Tui-Na combines acupressure, clinical massage, and manipulation of the body and energy points to eliminate pains and aches, to promote the harmonious flow of energy, and to encourage natural healing. Direct contact with the skin is essential for the Tui-Na practitioner to detect what is underneath the skin; to determine the condition of the body, its temperature, tenderness, changes in color; to test blood and Qi flow or obstruction; and to promote and transfer energy to the patient. No oils are used during treatment.
There are circumstances in which Tui-Na is carried out with the patient fully clothed. Such practice includes working in the street or in the workplace, which is very common in China. This kind of Tui-Na offers temporary relaxation and is not designed to treat any serious or specific problems as in a clinical setting. This is an increasingly popular form of Tui-Na being taught and practiced in the West and is known as chair massage. The knowledge needed to practice this form is minimal and training less rigorous.
Whether practicing inside or outside of the clinic, Tui-Na does not always advise treating pain with more pain. The common saying “no pain, no gain” is not a principle of Tui-Na. Pain is the body’s warning signal, not a method of treatment. Sometimes causing more pain may create new problems and prolong the healing process. The feeling of pressure and tension on the pressure points is regarded as energy stimulation, not pain. The method of treatment will be determined by how the condition was created and how it manifests itself.
The Curative Factors
The quality of the systematic massage includes pushing clockwise or anti-clockwise, upwards or downwards, and pushing long or short distances while following either the energy flowing route of a channel or going in the opposite direction.
The effectiveness of the massage on the manipulated locations - energy points, injury site, meridian channels and collaterals - depends on the motion and intensity of the massage. The desired effect on the body (reinforcement or elimination) will depend on the motion and intensity of the massage: slow and lasting movements, quick and short movements, or gentle or deeper pressure.
The aim of manipulation is to stimulate and increase action in an organism so to unblock and promote circulation, restore and treat injured soft tissues, and correct deformity and abnormal location of bones and tendons. The dynamic wave signals of the manipulation reflexively influence both physiological and emotional aspects; this is accomplished through the energy points of the meridians and collaterals. Above all, the main principle of Tui-Na is to balance Yin and Yang, harmonizing the spirit of mind and body.
The Bare Hands Doctor - Master Tim Wong