Chinese massage, also known as Tui Na (pronounced “twee na”), has been used for medical purposes in China for centuries. It is a deep tissue massage and is a fundamental part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along with acupuncture. It is becoming popular in the West as a means of treating a wide range of health and mental disorders.
Tui Na (which means push and grab) uses the TCM theory that injury or disease causes blockages in the body's channels. Blockages cause pain. To perform Chinese massage, the practitioner uses various hand techniques to manipulate the soft tissue of the body. These include kneading, chopping, hacking, perpendicular pressure, and rolling fist; It also employs acupressure to redirect the flow of Qi, or energy, in the body and manual skeletal manipulation techniques to realign the bones and muscles in the body for optimal alignment.
This makes Tui Na a complete massage because there are two aspects to it. In the first instance, just like Swedish massages, the muscles are worked, helping them to relax, removing the lack of activity and allowing the blood to flow more freely throughout the area, thus giving the muscle the optimum chance of repairing itself. Secondly, because of its Eastern origins, it works to restore the balance of Chi. Tui Na presses on certain acupressure points in the body’s meridian system to stimulate the body’s healing mechanism.
Chi, or Qi, is the universal life force energy which all living forms have. When one’s Chi is strong, well-balanced and flowing freely throughout the body, the individual will also be healthy and free from illnesses. By using different hand techniques and manipulating specific pressure points, the circulatory system is stimulated and energised; thus, Chi is restored. Chinese massage works to realign the Qi and remove layers of emotional stress that can build up over time. By realigning the flow of Qi in the body, Chinese massage stimulates energy and increases energy levels.
Its stress-relieving benefits can also lead to improved sleep and overall well-being, which is good for all of us. Because it is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine and employs the same principles, Tui Na can also be used as a complement to acupuncture treatment. Using both treatments can be an effective approach to working with energy and addressing and restoring its flow.