Chinese Massage Tuina or Tui Na (pronounced ‘t-weigh nah’) Massage uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of qi (chi), the body’s life energy through meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Records show massage has been practiced in China for thousands of years. The term “tui na” first appeared in the Ming Dynasty text of the Pediatric Tui Na Classic in 1601. Tui Na’s massage, stretching, acupressure, and over 365 different hand manipulations of the muscles and tendons, directly affect the flow of qi, thus, affecting the relationships of the muscles and ligaments (called bone-setting). External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves, may also be used to enhance the other therapeutic methods. Tui Na incorporates techniques that are similar to Western and Asian massage, as well as chiropractic, osteopathic, and western physical therapy. Tui Na literally translates to “push pull,” with tui meaning to push and na meaning to lift and squeeze. Refined over the centuries, Tui Na facilitates healing by regulating the circulation of blood and qi, which controls body function and enhances resistance to disease, while seeking to allow the body to naturally heal itself.
It’s based on the theory that imbalances of qi, which is the body’s vital life force or energy, can cause blockages or imbalances that lead to symptoms such as pain and illness.
Tuina massage stimulates the flow of qi to promote balance and harmony within the body using many of the same principles of acupuncture.
It’s similar to acupuncture (source: umn.edu) in the way it targets specific acupoints, but practitioners use fingers instead of needles to apply pressure to stimulate these points. Tuina massage is often used in combination with acupuncture.