Tuina (pronounced twee-na) or Chinese Medical Massage originated at least 3000 years ago in China. Tui means ‘to push’ and Na means ‘to grasp’ – this name describes a complete body therapy at the root of traditional Chinese medical philosophy.
Tuina is carried out with the patient fully clothed, usually covered with a warm sheet. Only rarely is a little oil or other liniment used.
Tuina utilises the same energetic system as acupuncture, but treats without the use of needles. A network of energy channels (meridians) cover the entire body.
Tuina comprises a wide range of techniques, fast and slow, soft and more penetrating, physical and energetic, using finger, thumb, hand, arm and elbow. Massage movements include rolling, pressing, pushing, stroking and grasping that will be selected depending on your individual needs.
By using these techniques, the aim is to release blockages and increase the flow of energy within the body’s meridians and promote natural healing.
It is possible, and sometimes optimal, to use acupuncture and tuina in the same treatment. If I plan to do this I will explain why first and make sure you are happy. You can refuse any aspect of treatment at any time.
Qi Gong Tuina
Within all aspects of Chinese medical practice is the concept of Qi (chi) literally meaning ‘life force’. It is the flow of Qi which can influence the harmony within the physical and spiritual body. Qi gong translates as ‘energy work’, and in qi gong the practitioner is working specifically with qi to create healing.
Qi gong Tui Na techniques tend to feel gentler and softer compared to regular Tuina, although their effects can be profound.
This treatment is deeply relaxing, working directly with the body’s qi to move stagnation on physical and mental-emotional levels. This treatment moves you away from tension and pain, into softness and comfort, helping to re-educate the body to its natural healing pattern.
What will happen during your treatment?
At your initial consultation I will take a full case history, asking questions about your medical history, current conditions that you would like help with, and background questions concerning diet, sleep, energy levels and so on where appropriate. I will examine painful or injured areas, and may use traditional diagnostic techiques such as feeling your pulse or looking at your tongue.
I will then explain what I intend to do and make sure that you are happy to proceed. You are free to decline any part of treatment at any time.
I will help you get comfortable on the treatment couch, cover you with a warmed sheet and the massage will begin. I will regularly check with you that the strokes are comfortable.
At the end of treatment I will check that you are feeling well before you leave.
At the beginning of each follow-up session I will ask how you are feeling and what you would like me to focus on and the session will proceed as described above.
Training and professional standards
I graduated in 2016 from post-graduate studies in tuina at the International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM), where I received expert tuition from Paul Blacker and Chris Tappenden. I undertake continuing professional development each year.
I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council and am fully insured. I follow their strict codes of safe and ethical practice whether I am practicing acupuncture or tuina.