Tui Na (acupressure) is one of the branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along with acupuncture, herbal medicine and Qi Gong. It is a form of medical massage based around the acupuncture points and channels. A number of well-respected Eastern philosophies teach that when Qi is slow, stagnant, or out of balance, it leads to less than perfect health, and eventually disease. Many forms of Eastern medicine such as acupuncture, Shiatsu and Tui Na, are techniques used to re-establish balance, or to improve the flow of Qi.
Instead of inserting needles into the body, pressure is applied to particular areas. The most common method is to use the fingertips, but sometimes, elbows, fists, feet or special tools may be used, which stimulates the flow of Qi and restores harmony. The pressure varies, depending on the part of the body being treated. It may be light, firm, or applied with accompanying vibration or tapping.
A Tui Na treatment typically happens whilst the person is still clothed. The technique dates back over 2,000 years and is used extensively in China to treat internal conditions as well as musculoskeletal issues. By working on the energy (or Qi) level it is effective at treating the underlying cause and can benefit conditions such as headache, anxiety, insomnia, digestive disorders, circulatory and gynaecological problems, or as a general massage to promote wellbeing and relaxation.