Tui Na or Tuina is an East Asian Bodywork system that has been practiced in China for 2,500 years. It makes use of the traditional Chinese medicine theory of the movement of vital energy called Chi through the energy channels (meridians) as its primary therapeutic orientation. Via the application of manipulation and massage techniques, Tuina aims to establish a more balanced flow of Chi through the system of collaterals and channels, enabling the body to heal itself in a natural way.

Techniques used in Tuina include the use of hand methods to massage the tendons and muscles (soft tissue) of the body, acupressure techniques to directly influence the circulation of Chi, and manipulation (bone-setting) procedures to realign the ligamentous and musculoskeletal relationships. To bolster the other therapeutic methods, salves, liniments, compresses, and external herbal poultices are also used.

Tuina utilizes a wide range of systems that emphasize specific aspects of these therapeutic techniques. In China, the main schools of tuina therapy include the bone setting technique school that specializes in nerve pain and joint injuries and emphasizes manipulation procedures to realign the ligamentous and musculoskeletal relationships; the Nei Gung technique school that emphasizes the use of specific massage methods and Nei Gong Chi energy generation exercises for reinvigorating exhausted energy systems; the one finger pushing technique method school that emphasizes procedures for acupressure and the resolution of internal diseases; and the rolling technique school that specializes in muscle sprains and joint injuries and emphasizes soft tissue procedures.

In an ordinary session, wearing loose clothing and no shoes, the client, lies on a floor mat or table. The therapist then inspects the specific conditions of the client and starts to perform a specific plan of treatment. The primary areas of treatment are on affected joints and muscles, affected acupressure points, and specific areas of pain. To promote rapid healing, advanced Tuina therapists may also utilize Chinese herbs. Sessions may last for half an hour to a full hour. Clients may return for additional treatments depending on the type of problem they have. Usually, the client feels energized and relaxed after the treatment.

Tuina is now becoming widely used in the US as an extremely effective therapeutic extension of conventional Western massage techniques. Its focus on specific problems and its simplicity, make it both an ideal extension and/or alternative of the Swedish-style massage instead of being a mere type of therapy. By using therapies of shorter duration, tui na can be used in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, clinics, office, or home. It is an ideal treatment for both the health conscious, active individual and the professional massage therapist.

You can search for a Tuina therapist in or near your area by calling the Association of Acupuncture Colleges of the American Oriental Bodywork Therapy.


The practice of Tuina therapy goes as far back as 1700 B.C.E. in China, during the time of the Shang Dynasty. Oracle bones reveal that the therapy was used to treat digestive complaints in adults and children’s diseases. Tui Na was included in the Imperial Medical College as a distinct department by 600 C.E. The therapy thrived all across China until the Ching Dynasty where its use was prohibited along with other Chinese healing techniques. The use of Tuina was revived along with other traditional healing arts after the Communist revolution, and was integrated into the current system of Colleges of Traditional Medicine.

Tuina is currently taught as an equal but separate field of study in the large colleges of traditional Chinese medicine. Tuina therapists enjoy the same level of professional respect and get the same rigorous training as herbalists and acupuncturists in Miami.

Contraindications, Limitations, Benefits,

Contraindications include conditions involving lesions, open wounds, infectious conditions, phlebitis and fractures.

Tuina is not suited for people seeking a relaxing, sedating, mild massage since it’s likely to be more task-oriented compared to the other forms of bodywork.

Tuina is recommended for the treatment of certain chronic stress-related disorders of the reproductive, respiratory, and digestive systems and for musculoskeletal disorders. Effective treatment techniques have been tested in a clinical setting.