Tui Na is often translated as Chinese massage but this is technically not the case. This is a form of physical manipulative therapy used in conjunction with acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, gua shi and Chinese exercise. Many of the Tui Na massage techniques stem back from ancient times when Shaolin Kung Fu monks used to treat their injured students.
Perhaps the main fundamental difference between Tui Na and other massage techniques is that the aim is to restore energy circulation (qi flow) in the acupuncture meridians. Chinese Tui Na also does not use oils and in fact often the massage pressure techniques are used with a sheet or towel over the body part being treated.
There are many techniques used in Tui Na including range of motion stretching, traction, tapping, brushing, kneading, rubbing, rolling, pressing and even punching the patient. In Chinese hospitals, they do not have physiotherapists but have Tui Na doctors instead.
In fact, Tui Na is actually a specialist field in the Traditional Chinese Medicine hospitals in China and takes 5 years full time training to qualify.
Within the Tui Na system, one can specialize in either
- Pediatric Tui Na
- Sports Medicine
The Acupuncture Clinic gets many inquiries as to where to study Chinese massage and Tui Na and it is highly recommended to do the two year diploma course being offered at the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and TCM in Wellington or Auckland.