Tui na is an acupressure massage technique that originated in Ancient China. It utilizes rhythmic compression along the energy channels of one’s body, as well as a variety of other techniques that focus on manipulating and lubricating one’s joints. By directly affecting the flow of energy at acupressure points, Tui na is able to treat a variety of conditions. Some common ones include general joint/muscle pain, sciatica, arthritis, IBS, insomnia, and headaches.
General Joint/Muscle Pain
The connective tissue located between your skin, muscles, and organs, is known as fascia. This connective tissue can become tense due to your lifestyle, repetitive movements, or trauma from injury. Typically, general joint and muscle pain is caused by tight fascia. Tui na can be used to target fascia and soften tense connective tissues to reduce pain and discomfort.
Sciatica is when the sciatic nerve located on one’s lower back, sends pain signals anywhere from the lower back all the way down to one’s calves. This can happen when the sciatic nerve is pinched by the surrounding musculature, or due to a herniated disk or bone spur. Tui na can be used to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve by softening the fascia and relaxing the muscles located around it. It can also be used to redirect energy and promote blood blow to the lower back to relieve pain.
Arthritis is when one experiences pain and stiffness in their joints. This is typically due to wear and tear that damages one’s cartilage over time, this is known as osteoarthritis. One’s immune system can also attack the lining of the joint capsule causing cartilage and joint damage, this is known as rheumatoid arthritis. By softening the surrounding fascia, Tui na can be used to relieve pain around the joints affected by arthritis.
Moreover, TCM views excess fluids in the body, or dampness, as another cause of arthritis. In addition to relaxing fascia, Tui na also targets one’s energy systems to promote balance. By using Tui na, one can offset the excess dampness causing their arthritis to relieve pain.
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
IBS is a general condition that causes a variety of symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. The exact cause of IBS is still unknown to Western medicine. However, TCM views an excess or deficiency of energy in one’s digestive system as a cause of IBS. Tui na utilizes pressure points to ensure the overall energy within one’s digestive system is balanced, and that all of the organs are interacting with each other in harmony, to relieve symptoms of IBS.
Insomnia is the inability to sleep. It can be caused by stress, health problems, or substance abuse. To TCM, insomnia can also be caused by overactive energy within one’s body. By pressing on acupressure points, Tui na can be used to settle down the overactive energy to promote restful sleep.
Headaches can be caused by a wide variety of things, including stress. This stress can also affect the energy systems within one’s body, and take it away from its natural homeostasis. Tui na is used to bring the body back to homeostasis and ensure energy is properly circulating throughout one’s body. This can provide pain relief from those suffering from headaches related to stress.
These are just some of the conditions Tui na can treat, but it also has many other benefits. If you are experiencing any of these conditions, it may be beneficial for you. Finally, in addition to being able to treat these conditions, Tui na can also be used in combination with acupuncture, or as a supplement to what you are currently prescribed.