Tui na is a part of traditional Chinese medicine. The term tui na (pronounced “twee naw”), which literally means “pinch and pull,” refers to a wide range of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapeutic massage and bodywork.
Tui na is not a form of massage that’s generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather it is used as a treatment to address the problems in relation with specific patterns of disharmony. As such, practitioners use it for many of the same reasons and according to the same principles as acupuncture. Like acupuncture, TCM uses tui na to harmonize yin and yang in the body by manipulating the Qi in the acupuncture channels.
Tui na includes what is popularly known as “acupressure,” where practitioners use finger pressure instead of needles like acupuncture to stimulate the various acupuncture points of the body.
Tui Na can be used to treat specific areas, or it can be used to improve the overall Qi or energy flow throughout the body. Because Tui Na is a complete system, the treatment often helps both these components at the same time. Tui Na is thought to be the oldest system of bodywork practised today.
Tui na is one of the most popular TCM treatment modalities and is frequently used in the treatment of superficial trauma and injury and even used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. Tui na is also often used when acupuncture is inappropriate, such as with children, when it is referred to as “Chinese pediatric massage therapy.”
TCM practitioners will frequently encourage and instruct patients to do self-massage and certain exercises at home so that they can get the full effect of the treatment. These exercises and massages solidify and expand the benefits created during treatment sessions.
Self-massage and stretching are considered important aspects of self-health care.