Tui Na like acupuncture and herbal medicine, has been effectively used to cure disease in China for some 4000 years. The name Tui Na comes from from the Chinese and conveys the vigorous nature of this hands on healing system. ''Tui'' means ''push while ''Na'' means ''grasp''. A Tui na practitioner treats conditions that in the West would require an Osteopath, Chiropractor, Physiotherpist or Sports therapist.
It is more effective than any one of these since it works not only on muscles and joints, but on Channels, Acupoints and pain relief points affecting the flow of vital life energy in the body.
Tui Na follows the fundamental rule of Chinese Medicine, namely, that ''to cure disease, you must cure it's root''.
A Tui Na treatment
Tui na is physically demanding for both the giver and receiver. At first the receiver may find some of Tui Na techniques uncomfortable initially, but they should never cause unbearable pain. After a vigorous kneading and pushing, the tissues and muscles will fell both pleasantly relaxed and invigorating.
Tui na provides complete stimulation of the body's entire musculo-skeletal system, as well as all the internal organs. Since it rebalances Qi and Blood, the mind and the emotions will also be affected. Tui Na may be applied to treat many disorders such as: back and neck pain, joint pains, arthritis, sports injuries, repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, lack of energy, constipation, period pains, stress..........
In most cases a Tui Na treatment leaves the recipient feeling enlivened, happy and sparkling with energy. However, in common with other forms of deep massage, Tui Na can sometimes release blocked emotional energy, with the effect that the receiver may feel 'weepy' or emotional after the massage, or perhaps a day or two later.
The Channel system
The system consists of 12 regular Channels, 8 extra Channels, and some collaterals. The most commonlyused are called the Regular Channels and two of the extra Channels - Du & Ren.
The Regular Channels are distributed symmetrically on both sides of the body. They connect to each other to form a continuous circuit. Each Regular Channel also connects with one of the internal Viscera. The Channel system serves to integrate the Viscera, limbs, and all other parts of the body including the bones, muscles, tendons, and skin into one whole. The Channels also help to Balance the Yin and Yang of the Viscera.
If any of the Six Evils or the Seven Extreme Emotions invade the body, or if there is a problem with any of the Viscera, the Channels will be disturbed and Qi-Blood flow disturbed. This is referred to as Channel blockage, or Qi-Blood stagnation. The Channels and Viscera may lose the balance of Yin and Yang. Chanel disturbance may be manifested in certain parts of the body as external signs and symptoms of disease such as pain.
The word ''Acupoint'' in Chinese means a small hole for Qi. Hundreds of acupoints lie along the course of the Channel, and they help to transmit Qi and Blood through the Channels. They are closely related to the Viscera, and to all parts of the body, and they reflect physiological and pathological changes in the body. Acupoints are massaged to regulate Qi-Blood flow and the functioning of the Viscera.
There are two types of acupoints: the normal acupoints, which lie on the regular Channels, and on the Du and Ren Channels, and the extra-ordinary acupoints, which are not located on a Channel. In addition, there are some points, known as pain-relief points, which can be classified either as normal acupoint or as extraordinary acupoints. Pain-relief points, as their name suggests have the specific function of relieving pain in certain parts of the body. The central point of an area of pain, known as the pain-pressure point, is also a type of pain-relief point.
Qi and Blood
Two essential substances, namely Qi and Blood, are needed to support life. Qi in a narrow sense, refers to vital energy - the primary motive force of ll the activities of life. Qi has two fundamental functions - to nourish the body, and to protect it from external damage. It is usually accompanied by blood.
Qi and Blood support and complement each other: Blood need Qi to keep it moving, and Qi needs blood to generate it. According to Chinese Medicine, ''Qi is the leader of Blood, and Blood is the mother of Qi''. Qi and Blood circulate together through the Channels as ''Qi-Blood flow''. In normal healthy conditions, Qi-Blood should flow smoothly. However, if the flow is disturbed, Qi and Blood stagnate in the channels and block them, which sometimes causes pain.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the term Viscera refers to three groups of organs: the Zang organs, which are Yin; the Fu organs, which are Yang; and the Extraordinary organs.
The Viscera are linked by the Channel system.
The Viscera has a wider meaning in Chinese Medicine than organs do in the Western thinking. For example, in Chinese Medicine the kidney is responsible not only for water metabolism, but also for providing a link between sources of energy and growth, the bones and the brain.
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Yin and Yang
According to Chinese thinking, all life arises from the interaction of two complementary yet opposite forces:Yin and Yang.
The Yin and Yang principle is the basis of the therory and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Everything in the universe has Yin and Yang characteristics. For example, all aspects of the human body can be divided into Yin and Yang, and when in full health the two forces are in perfect balance.
Yin and Yang are in constant interaction: each has no existence on its own, but only in relationship to the other. A good analogy is the relationship between day and night. To define night you must have day; day changes into night and night changes into day, in a continual process of transformation.
''Yin and Yang are the laws of heaven and earth, the great framework of everything, the parents of change, the root and the beginning of life and death''.
Traditional Chinese medicine tells us that there are Six Evils, or external pathogenic factors, that can upset Qi-Blood flow.
They are: Wind, Cold, Summer Heat, Damp, Dryness and Fire.
Normally our bodies can adapt to small changes in these factors, but if one or more are in excess, or in short supply, Qi disturbance and stagnation may occur.
Seven Extreme Emotions
Stagnation can also result from internal pathogenic factors, such as an irregular lifestyle, exhaustion, and an excess of the Seven Extreme Emotions.
These are: over-excitement, anxiety, anger, worry, grief, fear and shock.