Tui na translates from the Chinese as “push-grasp.” Physically, tui na is a series of pressing, tapping, and kneading movements which remove blockages along the meridians of the body and stimulate the flow of qi and blood to promote healing, similar to principles of acupuncture, moxibustion (the burning of moxa, a Chinese herb, on or near a person’s skin) and acupressure. Tui na is a strong therapeutic method, very different from a typical relaxation massage. Tui na techniques range from light stroking to deep tissue work which would not be used by practitioners striving for patient relaxation.
Tui na is used to treat or complement the treatment of many conditions, especially specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems.
During a tui na session, the patients wears loose clothing and lies on a massage table. The practitioner will concentrate manipulation on specific acupressure points, energy trigger points, and muscles and joints surrounding the affected area. Treatment sessions last from 30 minutes to over an hour. Patients may feel either relaxed or energized by the treatment and release of pain.