Tuina massage (pronounced twee naw) and sometimes called Chuna (Korea) is translated to mean push and pull or lift and squeeze. It encompasses a style of therapeutic massage associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In fact, sometimes people refer to it as Chinese pediatric massage since it may be used in place of acupuncture when working on young children. It is also commonly recommended for the elderly. Some acupuncture schools teach this massage technique as part of the acupuncture curriculum because the same principles of acupuncture are applied to the practice of tuina massage.
In contrast to a lot of massage styles, tuina is typically not an approach used to promote stress reduction and relaxation. Generally it is used to treat specific musculoskeletal problems. This includes common conditions like neck, back and shoulder pain. Tuina massage focusing on areas of physical disharmony. Similar to acupuncture, tuina uses the taoist principles, working to channel bodily qi while harmonizing yin and yang.
Using the TCM perspective, bodily health is reflected in an underlying balance in bodily qi and blood. A person experiences pain when qi is blocked which in turn impacts blood circulation. Tuina works to remove obstructions to qi which can help increase blood flow and reduce pain more generally.
Instead of using needles, a tuina massage practitioner uses their fingers to stimulate the qi. Not only can a tuina practitioner work to manipulate qi through pressure points, many times people are also taught how to do this on their own bodies in the form of self-care.
You can try a simple example of tuina massage on yourself by focusing on the muscles around your eyes. This is especially good as a break from staring at a phone or computer screen.
- Gently massage under the inside corner of your eyebrow with your thumb for about 20 seconds. Then press gently for 10 seconds and release.
- Massage your temples in small circles with your index fingers for approximately 20 seconds. Gently press the center of your temples for about 10 seconds and release.
- Begin on the bridge of your nose and using your index fingers move in a circular motion around the rim of your eye socket for 20 seconds.
- Rub your palms together until they are warm. Put them over your closed eyes for about 20 seconds to let your eyes relax.
At River City Wellness, tuina massage is used as a physical therapy that supports the body’s natural ability to heal. For optimal effect, it is given in conjunction with needles. If you’re looking to consider tuina massage as your next treatment strategy, feel free to stop in or schedule an appointment by visiting us online or contacting us at (502) 822-0626.