1-2-3 Acupuncture and Health Center

1. What is Tui-Na

2. History

3. How Tui-Na works

4. Benefits from Tui-Na




1. What is Tui-Na?

Tui-Na, which literally means "pushing (and) grasping", is an Oriental Bodywork Therapy that has been used in China for 2,000 years. Tui-Na uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tui-Na seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body naturally heals itself.

Tui-Na methods include the use of hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, acupressure techniques to directly affect the flow of Qi , and manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships (bone-setting). External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.

Tui-Na has a variety of different systems that emphasize particular aspects of these therapeutic principles. The rolling method which emphasizes soft tissue techniques and specializes in joint injuries and muscle sprains, the one finger pushing method which emphasizes techniques for acupressure and the treatment of internal diseases, and the bone setting method which emphasizes manipulation methods to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships and specializes in joint injuries and nerve pain.

In a typical session, the client, wearing loose clothing and no shoes, lies on a table. The practitioner examines the specific problems of the client and begins to apply a specific treatment protocol. The major focus of application is upon specific pain sites, acupressure points, energy meridians, and muscles and joints. Sessions last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on the specific problems of the client, they may return for additional treatments. The client usually feels relaxed but energized by the treatment.


2. History

Tui-Na dates back to the Shang Dynasty of China, 1700 B.C.E. Oracle bones show that Tui-Na massage was used to treat children's diseases and digestive complaints in adults. By 600 C.E. Tui-Na was included in the Imperial Medical College as a separate department. Tui-Na flourished throughout China until the Qing Dynasty where it was suppressed along with other Chinese cultural arts.

Tui-Na in China now includes the art of bone-setting, one-finger mediation, Tui-Na for the internal organs and the acupuncture channels, Tui-Na incorporated with physical exercises, Tui-Na for beauty, Qigong Tui-Na, self Tui-Na (self treatment with massage), and many more. The indications for Tui-Na therapy are quite broad, including most of the diseases covered by internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, sports medicine, etc.


3. How Tui-Na works

3.1. Regulating Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang are a pair of concepts in the ancient Chinese philosophy, representing respectively "exposure to the sun" and "facing the opposite direction of the sun", the former situation being yang and the latter yin.

Tui-Na treatment follows the principle of Yin and Yang so as to get them in relative balance by according to differential diagnosis, use different manipulations with stimulations of different degrees which may be mild, powerful, slow, quick, vigorous or soft in order to treat the illness of deficiency type by tonifying methods.

3.2. Regulating the Function of Channels and Collaterals, Qi and Blood and Viscera

The function of the channels and collaterals is to propel the circulation of qi and blood in order to nourish yin and yang, and facilitate the bones, tendons and joints.

Qi has the function of promoting metabolism and transformation, consolidating the liquid substances and the organs in the abdominal cavity and warming the body. Diseases in the qi system are chiefly manifested in the three forms: stagnation, deficiency, and reversed flow of qi.

Blood is a red nutritious liquid which flows in the blood vessels. Circulating throughout the whole body along the blood vessels, it provides the viscera, tissues and organs with nutrition to maintain their normal physiological function.

The modulation of channels and collaterals, qi, blood and viscera function is accomplished by Tui-Na massage therapy on the channel and collateral system through manipulations. Because, in Tui-Na therapy treatment, all manipulations are used firstly on the superficial portion of the body to "push the points along channels and collaterals"; secondly, massage is directed to the projected superficial portion of the body corresponding to a certain organ of viscera, thus, on the one hand, the local effect of manipulation can produce a direct curative effect on the diseases of channels and collaterals, qi, blood and viscera at the manipulated location. 

3.3. Recovery of the Function of Tendons, Bones and Joints

In TCM, soft tissues and joints include fascia, muscle, muscle tendon, tendon sheath, ligament, joint capsule, synovium, fibrous ring of vertebral disc, articular cartilage disc and other soft tissues of the body. Any direct trauma, indirect trauma and long-term strain can cause them a series of pathogenic changes. Their injuries can be local bruise, muscle sprain, fibrous rupture, tendon avulsion, slipped tendon, ligament rupture, laceration of joint capsule, semi-dislocation of bones, joint dislocation, chondroclasis and joint or soft tissue strain, etc. Tui-Na therapy has quite a good curative effect on all the above mentioned illnesses by (a) relaxing muscles, tendons, dredging the channels and collaterals; (b) restoring, treating injured soft tissues, reducing dislocated joints and (c) tripping adhesion, dredging stenosis.

3.4.The Tonifying and Purging Function of Massage Manipulation

Tui-Na massage treatment takes manipulation as the most important means. In the course of diagnosis and treatment, according to the deficiency and excess of the patientís condition of constitution and illness, Tui-Na therapist can make choice among such manipulations as tonifying, purging, mediating, exciting or restraining.

But, all those manipulation mentioned above concerning tonifying and purging are relative and changeable in their clinical practice, so flexible application and differentiation should be made in accordance with the specific conditions. This will be decided by the experiences of practitioner


4. Benefits

Tui-Na is well suited for the treatment of many disorders. The major benefits from Tui-Na include improvement of the circulatory system, flexibility to the muscular system, relieving pain and enhancing bodyís energy, regulating the nervous system functions, increasing the functions of immune system, improving quality of sleep, and relief of stress, depression, anxiety and irritation.



back to the previous page    home


1-2-3 Acupuncture and Health Center

4666 El Camino Real
Los Altos, CA 94022

(650) 949-2339
3700 Thomas Road, Suite 215
Santa Clara, CA 95054

(408) 727-1227