What is Tui Na? - Acupuncture Health Minute



The ancient healing art of fingers & strength, Tui Na, is part of Asian Body Work. One of the five main branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, Energy Work, and Asian Body Work. The literal translation of Tui is "to push," and Na is "to grasp or squeeze." Tui Na is a medicinal massage that is a complete, safe, & effective medicine able to target specific areas of the body & diseases. Tui Na techniques manipulate the body, acupuncture channels, & points to move the body's energy (Qi), boost circulation, improve health, and create balance in the organ systems. It is prescribed for people of all ages, from the cradle to the grave.


There is archeological evidence dating back almost five millennia showing that Tui Na was used to treat multiple ailments and is accepted as the catalyst to all forms of bodywork, including massage, shiatsu, and osteopathy.



What is the difference? - Tui Na vs Massage


Yes and No! Tui Na is similar to western massage in that sessions are between 30 to 60 minutes, and the patient lays on a massage table. The objective of both is to relieve tension & revitalize the body. Swedish massage & Tui Na have similar techniques & strokes such as gliding, rocking, kneading, pulling, & rolling.


Tui Na is also very different from western massage in that it is more than just muscle, tendons, joints, and bones that the practitioners are interfacing with. It is much profound than that. This is where the "energy work" comes into play. The Tui Na Physician uses their own energy, Qi, to sense and manipulate the flow, strength, obstruction, and distribution of the patient's Qi. Tui Na is often done in combination with Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and Fire Cupping with the purpose of balancing the body's Qi and proper circulation.


Do I have to take my clothes off?


No. Tui Na is traditionally done through the clothing, meaning you keep your clothes on. It is best to wear loose, comfortable clothes that will not restrict the movement created during the treatment. Sometimes clothing is removed for Acupuncture. When these modalities are used in conjunction, the practitioner will place a towel or pillowcase on the patient in place of clothing.




What are some of the techniques used in Tui Na?


The medicinal massage Tui Na is unique to western massage in that the Tui Na Physician can use their entire body to perform the massage: finger, thumb, hand elbow, forearm, knee, shin, foot, and body weight. A series of rhythmic movements of compression, pulling, pushing, grasping, vibrating, and others are used to interact with the energy meridians to encourage the Qi to flow with balance through the channel system of the body creating harmony. This can unclog blockages that cause pathologies deep in the body allowing the positive healing energy to carry nutrients & oxygen-rich blood to reach the furthest tiniest capillary in the circulatory system. This promotes the wellness of the whole person.


This is a list of the most common techniques used and examples of what they can be used for. Information is from OM421 Tui Na I, Simple Techniques, Dr. Fritz, East West College of Natural Medicine.


Pushing – headache, dizziness, stiff neck, & distension – Clears head & eyes, moves blood, relieves pain, improves digestion

Grasping – stiff neck & shoulder, neuralgia, leg pain – Expels wind, disperse cold, relax tendon, move blood, relieves pain

Pressing – headache, chest oppression, abdominal distension – Moves stagnation, regulates Qi, moves blood, relieves pain

Round-rubbing – insomnia, abdominal pain, stress, headache – regulates & harmonizes

Kneading – pain, spasms, stiffness, bruising, trauma – relax muscles, move blood, ease spasms, move stagnation, break stasis, relieve pain


These are additional techniques used in Tui Na: Revolving, Rubbing, Rolling, Pinching, Rectifying, Deep-pressing, Knocking, Vibrating, Chopping, Pounding, Patting, and Plucking


What can Tui Na treat?


Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic philosophy and lifestyle that concentrates on the physical body, mental wellbeing, and spiritual harmony. Tue Na restores the body, creates emotional wellness, and harmonizes the spirit by opening up the body's energy channels that can be blocked by stress, environmental toxins, poor nutrition, and bad habits.

Tui Na is a safe, effective medicine to treat neck & back pain, musculoskeletal problems, women's health concerns, fatigue & insomnia, joint health, headaches, arthritis, bone health, stress, improper digestion, lung health, and emotional wellness.


Come to AcuMed Wellness & Acupuncture on St Armands Circle in Sunny Sarasota today to discuss how Tui Na can help support your health goals. We are located 1/3 of a mile from Lido Beach, just down the street from Longboat Key, and a hop, skip, and a jump from Siesta Key. After your treatment, enjoy a short walk to Lido Beach to put your feet in the sand & breath in the salt air from the Gulf of Mexico & savor a moment of meditation, prayer, and yoga.

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