Tui Na Medical Massage


Tui Na (推拿), meaning to push and to grasp, is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy and one of the four main modalities of Chinese medicine. It is one of the oldest forms of medical systems in the world, and is largely used in place of Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, and Chiropractic in China. Tui Na (推拿) utilises a combination of massage, joint manipulations, assisted stretching and acupressure in order to facilitate the body’s own healing. Guided by Daoist and Chinese medicine concepts, Tui Na (推拿) can be used to treat both external (musculoskeletal) and internal (non-musculoskeletal) conditions.

Students on the course will begin by studying the classical hand techniques of Tui Na (推拿) massage. These methods are used to invigorate the Blood and Qi (氣) of the body in an effort to clear stagnation and harmonise the strength of the meridians. Beyond this there are manipulations of the joints as well as the pressing of meridian points to begin alleviating disharmonies across the body.

Much of the first year of the Chinese medicine Diploma course is taught through the modality of Tui Na (推拿) massage. The reason for this is that it gives students a chance to really get ‘hands on’ experience of the body and to learn how to connect with feel each of the meridian pathways. Learning the various meridian points through Tui Na (推拿) gives an experiential method of understanding the meridian system rather than simply learning the pathways through books and this matches the Daoist belief that ‘experience outweighs theory’.

Many practitioners treat Tui Na (推拿) massage as an adjunct to their Acupuncture treatments whereas in reality it should be a potential tool used in the treatment of many conditions. Students will begin learning Tui Na (推拿) right from the beginning of the course and then continue to develop their manual skills as the three years continue. As with anything we teach at Xiantian, we believe that real skill takes time and repetition. because of this ethos, we introduce Tui Na skills early on in a new students training and then continue to develop these skills as the years progress.

Students study Tui Na methods with the following five virtues in mind. Classically a student has attained Gong (skill) when they can attain and internalise the following qualities:

  • Continual/lasting
  • Powerful/forceful
  • Evenly/uniformly
  • Softly
  • Thoroughly/deeply

Tui Na training includes:

  1. Effective diagnostic skills
  2. Medical massage techniques
  3. Acupressure
  4. Joint loosening and manipulation methods
  5. Contact skills – understanding the Feng Shui of the body
  6. Tui Na Qi Gong – extension of Qi and Yi