TUI NA - THE ART OF MASSAGE
Tui Na, literally Pushing and Seizing, refers to the massage techniques used in Tradition Chinese Medicine. It would be more accurate to use the term Shou Fa, the Methods of the Hand. There are actually many techniques using the fingers, palms, wrists, elbows, feet, but the hand techniques are the most used.
The core movements behind the massage techniques come from daily life activities : pushing, pressing, pointing, rubbing, seizing, holding. Although these are natural methods, as with the other practices of our School they should be trained according to a rigorous process, so that the practitioner can be released of his tensions and thus give an effective treatment. Spontaneous movements, devoid of precise techniques and methods, cannot be called Tui Na. In order to heal the body or to treat any imbalance, it is vital to choose the appropriate techniques, and of course to be able to apply them to get the effect intended.
The great strength of Tui Na lies in its capacity to heal a wide range of pathologies affecting the physical structure, the organs or our emotion balance. This includes tendinous-muscular tension, visceral dysfunctions, circulatory problems, and stress.
Each technique can be practiced, following the Yin and Yang principles of Daoist metaphysics, with softness or strength, and for tonifying the deficient energy or dispersing the pathogenic energy. It is traditionally said that the perfect massage combines accurately chosen techniques from the therapist’s diagnosis, which will be applied in harmony with the patient’s body, and with the appropriate strength.
A good massage is the perfect combination of techniques with well applied force. For a massage to have good effects, the Qi has to go deep inside the patient, without hurting the surface. To get to this level, we have four aspects: duration, force, regularity and flexibility.
DURATION – There are two aspects for duration:
- The masseur should be able to apply a technique for a certain amount of time, without stopping, while keeping the same pressure and rhythm.
- When massage is applied to the same spot, the masseur has to stay long enough for the patient to feel the Qi (relaxation, heat, etc). We must not change place too fast.
FORCE – The general rule is that the patient should feel the Qi without any discomfort.
REGULARITY – during the process, we must keep a certain regularity with the movements, both on pressure and rhythm
FLEXIBILITY – all the Chinese massage technics should be applied with flexibility. This is very important for both the patient and the masseur.
For a good massage, technique is the key for success, and a reasonable and harmonious force is the basis for deploying the technique. In the Yi Zong Jin Jian, the Golden Mirror of Medicine, it is said: ‘in massage practice, a good technique is visible from the outside, but the true marvel comes from the inside. If the hand works following the heart’s will, then the proper method will be applied by the hand.’
To become a good masseur, one should meditate those golden words.
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