Tui Na Style Bodywork
Tui Na is a style of massage originating in China which utilizes the acupuncture points and the meridian system in the body to eliminate pain, realign joints and muscles, nourish the organ system and increase the energy flow within the body to create overall health and balance.
The first written record of the use of Tui Na was 2300 BC and was one of the 5 major therapies at the time. It was also taught in China and the United States as part of training within the Taoist Martial Art tradition, as an alternative to traditional massage therapy and in conjunction with the use of acupuncture.
In China, Tui Na is commonly used to treat all musculoskeletal disorders and soft tissue disorders such as plantar fasciitis, swelling and edema. It is also used for acute trauma and chronic pain. Additionally Tui Na treats internal disorders such as gynecological issues, hormonal problems, digestive issues and infertility. It is also very useful in addition to acupuncture for labor induction.
How it Works: (a simplistic explanation for a complex system)
It is thought that the development of the system of Chinese medicinal theory began with Taoists who would spend much time of their time observing and meditating on the processes that occurred in nature. They applied these principles to the movement of the internal organ system and the movement of energy (Qi), blood and fluids through this system.
Over time a system in the body, similar to the processes within nature, was identified through observation and experience. This gave people information on how energy and substances moved throughout the body, how illness appeared in the body, how to identify where the illness occurred, and what could be done to help the body reestablish the flow of the meridians, the balance of temperature in the body, the distribution of fluids and blood and the restoration of shen (spirit) of the body so that the pathogen/illness could be eliminated. Similar to ecosystems in nature, the body is an integrated system that is continually in the process of taking in nutrients and getting rid of waste. It contains organs and meridians that function to identify waste in the body and to bring it out of the body, or up to the surface to get rid of it. The body is in eastern as western medicine, a mechanical body, except the eastern idea of how it works is based on a much different paradigm than western thought.
The body has a total of 12 major meridians, which function similar to a river system. The channels and collaterals of a meridian function like tributaries in a river system. All meridians, channels and collaterals flow to the organ system as a river and its tributaries flow to the sea.
Like a river, most of these meridians flow in a certain direction. Generally when there is pain in the body, the meridian may be flowing in the wrong direction or there is an obstruction in the meridian, preventing it from flowing freely. Tui Na in Chinese mean “to push, to grasp.” In Tui Na therapy we use techniques that push and pull obstructions out of the meridian we “clear out the river” using hand techniques that encourage flow out the hands and feet so that flow is returned to the meridian and there is no longer pain.
We begin with a hand technique called “rolling” which creates a wave like motion throughout the body. This engages the connective tissue and the meridian system and allows the muscles to feel relaxed.
Next, we focus on specific acupuncture points that will help release the muscle and feel for any obstructions in the meridian system, which are causing the pain or condition. Eliminating these obstructions opens up the meridians, allowing the flow of blood and energy to the muscles and the organs, restoring balance and harmony in the body.
Like other Eastern therapies, a Tui Na session is unique to the individual. Depth and pressure are guided by the client. Tui Na may often feel deep or just relaxing. Tui Na therapy is often given with the clothes on. Generally treatments are given after acupuncture therapy, or may be scheduled for an hour session.
Learn more about acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.