within the body.
To stimulate the pressure points on the body, acupressure techniques can be used to reset the circulation of Qi along certain meridians or to unblock a certain obstructed acupuncture point. In the US, bone setting procedures are less commonly utilized as it requires a really special skill to adjust bone alignment properly. The techniques to harmonize Qi are designed to relax the body and mind and balance properly the smooth flow of energy within your body. Some of the techniques may by uncomfortable but they produce incredible results that will leave you feeling stronger and very much energized.
Tui Na combined with a wide gamut of manipulation methods can be a perfect plan of treatment for many internal disorders and all types of physical injury. The diagnostic skill and healing skills of a Tui Na master can track down and rectify several diseases using energetic and manual techniques. Acute distress and persistent injuries that don’t seem to go away can be quickly remedied with this type of therapy.
Ni Nan Gilbert is a licensed acupuncturist in Bellmore, NY with certification in Chinese Herbology and over 16 years experience in traditional Chinese medicine.