Tui Na Massage and Reflexology

Tui Na Massage and Reflexology

Tui Na or Tuina is similar to reflexology but also incorporates other techniques into the practice. Tui Na has been around for nearly 2000 years and originated during the Shang dynasty in China around 1700BC. The Imperial Medical College in China gave it its own department at around 600 BC. While Tuina was suppressed during the communist takeover it is now back and flourishing in both China and many other parts of the world.

Tui Na is based upon essentially the same principles as Reflexology and Zone Therapy in that there is an assumption of an energy flow, called Qi, along meridian lines in the body. Through the use of massage, acupressure and other techniques the practitioner strives to increase the flow of energy through the body or increase its efficiency thereby creating an environment that is conducive to the body healing itself.

Tuina utilizes body massage of the soft tissues, acupressure or reflexology techniques to affect Qi flow and chiropractic type techniques to align bones and ligaments. They also might use herbal mixtures, salves, and other holistic methods to increase the effectiveness of the technique.

Within the practice of Tui Na there are slightly different variations. There is the Nei Gung method which is very similar to reflexology in that it emphasizes revitalizing Qi flow through the body. There is the rolling technique, which focuses on basic body massage to relieve pain from injuries or muscle sprains, and the single finger push technique which is similar to acupressure. There is also the bone setting method. This has some similarities to chiropractic in that it looks at realigning bones and tendons to relieve nerve pain and joint injuries.

A typical Tui Na session can last from 30-90 minutes. It is not usually engaged in for the relaxation effect but rather to treat specific physical issues. While many types of massage and alternative techniques require many sequential visits Tuina can sometimes only require one visit to alleviate the problem. Some reflexology and massage therapists incorporate it into their practice in order to not only relive tension and stress with traditional massage but also utilize Tui Na to focus on a particular physical issue the client may have.

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