Chinese Medical Massage (Tui Na)
What is Tui Na?
Tui Na 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 the Qi flows smoothly around the body. This is important as imbalances or blockages in the flow of Qi leads to emotional and physical disturbances.
Which conditions can Tui Na help with?
Tui Na is thought to boost overall vitality and well-being. It can help relieve stress, targeting not just the resulting muscle tension, but also the underlying Qi flow imbalance associated with stress. Tui Na is also particularly effective for muscle and joint pain, for example, resulting from sports injuries.
What can I expect during the treatment?
Traditionally, massage is given over clothing as the technique does not require the use of oils. It is recommended that you, therefore, wear comfortable clothing. Depending on the area being massaged, you will either sit upright or lie on the treatment couch. Some of the more vigorous techniques may be initially uncomfortable before the muscles start to fully relax. However, they should never cause unbearable pain.
What are the Tui Na treatments offered?
All massage is given over clothing as the technique does not require the use of oils. It is recommended that you, therefore, wear comfortable clothing.
General maintenance massage: for general aches and pains, stiffness and relaxation. This treatment usually focusses on the back but the neck, shoulders, arms, buttocks and legs may also be massaged.
Injury repair massage: focusses on the site of injury or stiffness.
Both treatments last approximately 45 minutes and cost £30. This includes a 10 to 15-minute consultation to discuss what you hope to gain from the treatment.
How might I feel after the treatment?
The body should feel pleasantly relaxed and invigorated. Since Tui Na 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
- 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.