Is Tui Na Massage Painful?

Is Tui Na Massage Painful?

As the primary health and wellness specialist at FindItHealth, I’m here to discuss Tui Na Massage and its effects. This type of deep tissue massage takes its origins from Traditional Chinese medicine to unblock meridians and improve energy pathways. This type of massage is studied by many peer reviewed journals and found to be effective.

But afterwards, many people would feel some level of physical pain. This soreness is typical and shouldn’t raise any red flags. It can even be a sign of a recovery process. Overall, Tui Na can be quite helpful for your health concerns. For additional information on what to anticipate from this therapeutic massage, please continue reading. 

Tui Na Massage Pain

Although Tui Na massage might be painful, it is usually thought to be a safe procedure that the body can handle.

It’s common to experience some discomfort during or after a treatment, and minor bruising may even develop.

Tui Na massage is used for treating pain and illness and maintaining good health. The massage techniques it employs are very helpful in treating diseases and injuries involving the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, as well as stress reduction, relaxation, and deeper sleep.


Why Tui Na Massage Can Be Painful

Although Tui Na massage is meant to be therapeutic and calming, there are a few reasons why it could occasionally hurt:

  • Deep tissue manipulation – To reach deeper levels of muscles and connective tissues, the therapist uses techniques including rolling, kneading, and stretching. Occasionally, this deep pressure may make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you have sensitive skin or tense muscles underneath.
  • Blockages and imbalances – Tui Na massage aims to address these imbalances by applying pressure to specific points and meridians outlined in traditional Chinese massage therapy. The massage may occasionally be difficult or painful as the therapist attempts to relieve serious blockages or tensions.
  • Muscular tension and knots – Tui Na massage can be uncomfortable as the practitioner attempts to release knotted and tight muscles. Applying pressure to release them could make these places feel uncomfortable because they might be delicate and sensitive. However, once the tension is released, the discomfort felt during the massage frequently gives way to relaxation.
  • Sensitivity or injury – People who are particularly sensitive to pressure or touch may find that receiving a Tui Na massage hurts more than usual. Additionally, if you have an existing injury or inflammation in a particular area, massage techniques can aggravate the condition and cause pain.
  • Personal preferences and tolerance – Each person has a different pain threshold. What one person may find unpleasant may be acceptable or even enjoyable to another. When receiving a deep tissue massage like Tui Na, the amount of pain you feel will depend on your pain threshold.


Likelihood Of Tui Na Massage Pain

If you suffer from any of the following conditions, a Tuina massage session can be more painful for you have:

  • Acute injuries – It is advised to hold off on getting a Tui Na massage while your acute injury is still healing if you recently suffered from a sprain, strain, fracture, or any other type of acute injury.
  • Open wounds or skin infections – It is best to avoid any type of massage if you have wounds or infections until those areas have healed.
  • Severe or contagious illnesses – It is advised to postpone getting a Tui Na massage until you are well enough to do so if you have a serious disease, such as a high fever, the flu, or another dangerous infection.
  • Certain medical conditions – If you have medical conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis, osteoporosis, cancer, severe cardiovascular conditions, or bleeding disorders, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before receiving Tui Na massage.
  • Pregnancy – While Tui Na massage can be beneficial during pregnancy, it is important to seek the assistance of a massage therapist who specializes in prenatal massage.



Following Tui Na, bruising or skin discoloration is brought on by blood accumulating beneath the skin or within the muscles. The pressure used during a massage causes the fragile blood vessels to rupture.


Is Tui Na Good For Back Pain?

As mentioned, Tui Na is often used as a therapeutic modality to address musculoskeletal disorders, including back pain.

Here are a few reasons why Tui Na massage can be helpful for back pain:

  • Promotes blood circulation – Techniques used in Tui Na massage promote healing and lessen the discomfort by increasing blood flow and delivering vital nutrients and oxygen to the area.
  • Relieves muscle tension – Tui Na massage techniques use deep pressure, stretching, and manipulation to relieve tension in the muscles, encourage relaxation, and energy flow.
  • Stimulates acupressure points – Tui Na massage can assist in restoring balance, enhancing life energy, and relieving acute or chronic pain by concentrating on certain spots related to the back and its corresponding organs.
  • Enhances flexibility and range of motion – The soft tissues and joints are stretched and mobilized during Tui Na massage to relieve pain brought on by stiffness and restricted movement.
  • Holistic approach – Back discomfort may include both physical and mental health or energetic abnormalities, which are all addressed during treatment. Tui Na massage can enhance general well-being and help the body’s natural healing processes since it takes into account the entire person.

The Pain Gait Theory is frequently held responsible for the therapeutic effects of massages like Tuin Na. In this theory, nerve fibers that carry pain impulses are inhibited and unable to reach the spinal cord area and the brain cannot interpret pain.

Lower back pain depends on many causes. The majority of patients report heavy pain in the low back region that radiates to the buttock area when performing certain activities like walking and sitting. In severe cases of nerve root compression, pain radiates from the back of the lower limbs depending on which specific nerve is affected. Due to strain on the nerves, the symptoms frequently include numbness, tingling, and weakness.


The researchers at Find It Health had collated the information to give you a gist of a usual Tui Na session. After a Tui Na session, it’s crucial to look after your body and give it time for the healing process so that any pain can be relieved. The following are suggestions on what to do following a Tui Na session:

  • After your Tui Na treatment, make sure to refresh your body by drinking lots of water. Toxins and metabolic waste can be released by massage treatments, and drinking water can help your body flush them out.
  • Give yourself some time to rest and unwind, after the session. Take it easy and refrain from strenuous activity right after the massage to give your body time to adjust to the effects.
  • Applying heat or cold therapy to the treated regions may be an option, depending on your therapist’s recommendations and your particular needs.
  • Engage in gentle stretching and movement to maintain flexibility and enhance energy channels.

It’s important to remember that each individual will experience Tui Na massage differently. Some individuals may feel immediate relief, while others may experience a delayed response as the body continues to adjust and heal. Listen to your body, pay attention to any post-massage sensations, and consult with your therapist if you have any persistent discomfort or unusual reactions.

Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches