chinese medical massage, tuinaChinese Medical Massage (Tuina)

What is Tuina?

Tuina massage is an ancient healing technique developed in China over 4000 years ago. There, it is used to help conditions which might be treated by an osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist in Western countries.

How does it work?

‘Tui’ means ‘to push’ while ‘Na’ means ‘to grasp’. This technique applies pressure to channels carrying ‘Qi,’ the body’s life energy supplying the tissues and organs. The aim is to ensure Qi flows smoothly around the body, restoring emotional and physical balance.

Which conditions can Tuina help with?

Tuina is very relaxing and can be used to boost overall vitality and well-being. It can help relieve general aches and pains, targeting not just the resulting muscle tension, but also the underlying Qi flow imbalance. It is also particularly effective for muscle and joint pain, for example, resulting from sports injuries.

What can I expect during the treatment?

Traditionally, Tuina is done over clothing as the technique does not require the use of oils. Therefore, if you wish to remain clothed, it is recommended you wear comfortable clothing. If you would prefer, oils may be used and modesty blankets will be provided.

The massage lasts 30 minutes and will usually be focussed on the most common areas of muscle tension build-up; the neck, shoulders and back. If you have an injury or specific area in which you experience muscle tension, this will be focussed on. Some of the more vigorous techniques may be initially uncomfortable before the muscles start to fully relax. However, they should never cause unbearable pain.

How might I feel after the treatment?

The body should feel pleasantly relaxed and invigorated. Since Tuina rebalances the flow of Qi as a whole, the mind and emotions are also affected. Mostly this causes the recipient to feel contented and revitalised. However, this powerful technique may also release blocked emotional energy. In this case, the recipient may feel emotional or even weepy following the massage.

Are there any contraindications?

Tuina is a very safe therapy. However, any form of massage may be unsuitable for people with certain health conditions. These include:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis or shingles affecting the area being massaged

Furthermore, massage over areas such as the abdomen and lower back are also contraindicated in pregnancy.