Tuina therapy (referred to as Chinese massage therapy) is commonly defined as the ancient healing art of fingers and strength. Tuina has been practicing in China for over 5000 years. It is a well-respected treatment modality known to be helpful and safe for a wide range of conditions. For these reasons, it is gaining international favor rapidly. Tuina involves a wide range of technical manipulations conducted by a practitioner’s finger, hand, elbow, knee, or foot applied to a muscle or soft tissue at specific body locations. It incorporates many of the principles of acupuncture including the use of acupoints. For instance, tuina often uses manual techniques such as pushing, rubbing, kneading, or high-intensity, high-frequency patting to clear energy blocks along specific meridians, associated with particular conditions.
What is tuina therapy?
The term“tuina therapy” includes many techniques and the type of tuina given usually depends on your own needs and physical condition. Dating back thousands of years, references to tuina appeared in ancient writings. In general, tuina therapists work on muscle and other soft tissue. Tuina therapy is sometimes done by using essential oil as a form of aromatherapy.
What are the health benefits of tuina therapy?
Many types of tuina therapy offer benefits beyond simple relaxation. Here are just a few of the health problems that may benefit from massage. Ask your doctor before using tuina therapy for your own health condition just in case.
Back pain: Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of tuina therapy for back pain. In fact, a study made in 2003 shows it worked better than acupuncture or spinal modification for persistent low back pain reducing the need for painkillers by 36%.
Headache: This type of pain also responds to tuina therapy, as shown in numerous studies. Tuina therapy can reduce the attack on the frequency of migraines and improve sleep quality.
Osteoarthritis: In the first clinical trial observing the effectiveness of Swedish tuina therapy for knee osteoarthritis, participants who received 1-hour tuina therapy either once or twice a week had improvements in pain, stiffness, and function. The control group had no such changes.
Cancer: Used as a complement to traditional Western medicine, tuina therapy can promote relaxation, and reduce cancer symptoms or side effects of treatment. It might help reduce pain, swelling, fatigue, nausea, or depression, or even improve the function of your immune system.
Anxiety: A review of more than 12 studies shows that tuina therapy can help relieve depression and anxiety. It can lower levels of cortisol by up to 50%, and also increase levels of neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
The Method of Tuina and Massage
Currently, Chinese massage therapy is widely accepted as a complementary and alternative medicine modality. Its efficacy has been demonstrated for the management of many medical and psychiatric conditions. These include failure to thrive in preterm infants, major depressive disorder, substance abuse and dependence, pain syndromes, and immune and autoimmune conditions.
Massage therapy has been shown to be particularly effective for disorders of musculoskeletal origin. However, due to a paucity of high-quality studies, there remains controversy about the efficacy and effectiveness of massage. Many clinical trials suffer from inadequate sample size, low methodological quality, or sub-therapeutic massage dosing. As a result, the findings of recent systematic reviews about massage therapy for low back pain are consistently inconclusive, due to the methodology flaws in the primary studies they reference. Therefore, studies without these flaws are important to confirm the efficacy and effectiveness of tuina for low back pain.
Tuina therapy is a traditional technique in China. It is based on the Chinese medicine theory and is very effective in the improvement of your health. Tuina is different from other massage therapy even like acupressure or acupuncture. Even though tuina is similar to acupuncture because it works to balance the qi, needles are never used in this hands-on treatment. During tuina therapy, the practitioner will first feel their client’s pulse in order to identify the qi that needs to be unblocked. Next, the masseuse will apply their hands and massage key points on the client’s body to unblock the meridians, and to encourage the free flow of energy throughout the body.
Tuina therapy can be used alone or in combination with other types of holistic treatments in order to relieve pain, muscular tension, and disease throughout the body. Acupressure, a firm type of pressure applied to various meridians on the body, is applied in order to stimulate specific qi during tuina therapy. Additional pushing or grasping strokes will encourage muscle relaxation, improve circulation, and encourage the healing of the meridians and the free flow of qi.
Tuina therapy is still widely used in hospitals and rehabilitation centers throughout China today. Tuina therapy is often used in combination with other forms of traditional Chinese healing and medicine. In fact, tuina therapy practitioners are given the same respect in North America. Therefore, tuina therapy is a standard Chinese therapy, and only a professional technician could make it effective and safe.
What do scientists say about the safety and side effects of tuina therapy?
Tuina therapy appears to have few risks when performed by a trained practitioner. However, tuina therapists should take some precautions for people with certain health conditions.
In some cases, pregnant women should avoid tuina therapy. Talk with your healthcare provider before getting a massage if you’re pregnant. People with some conditions such as bleeding disorders or low blood platelet counts should also avoid having forceful and deep tissue massage. People who take anticoagulants(also known as blood thinners)should also avoid them. Massage should not be done in any potentially weak area of the skin, such as wounds. Deep or intense pressure should not be used over an area where the patient has a tumor or cancer unless approved by the patient’s health care provider.