Tui Na – Medical & Sports Massage
Tuina (pronounced Twee-Nah) is a form of medical and sports massage used largely in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries or pain, much in the same way that physiotherapy, osteopathy, or chiropractic is used. Essentially, the principles of Tuina are to allow blood and body fluids to flow through the body unobstructed, and then the body should recover from injury or disease. This is done through a combination of massage, acupressure, joint mobilisation and manipulation, and assisted stretching.
When muscles contract, they can compress the vessels preventing a sufficient supply of blood to the local or distal areas. This then causes the muscles and tisues to become under nourished, which will lead to more tension and further problems. Tuina is used to return and maintain stability to the tissues, thus creating a balance between strength and relaxation. Once the muscles and tissues achieve this balance, blood and other body fluids can move freely throughout the body.
What Should I Expect?
To begin with, before any treatment is given, a thorough consultation of your medical history and symptoms is taken in order to make a clear diagnosis of your condition. Muscular examinations may also be used to determine the location and nature of the condition. Once a diagnosis has been made, the practitioner will begin by stretching the muscles, then continue to combine massage with gentle manipulation to the muscles and joints until some tension is relieved.
Depending on the condition, tuina can be administered indirectly through a towel, or directly onto skin. Occasionally in the case of the latter, medicated oils or balms may be used to help invigorate the blood and to soothe the muscles and tendons. These oils and balms can also offer temporary pain relief.
Tuina is sometimes given in conjunction with acupuncture. However in many cases Tuina may be used as a full treatment in its own right and can last anywhere from 20 minutes up to 1 hour.