To those who’ve experienced both acupressure and Shiatsu, a Tui Na session may seem like a cross between the two. Like Shiatsu, Tui Na uses rhythmic compression along energy channels of the body, as well as a variety of techniques that manipulate and lubricate the joints.
Tui Na can improve blood circulation, increase range of motion and is effective in nerve regulation. Tui Na massage plays a role in rehabilitation and is effective in the treatment of muscles, tendons and ligaments. A hospital survey co-sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association found that 70 percent of hospitals offering complementary and alternative medicine therapies among their health care modalities utilized massage therapy for rehabilitation and pain management.
What will I experience?
To a Westerner, Tui Na is the form of Asian bodywork most closely resembling conventional western massage. Many of the techniques are similar — gliding (known as effleurage or Tui), kneading (petrissage or Nie), percussion (tapotement or Da), friction, pulling, rotation, rocking, vibration, and shaking. Despite the similarities, the intent of Tui Na is more specifically therapeutic than the simple relaxation of a Swedish-style massage.
What conditions does Tui Na treat?
One of Tui Na’s advantages over simple massage is its ability to focus on specific problems, especially chronic pain associated with the muscles, joints, and skeletal system. It’s especially effective for joint pain (such as arthritis), sciatica, muscle spasms, and pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. It also helps chronic conditions such as insomnia, constipation, headaches (including migraines), and the tension associated with stress, Musculoskeletal disorders, joint displacement, respiratory ailments, internal disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia, among others.
Tui Na does not simply work on the muscles, bones, and joints. It works with the energy of the body at a deeper level. As with other styles of Asian bodywork, Tui Na is designed to prevent problems, not just correct them. By keeping the body’s energy in balance, health is maintained. This is true not just for physical health, but for mental and emotional well being as well. Tui Na’s focus on specific ailments, rather than a more generalized treatment, makes it an ideal alternative to Swedish and other traditional western massage methods.