• Matthew Truhan, L.Ac.

Before Needles: Tui Na

Before the technique known as acupuncture, the healers in China used their hands as tools. Their instinct led them to rub, knead, push, and pound themselves and others to help warm up or battle anything from fatigue to various injuries. It is these techniques that make up the area of Tui Na massage.


A Brief History of Tui Na

It was through the massage techniques of the early healers that the pathways and functions of the channels/meridians used in Chinese Medicine were developed. Starting with the instinctual use of the techniques above, the healers began to ask the spirits of the elders for how to properly use the techniques for different diseases. Sometimes the spirits were right; sometimes the spirits were wrong. Those healers took the important steps of recording those results. As the information was recorded and techniques were further developed, the practice of massage went through different names to become what we call today as Tui Na.


The Tui Na difference

Tui Na is a therapeutic style of massage. Because of the culture during it’s development, most of the techniques are designed to be performed through the clothes, which can provide the comfort of cover that some people like. The massage regularly includes stretches and range of motion of the joints, which provides for improved circulation and lubrication.


The Secret to Tui Na massage

There are a number of techniques that are used in Tui Na massage that are specific to this modality. The secret behind the effectiveness of Tui Na comes from the oscillatory nature of a number of these techniques. The body movement provided by the oscillation softens the muscles, relaxes the body and allows deeper penetration of the techniques. As mentioned above, the inclusion of stretches and traction help return proper function and mobility. The combination of the two helps to keep the body limber and lubricated.




 

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