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Home > Services > Tuina


Tuina (pronounced “tway-nah”) originated in China in 1700 BC and is the oldest form of massage.

By 600 AD, tuina was included in the Imperial Medical College as a separate department. Today tuina is taught as a separate-but-equal field of study in major traditional Chinese medical colleges. In hospitals throughout China, tuina is used in conjunction with acupuncture and herbal medicine.

The word “tuina” means “push” (tui) and “pull” (na). Tuina techniques include an (rapid and rhythmic pressing), tao (strong pinching), nie (kneading), nien (nipping or light plucking), moa (rubbing) and pai (tapping). Gentle shaking, joint mobilization, and stretching are also included in a tuina treatment.

Acupressure is incorporated to treat internal disase and revitalize depleted qi.

In China, Tuina practitioners also practice “bone setting” (chiropractic-style adjustments). Western-trained Tuina practitioners do not perform bone setting. However, they do use other techniques to gently and indirectly realign musculo-skeletal and ligmentous relationships and thereby relieve nerve pain.

Superficially, tuina is the form of Asian bodywork that most resembles a Western (deep tissue) massage. However, the advantage of tuina is that it treats specific problems, especially chronic pain associated with the muscles, joints and skeletal system. In addition, tuina restores and improves the flow of qi, blood and lymph. Treatments benefit the whole body-mind-spirit, in addition to the specific area of complaint.

The tuina practitioner performs standard Chinese Medicine diagnosis and also applies extensive hands-on touch to locate areas of the body that are out of balance. Unlike shiatsu, tuina focuses on specific problems rather than on balancing the whole body. Treatment duration is shorter, so tuina can be incorporated into a shiatsu or acupuncture session to augment the treatment.

For example, a patient with chronic neck and shoulder tension may receive a treatment that begins with a 15-minute tuina module, which includes a variety of strokes, stretches and other techniques applied directly to the neck and shoulder area to relieve pain and increase mobility. For the remainder of the session, shiatsu or acupuncture may be used to further unblock affected meridians and address underlying imbalances in the flow of qi.

Home > Services > Tuina