Tui na or tuina is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion and fire cupping.
Tui na is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese taoist and martial arts principles in an effort to bring the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into balance.
The practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press, and rub the areas between each of the joints, known as the eight gates, to attempt to open the body’s defensive (wei) qi and get the energy moving in the meridians and the muscles. The practitioner can then use range of motion, traction, and massage, with the stimulation of acupuncture points. These techniques aid in the treatment of both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions. Tui na is an integral part of TCM and is taught in TCM schools as part of formal training in Oriental medicine. Many East Asian martial arts schools also teach Tui na to their advanced students for the treatment and management of injury and pain due to training. As with many other traditional Chinese medical practices, there are several different schools with greater or smaller differences in their approach to the discipline. It is related also to Japanese massage.
In ancient China, medical therapy was often classified as either “external” or “internal” treatment. Tui na was considered to be one of the external methods, thought to be especially suitable for use on the elderly population and on infants. Today, Tui na is subdivided into specialized treatment for infants, adults, orthopedics, traumatology, cosmetology, rehabilitation, sports medicine, etc.