Tuina uses the Traditional Chinese Medical theory of channels and collaterals (meridians or pathways) and the flow of the Chi energy, as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques, Tuina seeks to establish a more harmonious Chi energy through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body to naturally heal itself. Tuina methods include the use of hand and arm techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, stimulation of acupressure points to directly affect the flow of Chi energy through the system of channels and collaterals, and manipulation techniques to realign the musculo-skeletal and ligamentous relationships (bone setting). External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.
Tuina (also called An mo) is the oldest known system of massage and physical therapy in the world. Originating in China 15,000 years ago, the oldest record of medical massage for trauma was carved on turtle shells. In the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (the first comprehensive treaty of Chinese medicine) from 230 B.C., Tuina was described as one of the five major therapies of the time. Tuina has remained an organized and systematically developed form of massage and physical therapy since that time. Currently in China, Tuina is taught as a separate but equal field of study in the major traditional Chinese medical schools. Tuina doctors receive the same demanding training as acupuncturists and herbalists, and enjoy the same level of professional respect.
Which health conditions can Tuina treat?
Tuina is well suited for the treatment of headaches, specific musculoskeletal disorders (stiffness, spasm, cramp, inflamemation, pains, numbness, and tingling), allergies and sinusitis, chronic stress-related emotional disorders, digestive disorders, respiratory conditions, and reproductive dysfunctions. It can generally improve poor blood circulation and related symptoms. It can help to improve muscle and skin tone and patients who have suffered prolonged illnesses.