What is TuiNa?
TuiNa (pronounced ‘tweenah’) is a therapeutic, Chinese medical massage that is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) which comprises of acupuncture, herbs, TuiNa and Qi Gong. There are few practitioners in the UK but it’s reputation and availability is growing.
TuiNa is a strong and dynamic form of remedial bodywork, which can have a significant therapeutic effect. Many clients say they feel energized by it and feel significant improvements within a relatively short period of time. It is more akin to osteopathy or physiotherapy in it’s purpose, although it’s referred to as a massage.
In China, it is seen as a primary therapy, comparable in effectiveness as acupuncture and herbal medicine in treating a range of health issues. When I was training at a Chinese hospital, there was a entire department dedicated to TuiNa including a gentler form for paediatric care. Unlike many hands on massage techniques, which support relaxation and help with deep tissue strain, TuiNa practitioners aim to treat more than musculo-skeletal conditions, and also look at other health issues they can resolve.
Clinical trials in China have shown that Tuina is effective for a wide range of problems of a musculo-skeletal and neurological origin, such as tension headaches, stiff neck, frozen shoulder, back pain, sciatica, RSI and arthritis. It is also helps with hypertension, asthma and many abdominal problems such as IBS, especially where tension and stress are causative factors.
TuiNa practitioners use a number of different techniques: deep tissue work to release fascia, and enhance the flow of blood and lymph, pressing on specific acupuncture points and additionally joint mobilization and stretching. TuiNa does not require you to disrobe as you are treated through clothes or with a sheet over you. You may also be treated when you are seated as well as on the treatment couch depending what the issue is.
In my practice I also combine acupuncture with TuiNa because they complement each other so well. I may also use cupping (the use of glass cups to provide suction) a technique that looks awful but feels great as many of my clients (and many celebs) will attest – it isn’t at all painful!
The great thing about TCM is that it offers a variety of therapeutic tools to support wellbeing, each of them complementing each other. As a practitioner, that means I can help my client feel better, sooner.
As a client of mine said to me ‘once you’ve had TuiNa, its hard to go back to any other kind of massage’.