Tuina has been practiced in China for over 2000 years. Like acupuncture it is one aspect of traditional Chinese medicine and the earliest records of an mo (massage) are in the Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing - 475-221BC).
Tuina – pronounced "twee-nah" – literally describes two fa or techniques - tui (push) and na (grasp). There are dozens of techniques used in Chinese massage. Unique to tuina are gun (rolling) and yizhichan (one-finger meditation). The techniques can broadly be divided into two styles, yin which is more gentle, meditative and uses breathing and focussing on a specific acupuncture point, channel, organ or area and yang which is dynamic, using physical techniques to get a deeper sensation of de qi and remove blockages or knots in the channels. In China tuina is often used on patients with musculo-skeletal conditions and can be quite strong, but there are also gentle techniques used in paediatric wards and these are adapted to patients in the west to balance the body and deal with conditions such as stress.
The type of treatment and techniques used will depend upon the individual and their presenting symptoms. Diagnosis is through questions, observation (which may include tongue diagnosis), palpation and sometimes reading the pulse. After a treatment you can feel energised or even sleepy, depending upon your presenting symptoms and the selected tuina techniques.
How Tuina can help?
Tuina massage is administered through loose clothing with the patient either seated or lying on a couch.
Patients in the Tuina clinic where I did my internship in Harbin, China, came with the following complaints:
Patients often come to tuina with the following conditions: