Tui Na is one of the three branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a therapeutic massage that originates from China. In Tui Na, “Tui” means “push” and “Na” means “grasp”.

In China, Tui Na massage is wildly available in hospitals and it is becoming increasingly more available in Western countries today.

Cyrille Bonnard from Equilibre Acupuncture Dublin is massaging the upper back and shoulders of a patient with his right elbow.

Cyrille Bonnard from Equilibre acupuncture using Tui Na on a patient’s upper back.

Why Tui Na?

I believe that on its own or combined with acupuncture, Tui Na can be very beneficial for my patients. The manipulations and approach allow me to cover problems of muscle pain and joint pain caused by sport injuries, wear and tear, chronic stress, etc. Tui Na can also be beneficial to conditions such as headaches, insomnia, dizziness and hypertension.

Finally, no oil is used which means that it is non-messy.

Since I started to use Tui Na in my practice, the feedback from patients has been really good.

What is Tui Na?

Tui Na is a deep tissue massage which combines physical therapy with energy work. As I mentioned above, it is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine alongside acupuncture and herbal medicine. Unlike other types of massage that isolate injured parts of the body, Tui Na regards the body as a whole micro-system. All the different parts of the body are connected, working together and for each other. In short, Tui Na is a holistic therapy.

The special massage techniques combined with work on acupuncture channels and acu-points make Tui Na a truly unique massage therapy.

What to expect?

Directly after the treatment, you should expect a sense of release and improvement. Typically, patients report feeling looser with less pain and stiffness and less restriction of movement.

Tui Na is mainly used as a therapeutic massage but It is also a great relaxing and well-being massage. In the long term, patients should feel a more permanent improvement in their condition. Tui Na is often used in combination with acupuncture for more noticeable and long-lasting results.

How safe is it?

Tui Na is generally considered a safe therapy when practiced by a trained professional (Yin et al, 2014).  A clinical review carried out in 2014 on the incidence of adverse events of massage therapy between 2003 and 2013 concluded that the incidence was very low.

Cyrille has received his Tui Na training from the Beijing Massage Hospital which is one of the best hospitals to be trained in Beijing.

Like any kind of massage, precautions are necessary and if you are suffering from one or more of the conditions below, it is necessary that you consult your GP before undergoing Tui Na treatment.

  • Serious heart disease or cancer
  • Conditions where bones can become brittle such as osteoporosis or bone cancer
  • Acute spinal injury

Additionally, if you have one of the conditions below, you need to let us now before receiving a massage:

  • Areas where artificial joints are fitted like hip/knee
  • Any type of skin condition
  • It should not be used on inflamed areas or broken skin
  • Pregnancy – the lower back and abdomen will be avoided during massage.

For any of the conditions above, acupuncture can be a very efficient alternative to Tui Na.

What does it treat?

Tui Na is generally used to treat conditions such as muscle pain, joint pain and some kinds of neuropathic pain. This includes the following conditions:

  • Stiff neck, shoulders and/or back
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Protrusion of lumbar intervertebral disc
  • Peri-arthritis of shoulder
  • Tennis elbow

It is also used for other conditions such as headaches, dizziness, insomnia, hypertension and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruations).

Recent studies have shown that Tui Na could help conditions such as cervical spondylosis (Ding et al. 2012) and carpal tunnel syndrome (Cai, 2010). Other studies demonstrated the effects of Tui Na to be beneficial to conditions such as fibromyalgia (Da Silva et al. 2007), dysmenorrhea (Guo and Meng, 2008) and hypertension (Yang et al. 2014).