Tuina dates back to the Shang Dynasty of China, 1700 B.C.E. Oracle bones show that tuina massage was used to treat children's diseases and digestive complaints in adults. By 600 C.E. Tuina was included in the Imperial Medical College as a separate department. Tuina flourished throughout China until the Qing Dynasty where it was suppressed along with other Chinese cultural arts. Following the Communist revolution, Tuina was restored along with other traditional medical arts and was included in the creation of the current system of Traditional Medicine Colleges.
Tuina is an Oriental Bodywork Therapy that has been used in China for 2,000 years. Tuina uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tuina seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body the naturally heal itself.
Tuina methods include the use of hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, acupressure techniques to directly affect the flow of Qi , and manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships (bone-setting). External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.
Tuina is well suited for the treatment of specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems. Effective treatment protocols have been tested in a practical setting. Tuina is not especially useful for those seeking a mild, sedating and relaxing massage since it tends to be more task focused than other types of bodywork. Contraindications include conditions involving fractures, phlebitis, infectious conditions, open wounds, and lesions.