West coast massage schools including East West College offer instruction in a variety of massage modalities. To give our readers insight into different types of massage, we have written on trigger point therapy, cranio-sacral therapy, and Thai massage. Today we’re looking into Tui Na, a Chinese form of manipulative therapy.

Introducing Tui Na: Ancient Chinese Massage Therapy

Tui Na features some manual methods found Western massage styles, but adds acupressure to remove blockages in muscles and energy pathways (called Meridians in Chinese medicine). This massage approach dates back thousands of years to ancient China. It may be used in tandem with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

One receiving a Tui Na massage would experience rhythmic compression along meridian channels to free the flow of Qi (life energy). Manual techniques in Tui Na may include kneading, tapotement, gliding, rolling, shaking, pulling, and creating friction. Massage clients who receive Tui Na often feel relaxed and also energized at the end of their session.

Benefits of Tui Na

–Can relieve pain in hips, back, neck, ankles, shoulders, arms, legs, and elsewhere.
–May also alleviate stress disorders such as insomnia, constipation, and headaches.
–Improves overall balance in mental and physical well being.
–Can help patients avoid the side effects of pharmaceutical drug treatments by relieving pain through manual methods.

Want to become a massage therapist? Know that successful careers in massage therapy often involve specialization in a certain massage approach. Some LMTs succeed through specialization in Tui Na, while others may use Tui Na as a compliment to Western massage styles, such as Swedish massage. Ultimately, the massage therapist with a range of healing tools to pick from will succeed in delighting and healing clients.
If you’d like to get a personal feel for Tui Na, we recommend booking an appointment through our on-campus massage clinic. Our alumni massage therapists can deliver an effective, refreshing Tui Na massage to give you insight into how this therapy works.