Tuina massage is a medical method using the arms, hands, fingers, elbows and knees as tools for treating diseases and illnesses. Tuina is also used to protect health and build up body immunity, so that disease can be stopped in its beginning acting as a preventative medical measure, without any side effects. Tuina can sometimes be mistaken for acupressure.

Tuina uses techniques and manipulations to stimulate acupuncture points or other parts of the body surface so as to correct physiological imbalances of the body and achieve curative effects. The effect of Tuina is to disperse and smooth obstructions whilst checking and restraining hyperfunction. Tuina is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which also encompasses acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition and exercise to treat the whole body, mind and spirit.

A woman getting her face and neck massaged

In summary, Tuina rectifies anatomical anomalies, alters the inner energy state of the biological system and adjusts the bio-information of the body. For soft tissue injuries, Tuina relaxes muscles and tendons and promotes smooth passage of the channels. It also promotes blood circulation and removes blood stasis.

Tuina has no adverse side effects, although because it can be a powerful treatment in terms of re-adjusting the functions of the body, some patients may see an increase in frequency of visits to the bathroom, or may feel the build up and release of pressure throughout the body, or may feel slightly sedated immediately after treatment or may develop slight bruising (as blocked energy gets released). A lot depends on the patient and the nature and longevity of the disease being treated. The effects of a typical Tuina treatment, if it hasn’t completely cleared any obstruction, can last up to 3 -4 days.

Tuina may be applied to treat many disorders from soft tissue injuries to many other kinds of ailments such as rheumatic pain, tiredness, lack of energy and any symptoms caused by stress or emotional problems. Tuina is even used for cosmetic purposes such as weight loss and an alternative to botox! Tuina is especially good for adults, infants, sports, medicine, general health care for the elderly, rehabilitation and orthopaedics, from which many other complementary therapies have evolved as ‘specialist’ therapies.

Tuina works on the same basic theory as other TCM techniques : “Injury or disease causes blockages in the channels of the body. Blockages cause pain.”