29 Jun What You Should Know About Tui Na
Tui na is a popular form of massage therapy that is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory. Supported by over 3,000 years of history and countless TCM practitioners, tui na is a highly effective therapy that both promotes relaxation and offers health benefits for patients. As such, it is becoming increasingly recognised among followers of TCM.
If you are looking to book a tui na session and experience its effects for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore a few things you should know before undergoing tui na, including the techniques used, what illnesses it can treat and possible side effects.
How Does Tui Na Work?
Like other TCM therapies, tui na is based on the concept of qi and the meridian system in Chinese medical theory.
TCM takes a holistic approach to healing and wellness, meaning that it sees all parts of the body as interconnected and attempts to cure all types of ailments at once by tapping into the body’s flow of qi. This sets it apart from Western medical theory, which tends to focus on treating one part of the body at a time.
The flow of qi
Qi is defined as a person’s life force or overall vitality. It is a force that flows throughout the entire body and gives us the energy to go about our lives. When qi is allowed to flow through the body uninterrupted, this creates a natural equilibrium that ensures our physical and mental health.
However, when the flow of qi is disrupted by external factors such as wind, heat, dampness and cold, our body loses its equilibrium and succumbs to illness and disease.
The meridian system
Qi flows throughout the body through a channel network known as the meridian system. The meridian system is made up of individual meridians that are connected to each other, more commonly known as “acupuncture points”. Besides allowing the flow of qi, the meridian system also transports important substances such as blood and other bodily fluids.
When your body’s natural equilibrium is upset, TCM practitioners restore it by tapping into certain acupuncture points in the meridian system. In tui na, this is done to stimulate the flow of blood and qi and prevent blockage in the meridian system, which helps your body regain its natural balance.
What Are the Techniques Used in Tui Na?
Tui na features many different techniques that a TCM therapist may employ. The use of these techniques depends on the location on the body that is being targeted and the degree of forcefulness that is necessary.
Types of tui na techniques
The techniques used in tui na are generally split into two groups. The first group, known as “yin” techniques, are more passive and gentle and are designed to help the patient calm down and relax.
The second group is known as “yang” techniques, and are more dynamic and physical. These tend to create a more intense sensation, and are aimed at reactivating the flow of qi throughout the meridian system. Your body regains its health when its yin and yang are in harmony.
The 8 basic techniques
Tui na massage therapists generally use a combination of 8 basic techniques to stimulate the flow of qi. This illustrates the holistic nature of TCM therapy and enhances the effectiveness of the treatment for all parts of the body.
The 8 basic techniques are:
- Palpating (mo)
- Rejoining (jie)
- Opposing (duan)
- Lifting (ti)
- Pressing (an)
- Kneading (mo)
- Pushing (tui)
- Holding (na)
TCM massage therapists may use their thumb, palm, fingertips and knuckles to perform the techniques. Besides the 8 basic techniques, they may also use rolling (for injuries like strains and sprains), the one-finger technique (using one finger to stimulate acupuncture points) and nei gung (a full body manipulation technique).
What Illnesses Can It Be Used to Treat?
Because it takes a holistic approach to healing, tui na can be used to treat a variety of illnesses, disorders and ailments. It is especially effective against tendon- and bone-related ailments such as stiff neck, as it can directly target the problem areas. It can also be used to treat a range of other health problems such as migraines, insomnia and constipation by expelling blockages in the meridian system and restoring the healthy flow of qi.
However, due to the forceful nature of some of the techniques, tui na should not be used for serious injuries such as bone fractures, spinal cord compressions and ligament tears. This is to prevent aggravating existing injuries. If in doubt, consult a licensed TCM practitioner to find out whether tui na is for you.
Can Tui Na Be Used Together with Other Treatments?
Depending on the ailment that is being treated, other types of TCM treatments can help to supplement the effects of tui na and allow the patient to reap the full benefit of the massage therapy. Some of these include:
Alternative TCM therapies
Undergoing tui na in conjunction with other TCM therapies like acupuncture, cupping and gua sha can help you achieve a wider range of benefits than simply undergoing tui na alone. These treatments, when used together, can help to improve both your mental and physical health, and experience more long-lasting positive effects.
You can also look towards TCM supplements that are designed to combat specific health problems or heal certain parts of the body. Many of the ingredients used in these supplements are traditional Chinese herbs that have been tried and tested for centuries, and have been proven to have health benefits for the body.
Are There Any Side Effects of Tui Na?
Like all medical treatments, both within TCM and outside of it, tui na carries a small chance of side effects. However, because it is completely non-invasive, it is one of the safest massage therapies that you can undergo. If you are not in a high-risk group and do not have any pre-existing conditions, you are unlikely to experience any side effects beyond slight bruising.
Book Your Next Tui Na Session with Kung Fu Wellness
Kung Fu Wellness is a modern, family-friendly TCM Singapore massage parlour. We seek to boost your physical and mental health by offering the best TCM massage services.
Our tuina massage Singapore sessions are led by our experienced massage therapists, who are highly knowledgeable in the areas of relieving pain and symptoms of illness through TCM massage therapy. Book an appointment with us today to receive a free TCM consultation session!