Ever thought about having acupuncture, but feeling a bit nervous about trying something so new and unknown? Or has someone you know told you about the benefits, but you can’t get past your fear of needles just yet? Maybe you should consider Chinese Massage, also called acupressure massage, or Tui Na, an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine that is based on the principles of acupuncture.
If you’re interested in learning more about this powerful field of medicine that is often overlooked by Western health care professionals, Chinese massage is an excellent place to start. It is based on the same principles and points of acupuncture, but does not use any needles. It also incorporates massage techniques that you are most likely comfortable and familiar with already. Once you have received a Chinese Massage and love it, as so many people do, you may choose to move on to other Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques, or you may ask your massage therapist to provide treatments that include all of these holistic health therapies.
What is Chinese Massage or Tui Na?
Tui Na therapies are very different than what you may traditionally think of when it comes to massage. “Tui” means “push” and Nui, means to “grasp”. Based on ancient Chinese medicine, Tui Na Chinese Massage was designed to balance the body’s energy system, called “qi”, while helping the musculoskeletal system as well. It also differs from Western massage therapies because you remain fully clothed, the therapist doesn’t use any oils and you may sit up in a chair for your treatment. The major difference from the therapist’s perspective is that they can use a systematic approach, following the body’s acupressure points and energy channels, called meridians, in a consistent way.
Chinese Massage is a complex system of techniques that may involve:
Rolling: With their fists closed, the therapist faces their palms together to roll along the back muscles
Drumming: While covering the ears tightly, with their palms, the therapist uses their index fingers to snap the back of the head. By stimulating the parasympathetic nerve, this therapy is essential for calming the body systems.
Acupressure technique: On specific meridian points, pressure is placed with the thumbs to release tension and pain.
Lifting: By kneading and grasping the back of the neck, the therapist uses upward stroking motions to provide a light, “lifting” sensation.
Walking Technique: Using the thumbs, the therapist “walks” along the spine. This treatment loosens the back muscles by stimulating the meridians and balance “qi” and blood flow to the area.
Butterfly Technique: Using the palms of the hands, the therapist kneads the muscles, all the way from the upper back and shoulders, to the lower back.
These are just a few of the vast variety of techniques that Chinese Massage involves. The therapist may also perform techniques called dragging, nipping, chopping, scrubbing and tapping. But don’t let these terms unnerve you. A skilled therapist may use some or all of these methods at the appropriate time and with suitable pressure for your needs. The beauty of this type of traditional Chinese medicine is that it can be used to treat almost any type of malady and provides a highly energizing and healing, therapeutic massage.
Tui na goes beyond the benefits of relaxation massage, by including a rehabilitative approach for specific complaints, such as:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Attention Deficit Syndromes (ADD, ADHD)
- Carpel tunnel syndrome,
- Chronic fatigue
- Anxiety and stress
Chinese massage is becoming an increasingly popular way for women to have natural pregnancies and even deliveries without the need for painkillers. By using maternity acupressure points, the pain and discomforts common to pregnancy can be relieved or eliminated altogether. If you are pregnant and are interested in this type of treatment, it is important to find a massage therapist who is experienced in providing maternity massage treatment and knows how to do acupressure treatments in a way that is safe for you and your baby.
What to expect for your first Chinese Massage:
Your first treatment using Chinese Massage will normally include a consultation with your therapist. After taking your medical history and having you describe your symptoms or concerns, they will normally walk through each of the techniques they will use to treat your condition. Your therapist will also make sure that you have eaten recently before your session, as the deep therapy pressure point techniques are best done on a full stomach to ensure that you don’t become light headed.
Ready to try Chinese Massage?
Contact us today to find out more about our Tui Na and other Chinese Massage holistic therapies. We are more than happy to help you learn about this exciting path to healing and rejuvenation.