First of all, you are probably wondering what Tui Na is, what it does, and why would we need it?
The literal meaning of “Tui” is pushing and “Na” is holding or lifting. This literal meaning has been extracted from the ancient classics of traditional Chinese medicine in the form of textbooks, by the Yellow Emperor. These books have been a wealth of knowledge for thousands of years and are still used today.
Tui Na is used as a hands on body treatment, to create circulation of energy flowing in the meridians to the muscles. Tui Na is similar to deep tissue massage but also incorporates manipulation and deep pressure applied to Acupuncture points. Tui Na is commonly used for reducing pain associated with muscle and joint disorders. It can also be used to alleviate insomnia, constipation, headaches, respiratory disorders and reproductive disorders.
We know from the tremendous amount of data collected from studies within the last few decades that human touch has been associated with an immune response. Specifically that touch creates a stronger and healthier immune system. Hands on body treatment where human to human contact occurs through touch stimulates the thymus gland to produce white blood cells. The production of white blood cells keeps the human body healthy and functioning optimally.
From my personal experience treating patients, in many cases a person’s body is more accepting of Acupuncture needles if Tui Na is performed first. This may be due to the fact that studies have also proven that our bodies release Oxytocin when we feel touch. The Oxytocin acts as a human bonding hormone and has a positive effect on our stress levels. Meaning that touch has a stress reducing mechanism that affects a person on a hormonal level.
Even the ancient classics by the Yellow Emperor mention that before we perform Acupuncture or prescribe herbal medicine we should attempt Tui Na first. These classics hold essential concepts of Chinese medicine and are considered the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine used in today’s world. As an Acupuncturist myself, the feeling when discussing the classics is that these books are like the bibles of our practice. We could not exist today without the thousands of years of practice and experience that our forefathers have kept alive through tradition.
For these reasons I am definitely a Tui Na enthusiast, who promotes Tui Na as a holistic treatment option in my practice.
~ Jenna Knight