The popularity of Tui Na massage has been steadily rising in the West. While it has been around in Europe for three decades, it is only now these past ten years that its use has started to spread rapidly.

During the 1990’s many Europeans went to China to learn acupuncture at the important hospitals in Chengdu, Shanghai, and Beijing. This was the first time they were exposed to Tuina.

The newness of their experiences gave some of the top European practitioners the chance to witness patients enter into the Tuina department in poor health and leaving within the same week or in the same day all well and healthy. For most western Shiatsu practitioners in the West at that time, this would have taken them months to resolve. As tui na produced immediate results and was growing rapidly in popularity, the Tui Na department was the most fun to be in.

Tui Na has the ability to normalize all the systems of the body, but especially the endocrine system. It promotes the flow of Qi and blood and brings the body and mind together as one; when these two start to separate, disease then start to arise.

Just a few people in the West really understand what Tui Na is and in order to understand this system one needs to practice or receive it. Herbalists, acupuncturists, shiatsu therapists, and physiotherapists diagnose and treat disease but they will never understand what tui na is unless they integrate it into their physical therapy system.

For most Tui Na practitioners the physical interaction/hands-on approach towards the patient is more satisfying than using herbal medicine or sticking needles into the skin of people. If you also happen to have a solid background in the martial arts, this will give you certain advantages when you use Tui Na.

Some practitioners believe that there is a natural continuity or flow, or from one discipline to the other when performing tuina. It requires patience, relaxation, internal force, timing, good posture, and focus among other things.

Generally speaking, Tui Na possesses these following special qualities:

o Relieving anxiety
o Treating muscle spasm and promoting muscle relaxation
o Encouraging mental relaxation
o Preventing and treating injury
o Increasing Blood and Qi flow
o Increasing lymphatic drainage
o Improving removal of cellular waste
o Raising awareness of the body
o Enhancing flexibility and posture

All these can be achieved by using a blend of both Eastern and Western tools of diagnosis. This requires knowledge of Traditional Chinese medicine, pathology, physiology, anatomy, and body mechanics ultimately leading to a delivery of manipulations and techniques that are distinctly Tui Na.

In China, Tui Na is perhaps the most difficult of all the disciplines to master as a practitioner although when one masters it the results can be incredible.

Tui na is a rewarding and marvelous experience, regardless of whether you are giving or receiving the therapy.

It progresses into an ever more satisfying vocation for the practitioner. While any practitioner can become competent in the methods within a short period of time, realizing one’s own potential is in the field of passion, dedication, and time spent in good effort.

Most people who have gotten a general Tui Na therapy have become hooked. Actually many of them make it a point to have the treatment every day less to boost their health reasons, more because it makes them feel really good.

For people getting treatment for a specific condition, they will be surprised at how fast the treatment Tui Na spurs recovery.

In some instances, certain aspects of the therapy may be uncomfortable, but in traumatizing the body in a controlled manner, the natural healing ability of the body is set in motion.

Ni Nan Gilbert is a licensed acupuncturist in Bellmore, NY with certification in Chinese Herbology and over 16 years experience in traditional Chinese medicine.