Tui Na – Massage and Acupressure
Tui Na is a form of therapeutic massage that has been used in China for over 2000 years. It makes use of compression and manipulation techniques along energetic channels of the body to harmonize circulation in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues.
Tui Na is part of a rich tradition of East Asian medicine, where it works in harmony with acupuncture and herbs. It is a complete therapeutic system, and is a great option for those who may be uncomfortable with acupuncture needles. The benefit of Tui Na is that the techniques and therapeutic strategies are chosen specifically for each patient – an initial intake and diagnostic analysis very similar to those used for acupuncture and herbal medicine give the Tui Na practitioner a clear insight into not only the symptoms, but their root causes. Tui Na allows the practitioner to work both on both the “roots and branches” simultaneously, all through massage and acupressure. Tui Na makes use of pressure at specific points on the body, along with more conventional massage techniques, for muscle pain, joint pain, stress, and anxiety. The principal strategy in Tui Na is to move what has become stagnant. The axiomatic statement is “where there is pain, there is obstruction”, and the goal of the Tui Na practitioner is to help move what is “stuck.”
Feeling “stuck” is not just something in the body though. One of the most remarkable benefits of Tui Na is that it is effective for both physical and emotional concerns, and can often work on both in the same treatment. The long history of medicine in China and much of East Asia more broadly has developed strategies for treating the mind, the body, and the spirit all within related fields of diagnostic categories and therapeutic strategies. When we treat the body for pain, we are also treating the mind for stress, and the spirit to bring clarity and peace.