There are a lot of different styles and types of massages out there to choose from these days. Most people, especially in the U.S., are familiar with the traditional Western modalities of Swedish and Deep Tissue. If you looked into the background of massage therapy, you will find that massage was first documented back in Asia thousands of years ago. Massage was part of the overall principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to promote overall health, wellness, and balance.
The Chinese Massage is known as Tui Na. Tui means “to push” and Na means “to grab or squeeze” in Chinese. In following the bodywork principles of TCM, Tui Na works along the Meridians (energy channels) and on focused Qi (“chee”) points (also called acupressure points) to break up stagnation and bring the body and mind back into balance and harmony. Many of the soft tissue techniques used in a Tui Na session include grabbing, squeezing, compression, rubbing, and kneading. Joint manipulation techniques are also incorporated into the session, which include shaking, jostling, joint rotations, pushing and pulling, and stretching. The combination the techniques create a relaxing and vigorous treatment.
Most Tui Na Massage sessions last between 30 to 60 minutes long and are usually a focused treatment for the condition at hand for the client. Traditionally the client remains clothed, wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothes and is either lying on a massage table or seated upright. Tui Na can also be incorporated into a regular massage session, using proper draping.
Some benefits of Tui Na include:
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.