Tuina massage was originated in China and is one of the four main branches of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s based on the theory that imbalances of qi, which is the body’s vital life force or energy, can cause blockages or imbalances that lead to symptoms such as pain and illness.
Tuina massage stimulates the flow of qi to promote balance and harmony within the body using many of the same principles of acupuncture. It’s similar to acupuncture in the way it targets specific acupoints, but therapists use fingers instead of needles to apply pressure to stimulate these points. This massage use also the same energetic meridians and acupoints to balance the qi and blood in the body, leading to better health. Qi that’s flowing incorrectly can cause blockages, such as poor blood circulation in the affected area.
The main therapeutic goal of this massage is to remove the energetic blockages that are causing qi stagnation. During a session, therapists use oscillating and pressure techniques that differ in force and speed. Tuina massage can be done as a stronger deep-tissue massage or a more gentle, energetic treatment. Depending on the specific patient’s need, various techniques will be used in a session. Tuina massage uses massage techniques such as acupressure, myofascial release, and reflexology.
Sara Pires Aparício specializes in this therapy.