Tui Na is a highly effective treatment used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is often referred to as “acupressure massage”, but it is so much more than that! Tui Na is often covered by extended health insurance under your acupuncture benefits, as Tui Na is part of the scope of practice of Reg. Acupuncturists.
What is Tui Na?
Tui Na is the manual manipulation of acupuncture points and meridians. It is a technique that has been used for thousands of years to restore health and balance to the individual. It is similar to what most people think of as traditional massage, but it differs in many ways.
Tui Na sessions usually involve multiple different hand techniques that are used to manipulate the flow of Qi and blood in the body. In TCM, most pain and illness results from “stagnation of Qi”. In other words, when the body’s flow of energy and blood become stuck or sluggish, illness and pain result.
During a Tui Na session, your practitioner will use varying massage-like hand techniques to break up stagnation, and promote the smooth flow of Qi and Blood through out the body. While most massage treatments involve constant movement of the practitioners hands across the patient’s body, in Tui Na the practitioner may press specific points, use the side of their hand to ‘scrub’ meridians, use their fingertips to tap and ‘peck’ tight muscles, and so on. So, while certain movements in Tui Na resemble the movements used during classic massage, there are many unique techniques that are specific to Tui Na.
What is Tui Na used to treat?
Since Tui Na is used to manipulate and rebalance the flow of Qi in the body, it can be used to treat any number of illnesses, just like acupuncture and acupressure. Tui Na can be used to treat illnesses such as:
- Muscle pain & tension - High Blood Pressure
- Digestive complaints - Headaches & Migraines
- Tennis Elbow - Carpal Tunnel
- Insomnia - Painful Periods
- Inflammation - Edema
- Stress - Anxiety
- Sinus Congestion - Low Blood Pressure
Who should avoid Tui Na?
While Tui Na is a generally safe technique for most people, some caution should be used for those who bruise easily, take blood thinning medication, have a bleeding disorder, or are sensitive to massage-like techniques. Tui Na is usually safe for pregnant women, but you should inform you practitioner of your condition so that deep abdominal Tui Na can be avoided during early stages of pregnancy.