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Common steps and sub-activities


I am deeply indebted to Alison Russell for the practical details of how Tui Na works in association with acupuncture. Alison learnt her Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Beijing China and via a three year degree course in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She is a member of the British Acupuncture Council, as well as a trained Tui Na Chinese deep tissue massage therapist having been trained by Errol Lynch. In addition to Acupuncture and Tui Na, Alison is also a qualified Reiki practitioner.


Tui Na is one of the techniques used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Chinese medicine is “a great treasure house of complementary techniques” and includes Acupuncture, Acupressure, Tui na, Cupping therapy, Moxibustion, Qi gong and so on. The massage is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

What is Tui Na?

Tuina is an Ancient healing art that employs the use of the hands to press on key points on the surface of the body to stimulate the body’s own natural healing process. When these points are stimulated, they release tension and increase the bodies circulation of blood and nutrients to bring about the body’s own healing process.

Tuina and acupuncture use the same meridians and trigger points and they are both based on traditional Chinese medicine diagnostic techniques. The tongue and pulse are also used to diagnose many of the internal conditions that may present at clinic.

The complementary nature of acupuncture and Tui Na

Acupuncture and Tui Na are often used together in treating patients as the two disciplines work together so well.

  • Tui Na is useful for people who may be afraid of needles as many of the benefits of Acupuncture can be achieved through acupressure instead.
  • Tui Na is also quicker if considerable work is needed.  The practitioner can stimulate many points during a single treatment, 'dredge many channels/meridians'. Thus if considerable work needs to be done, Tui na is more feasible than say acupuncture 'where 400 needles may be too excessive for the patient to handle'.
  • Tui na can be used for local muscle too.  The practitioner can work on both trigger points and local muscle near the trauma site. Thus Tuina can be used to break down adhesions and scar tissue at the local level to increase the flow of blood and oxygen (chi) to carry away damaged tissue.
  • One further advantage of tuina is that it can be taught relatively easily to the patient as a means of ensuring the healing process is continuous.

What has it been used for?

Tui Na has been used to relieve, for example

  • headache, migraine, neck pain and tenseness, frozen shoulder
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • muscle pain, strain, cramps, menstrual pain
  • joint pain, RSI and small joint dislocations
  • sports injuries such as martial art traumatic injuries, dance injuries
  • vertigo
  • problems with the endocrine system
  • insomnia
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • sciatic back pain, back pain other back problems
  • bell’s palsy, trigger finger, swollen knee, wry neck, cervical spondylosis,
  • stroke problems
  • poor circulation leading to cold hands and feet
  • poor energy, muddy thinking
  • removal of scar tissue.

What is the procedure for TUI NA massage?

1. Consultation & Examination:

 a) Before treatment the practitioner will explain what tuina is and its action.
b) Questions about health and disease. A case history will be taken to ascertain the level of injury/disease and the strength of your own constitution.
c) Tongue and pulse may be taken to ascertain the conditions of the internal organs.
d) Tui na can be used both as a treatment and for diagnosis through the use of palpation on and around the area of complaint.

2. You will be asked to remove your jewellery and shoes. The treatment is done in prone, supine or seated. The practitioner will instruct you to the appropriate position for the massage.

3. You will be covered with a cotton sheet then various hand, finger and elbow techniques through the cotton sheets will be performed. During a sports or dance injury massage session clothing may be removed to protect them from special oils, which may damage clothing.

4. After the treatment advice may be given on Dietary, Lifestyle and exercise to lessen the effect of disease and to strengthen your constitution.


More details on practitioners, clinics, events, training along wth a number of case histories and testimonials can be found on the Tuina UK website.  Similar sites exist in the rest of the world



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