About Tui Na
Tui Na massage is a form to functional Chinese massage that can be used for a variety of conditions and seeks to eliminate pain, reestablish functional anatomy and eliminate symptoms through the principles of Chinese medicine combined with a manual stimulation of the skin, muscles, joints, and organs. Tui Na is often preformed over light clothing or over a sheet and without the use of oils or linaments, however depending on the condition being treated and the training and tendencies of the practitioner, bare skin treatments and the use of oils and lubricants are commonly used as well.
Much like other forms of massage and manual therapies, there as several different hand techniques used by a practitioner to produce different results and treatment outcomes.
Tui Na protocols will generally follow a four step protocol designed to alleviate the persons complaint. Each of the different hand techniques utilized will fit into one of these steps or categories and will be used for that effect. Manual therapies such as Tui Na operate by increasing the circulation of blood flow to a particular area of the body, helping the body to alleviate pain caused by the formation of lactic acid build up, helping the body relax, and restoring the bodies function anatomy, meaning that the body is able to move throughout it’s normal range of motion, flexion and extension. Tui Na treatments will usually follow a protocol of several different manual techniques used on various areas of the body to treat the patients complaint. Practitioner will utilize their knowledge of anatomy to treat not only the areas that are painful or sore, but also the areas of the body that the underlying muscles, tendons and ligaments connect and attach to that may be causing the pain.
Tui Na Techniques
In addition to its functional use of alleviating pain and restoring range of motion, Tui Na also includes a variety of manual techniques that are utilized for relaxation of the patient. Because Chinese medicine always emphasizes the treatment of the whole person including both body and mind as a whole, recognizing that mental and emotional issues of stress can cause a physical problem, relaxation techniques are often used toward the end of a treatment to help the patient calm down and enter a parasympathetic nervous system response where they can rest and allow their body to repair and heal itself. This is especially important in modern life as our high stress, high stimulation life style can keep us locked into a fight or flight response where repair and maintenance of the body are pushed to the wayside to keep our minds and body’s active so that deadlines and goals can be met.
In Asia and other parts of the world, Tui Na is elevated to a treatment method in and of itself, with practitioners treating a wide variety of complaints and symptoms well beyond body pain. Tui Na is fully capable of treating digestive problems, gynecological and reproductive issues, insomnia, and a variety of other problems as well.
As stated above, Tui Na can be used by itself, but is often combined with acupuncture and other therapies to enhance the treatment and to achieve better results for the patient.
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