Origin of tui na massage (Chinese massage)
Tui na massage, commonly known as Chinese massage, is one of the branches of chinese medicine, with pharmacopoeia, dietetics, acupuncture and qigong. Chinese medicine has been recognized by the World Health Organization.
The terms “tui” (push) and “na” (grab) correspond to the two most used manipulations in Chinese massage. It is also sometimes called “an mo”, in reference to the two techniques “an” (pressing) and “mo” (rubbing), hence the name massage tui na an mo.
The term “traditional Chinese medicine” has been abandoned by experts around the world for the term “Chinese medicine” closer to the term used in Chinese. However, it is still used by official bodies or in the press.
Principle of tui na massage (Chinese massage)
In Chinese medicine, the Qi (also called “Breath” or “Vital Energy”) is one of the five Vital Substances circulating in the body through the meridians. The other four substances being Blood, Body Fluids, Spirits and Essences. These Substances serve for maintain the balance of the organism, which is expressed in Chinese medicine in theharmony of Yin and Yang life forces.
Tui na massage is a massage therapy technique designed to harmonize Qi energy. It is based on over thirty fundamental manipulations of the whole body, with many variations classified according to their shape, strength and function.
Chinese massage is based on a precise understanding of the body’s energy mechanisms and on the variety of maneuvers available to the therapist.
Why consult a tui na masseur?
Tui na massage is used in China for preventive and therapeutic purposes for multiple applications, including wellness and relaxation.
The following indications are therefore taken from a traditional use of the chinese massage :
- revitalize the whole body and stimulate the body’s immune defenses;
- relieve common ailments such as migraine, constipation or the common cold;
- relieve musculoskeletal conditions such as joint pain or muscle damage;
- help people fight anxiety and stress states;
- relax the whole body as a relaxing massage.
Chinese massage is also recommended in pediatrics because it is considered less traumatic than acupuncture for children.
The Chinese tui na massage is a complete and dynamic massage of the whole body. As a rule, the massage follows the acupuncture meridians, joints and reflex zones of the body. The practitioner uses different maneuvers, dispersing or toning, as in acupuncture. It can also act on an area in direct or indirect relation with a precisely identified painful area.
Let us quote for example three techniques used during the Chinese massage:
- the gunfa or “roller”: a rotating massage that acts on soft tissues and treats joint and muscle injuries;
- the zhenfa: a vibratory technique to energize the Qi and therefore the patient’s body;
- acupressure which stimulates acupuncture points by pressure with the fingers, hand or elbow.
Contraindications to Chinese massage tui na
Like any type of massage therapy, tui na massage is contraindicated in cases of fever, recent wounds, infection, acute inflammation or bruising.
Chinese massage should also be practiced with caution in cases of circulatory or cardiac disorders and in cases of diabetes.
In pregnant women, the practitioner should avoid massaging the San Yin Jiao point (kidney and spleen toning point) or using dispersing massages in the lower abdomen and lower back.
There are two ways to get a tui na massage prescribed:
- the prescription comes from a Chinese medicine practitioner, at the end of an energy balance, and often in addition to another technique (acupuncture, pharmacopoeia, etc.).
- you have made an appointment on your own: the masseur chosen will carry out the same type of assessment as the practitioner in Chinese medicine, in order to establish a list of your needs.
This massage is performed on a massage table, on a mat on the floor or on a suitable seat. The patient remains most of the time dressed, unless the practitioner has to apply pressure directly to the skin.
According to the preliminary assessment, the practitioner establishes a therapeutic strategy. He then performs a number of massage maneuvers as needed: stretching, mobilization and work on acupuncture points. Ten to twenty manipulations are performed during a session.
At the end of the massage, the patient generally emerges relaxed and relaxed. After a few days, he may feel great fatigue related to the rebalancing of his Qi. These inconveniences are completely normal and disappear in the days that follow.
The tui na massage is an integral part of the therapeutic tools available to the practitioner in Chinese medicine. However, its use is not exclusively reserved for this profession.
Legally, physiotherapists are the only ones authorized in France to perform a so-called therapeutic massage. They can therefore offer tui na massage, provided they have been trained in the practice. However, this Chinese massage is often considered a wellness massage. Chinese medicine practitioners and beauticians can therefore practice it.
In France, teaching in Chinese medicine is free. As a result, not all training is the same. In addition, no diploma or certificate obtained abroad has legal value in our country.
Under these conditions, it is essential to refer to the complementary directories of organizations bringing together professionals in Chinese medicine:
– Independent Union of Traditional Acupuncturists and Chinese Energy Therapists : classification by department and addresses of the three main French centers in Chinese medicine;
– French Union of Traditional Chinese Medicine Professionals, which brings together practitioners, teachers, schools, training center;
You can also request the list of practitioners affiliated with the National Federation of Traditional Chinese Medicine by sending an email to [email protected] or by tel. at 33 (0) 950 304 870.
The practitioners mentioned in these directories must meet the criteria set by the organization and sign a charter of ethics and professional conduct.
Duration and price of a tui na Chinese massage session
The Chinese massage lasts between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, at a cost varying from 50 to 80 euros.
The tui na massage is not reimbursed by Social Security, but some mutuals offer specific reimbursement packages for alternative medicine, over the year or per act, generally corresponding to 4 times 40 euros per year.
Learn more about tui na massage (Chinese massage)
To read :
– Chinese massage tui na or the silk hand, Christophe Labigne, ed. Du Dauphin: a book to discover the techniques and applications of tui na massage through the study of 30 fundamental maneuvers.
– Tui na, massage therapy, Weizhong Sun, Arne Kapner, ed. Maloine: illustrated with numerous diagrams and photos, it is the ideal manual for students or practitioners in tui na.
– Practice of Chinese massage, know your own acupuncture points, You-Wa Chen, ed. Marabout: a book explaining the different energy points on which you can act by yourself.
Sites of organizations bringing together Chinese medicine professionals
And also: the Philippe Sionneau website, researcher, author, teacher, he is the first French to have obtained an official state diploma from the People’s Republic of China allowing him to practice in any Chinese hospital.