Tui Na is a type of therapy based on TCM theories of Zang-Fu organs and meridians, but it also combines the anatomy and pathological diagnosis from Western medicine. Like acupuncture, Tui Na involves the stimulation of specific points of the body that reach meridians. The main difference is that acupuncture uses needling techniques, whereas Tui Na uses Chinese massage and manipulation techniques. Some common techniques include: YiZhiChan, gliding, kneading, rolling, pressing, pulling, chopping, and vibrating.
Each session lasts between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the patient’s necessity. Tui Na helps promote the blood circulation of the body, and enhances the qi blood supply. Tui Na is used to treat a variety of pain, musculoskeletal syndromes, and digestive, respiratory and reproductive system disorders. Some common contraindications include: skin infection or epidemic disease.
Tui na is both a form of physical bodywork and a subtle energy medicine. As a physical therapy it excels at releasing the channel sinews, (collectively the muscles, tendons and ligaments) and facilitating the movement of joints.
By opening, releasing and balancing the channel sinews, Tui na is able to treat not only muscular skeletal problems, but also any ailment that may be caused by emotional and postural holding patterns that have become unconscious and locked into the body's protective connective tissue armour.
As a form of energy medicine or Qigong, practitioners utilize and direct Qi through their hands, into points, along channels and into the Zangfu and bones. Tui Na is often applied to limited areas of the body, and the techniques can be quite forceful and intense. Tui Na is applied routinely to patients with orthopedic and neurologic conditions. It also is applied to patients with conditions that may not be thought of as susceptible to treatment through manipulation, such as asthma, dysmenorrhea, and chronic gastritis. Tui Na is used as an adjunct to acupuncture to increase the range of motion of a joint, or instead of acupuncture when needles are uncomfortable or inappropriate, such as in pediatric applications.