Tui na is a form of Chinese Medical Physical Therapy. This ancient hands-on body treatment uses Chinese Taoist and martial art principals in an effort to achieve energetic balance and good health.
The Tui na practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press, and rub the areas between each of the joints to attempt to stimulate the body's defenses and get the energy moving in the meridians and the muscles. The practitioner can then use range of motion techniques, traction and massage along with the stimulation of acupuncture points. These techniques aid in the treatment of both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many-non-musculoskeletal conditions.
Tui na is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is taught as part of formal training in Oriental Medicine. Many East Asian Martial Arts schools also teach Tui na to their advanced students for the treatment and management of injury due to training and sparring regimens. In ancient China, medical therapy was often classified as either "external" or "internal" treatment. Tui na was considered to be one of the external methods and especially suited for use on the elderly population, people with disabilities, small children and infants.
As many other traditional Chinese medical practices, there are several different schools with greater or smaller differences in their approach to the discipline. Some of the offspring of Tui na are Chinese Massage, or "Anma", Acupressure Massage and Japanese Shiatsu.