Chinese TuiNa | Know The What, How, Benefits And Uses

Georg Rath
Reading Time: 4 min

This article talks about: TuiNa (or Tui Na)- the Chinese massage | What is it? | How does it work? | TuiNa procedure | Benefits | Precautions

Tui-Na (Chinese 推拿, Pinyin tuīná – “pressing and grasping”) is an independent Chinese massage form. It is one of the five main pillars of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that includes Chinese herbal therapy, acupuncture, Chinese dietetics, the massage therapy Tui Na, and the movement therapies Qigong and Tai Chí-Quan

It has been in use for more than 2000 years. In ancient China, the “high art of physical touch” helped heal and alleviate ailments, and only experts performed the therapy. Today, Chinese Massage TuiNa not only treats existing illnesses but also prevents diseases.

What does TuiNa mean?

Tui Na is composed of the Chinese words tui (推’ push’) and na (拿’ grasp, pull’). The Wellness Tui-Na prevents and reduces negative stress and regulates the whole body’s functional system to harmonise the soul and body. You can actually trace it back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.C.)

Manual pulling, stretching, grasping and pinching form the four main techniques of Chinese massage and are used in healing and treating various conditions. You can also perform Tui Na as part of self-treatment.

How does Tui Na work?

Tui-Na is based on the teachings of TCM on human health and illness. So, what happens when a person gets massage therapy? The various manual techniques (push-pull) regulates the “Qì” and “Xuè” (氣血 / 气血 – “essence and blood”) in the local as well as in the whole body energy bands. 

One of the founding principles of TCM is that where there is pain, there is no circulation, and where there is circulation, there is no pain. There should not be any blockages to energy flow in the body.

The “flowing energy” is called Qi. Chinese Tuina is used to dissolve blockages in the energy pathways, promote energy flow, and influence organs. The stimulation restores Yin and Yang balance and regulates the functional circuit of the Five Elements in the body.

Tui-Na Chinese massage - what is it, how does it work, benefits, and uses

Massage procedure

The medical massage TuiNa takes into account the basics of traditional Chinese medicine and works by manipulating the joints.

As mentioned earlier, the term Tui-Na refers to pushing, rubbing and pulling. The massage therapist applies pressure on the various acupuncture points (xuéwèi, 穴位) with the fingers, fist, elbow or knee depending on the pressure requirements of treatment. 

Massaging also involves manual energy band regulations such as rolling, pushing, rubbing, tapping, grasping, and pinching. The therapist uses mobilisation and stretching techniques on the joints and muscles. 

Massage therapy thus includes impulse-generating, manipulative treatments and independent forms of exercise such as isometric exercises. There are a total of 18 basic grips and around 300 individual grips.

Also Read: Fennel In TCM – Know How To Use

How is it different from acupuncture?

Like acupuncture, the Chinese TuiNa massage also harmonises and balances the energy flow. Both massage therapy and acupuncture are done on the pressure points of the body. However, acupuncture uses thin needles while massaging is done with fingers, hands, elbow, or knee. Also, unlike acupuncture, the entire meridian is integrated into massage therapy. 

The meridian system is a network of meridians that connects various acupuncture points. Energy flows through each of the meridians. Twelve principal meridians connect different organ systems that further extend to eight collaterals.

Also Read: Acupuncture FAQs – All You Need To Know

Benefits of Chinese massage TuiNa

As the Chinese massage aims at promoting harmony in your body and balances energy in the body, it effectively regenerates the physical and mental powers. It also offers your body and soul a moment of calm, relaxing, and preventive health treatment. 

Besides, the Chinese Tui-Na massage strengthens the Wei-Energy, which is the one that supports your immune system. Thus the therapy not only can heal various conditions but also can enhance immunity, thus preventing you from illnesses, especially significant in the times of COVID-19 pandemic!

A few benefits TuiNa offers are:
  • Relief from pain and cramps
  • Relax muscles and tendons
  • Stimulate blood circulation
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Harmonise Yin and Yang
  • Harmonise states of deficiency and fullness within the body
  • Promote the flow of energy
To be more specific, the following are certain conditions the Chinese massage TuiNa can treat:
  • Back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Insomnia
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Sciatica
  • Constipation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Stress

Also Read: Arthritis Pain Relief | 6 Amazing Natural Remedies You Must Try


You need not take any precautions before opting for massage therapy because it is harmless. 

However, there are various techniques employed; while some like yin techniques are gentle and passive, some like yang techniques are strong and dynamic. 

In such cases, you may not feel the experience relaxing, and you may also get bruises. But, you will see results. 

So, if you are not bothered about some physical discomfort, you need not shy away from this wonderful complementary medical procedure.

The Final word

The Chinese TuiNa is an ancient therapy that promises cure and general health to a being. Besides, the massage does not produce adverse effects on you. Hence, when in pain or discomfort, you can go for a massage. Following it up, you can self-massage and enjoy long-lasting health.

Images: | Edited by love4wellness

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