What is Tui Na Massage?

What is Tui Na Massage?

As the head of the Wellness Coach Team at FindItHealth.com, I aim to provide in-depth research on Tui Na massage and its benefits.

Tui Na massage is a unique technique in Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves kneading and stretching specific points to balance the flow of Qi (energy) through the body. Like acupuncture, it is essential for restoring health and well-being.

Our research team at FindItHealth.com shines a light on the history and use of Tui Na massage, its methods, and its technique.

Tui Na Massage

Tui Na massage is an ancient form of Chinese Massage Therapy that can be traced back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD).

The concept behind the practice of Tui Na is that the body has an interconnected system of channels through which energy flows. It aims to balance and streamline the harmonious flow of the vital energy Qi for optimal health and well-being.  


How It Works

The ancient art of Tui Na, which translates to push and grasp,” involves a combination of massage techniques that work by manipulating the body’s acupoints, muscles, and joints.

Tui Na relieves stress, reduces pain, and enhances circulation by applying pressure, rubbing, kneading, and stretching.

It stimulates the body’s meridian system, allowing vital energy or Qi to flow freely and clear obstructions along the meridians.

Acupoint Stimulation

Acupoint stimulation in Tui Na massage involves specific techniques and processes. The therapist applies targeted pressure, kneading, or rubbing motions to the acupoints along the body’s meridians.

The therapist uses skilled hands and fingers to locate and precisely manipulate these acupoints, promoting the smooth flow of Qi and restoring balance. 

Other techniques such as tapping or gentle stretching may also be incorporated to enhance the effectiveness of acupoint stimulation. This focused and intentional approach to stimulating acupoints is a key element of Tui Na massage’s healing process. Unlike Tui Na which has no overt signs, cupping marks take some time to disappear.

Qi Flow Restoration

By applying pressure to specific acupoints along the meridians, Tui Na massage aims to remove blockages and restore the balance of Qi in the body. This stimulation also triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers made by our bodies, and promote pain relief and relaxation

Additionally, Tui Na massage promotes blood circulation, which is closely linked to Qi flow. Improved circulation ensures that nutrients and oxygen reach the body’s tissues and organs, restoring fertility, supporting the optimal function of the body’s systems, and promoting Qi flow.

The combination of different massage techniques and the stimulation of the body’s acupoints results in smooth circulation of the Qi. This effect contributes to the overall healing and rejuvenating benefits to the body.

Pain Relief and Relaxation

Tui Na massage has a regulatory effect on the nervous system, influencing both the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses. It calms the body’s stress response and provides a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

By stimulating the meridian system, promoting circulation, and balancing Qi, Tui Na massage offers a wide range of benefits.

These include relieving pain due to spinal stenosis, relaxing tense muscles, and enhancing overall well-being. 



The wide range of manipulation techniques used in Tui Na, in combination with acupuncture, is as follows:

Tui (Push)

The therapist applies pressure by pushing the different meridians of energy with their palms, knuckles, and elbows. This method improves blood circulation and the flow of energy or Qi through the energy channels. 

Na (Grasp)

The therapist pulls or squeezes the muscles and soft tissues, thereby releasing muscle knots and tension. This method is a great way of getting rid of muscle spasms and tight muscles.

An (Press)

This method is used to press out any energy blockages that may have formed along the meridians. The pressure applied by the therapist can be complemented with acupressure techniques.  

Mo (Rubbing)

Rubbing in a circular or back-and-forth motion can be a way for the therapist to help with a variety of conditions including chronic neck pain. 

Cuo (Friction)

Quo, also known as friction, is a vital technique that involves applying pressure and circular movements to specific areas of the body, creating heat and stimulating blood circulation. By targeting acupoints and problem areas, Tui Na therapists utilize this technique to reduce muscle tension and promote the healing process.


Tui Na Therapy

Tuina therapy sessions are carefully created to offer patients a customized course of care that addresses their particular requirements.

Consultation and Assessment

The first step to a proper Tui Na therapy session is getting a consultation from a professional and trained Tui Na therapist. During this consultation, the therapist assesses the client’s health concerns, medical history, and specific needs. This helps the therapist customize the massage for the client’s unique needs and requirements.

Approaches and Methods

Following the consultation, the client typically reclines on a massage table or takes a comfortable seat. After that, the therapist uses a variety of methods to work with the body’s acupoints, muscles, and joints, such as pressing, kneading, rolling, and stretching. Adding word meditation to the mix also proves to be useful.

Comfort and Communication

Clients dress comfortably and remain dressed. The therapist speaks with the client during the session to guarantee their comfort and to adapt the treatment as needed. The therapist may also instruct the client on breathing methods or recommend self-care practices to follow after the session.

Duration and Timing

A typical Tui Na therapy session lasts around 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the client’s needs and condition, the session lengths may change. The appropriate session length is determined by the therapist to guarantee maximum benefits and effective therapy. You may want to keep in mind that frequent sessions may be more harmful than useful.

Post-Session Care

After the session, the client is often advised to rest, hydrate, and avoid strenuous activities to allow the body to fully benefit from the treatment.

It’s important to note that each Tui Na therapy session, like fire cupping, may vary based on the client’s specific condition and the therapist’s expertise. The goal is to provide a tailored treatment that addresses the client’s concerns and alleviates their overall health concerns.


Chinese Medicine Massage

Chinese medicine massage, also known as TCM massage or acupressure, draws upon the rich tradition of Traditional Chinese Medicine. With its focus on restoring balance and promoting well-being, it offers a myriad of benefits through its principles and targeted techniques.

The Principles of Chinese Medicine Massage

The principles of Chinese medicine are based on the idea of balancing Qi, the vital energy flowing through the body. Chinese medicine utilizes acupoints and specific locations along the body’s meridians to influence the flow of Qi.

By stimulating these acupoints through techniques like acupressure or acupuncture, Chinese medicine aims to restore balance, alleviate ailments, and promote overall health and well-being. This harmonization of Qi is key to the holistic approach of Chinese medicine, and it focuses on helping the body use its own natural healing abilities.

Benefits of Chinese Medicine Massage

Chinese medicine massage offers a range of benefits. It can help with pain relief, reduce stress, relieve musculoskeletal problems, and provide a general sense of relaxation from anxiety. By targeting specific acupoints and meridians, this therapeutic practice supports the body’s natural healing mechanisms and fosters holistic health through weight loss.

FindItHealth.com: Frequently Asked Questions

Our research team at FindItHealth has answered the most frequently asked questions from our readers below:

What to expect from a Tui Na massage?

After booking a Tui Na massage, you can expect the following:

  • Consultation and Evaluation: Your therapist will likely ask about the most debilitating symptoms for which you seek relief. They might also ask you for your specific comorbidities to avoid any bad reactions to specific side effects.
  • Clothing: Tui Na massage is done while the client is fully clothed.
  • Massage Techniques: Your therapist will apply varying pressure levels on specific points called meridians. They will stretch, roll, knead, and press your back, neck, shoulders, limbs, and any other area where you are experiencing chronic pain. 
  • Duration: A Tui Na massage session can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. 

What is the difference between Tui Na and other types of massage?

Tui Na massage is different from Swedish massage and Deep Tissue massage in its origin and philosophy. It focuses on harmonizing the flow of Qi through the body instead of muscle tension release and relaxation. 

Tui Na massage pays great attention to specific meridian points on the body instead of applying pressure in long strokes or circular motions as done in other forms of relaxing massages. 

Tui Na massage is done while the client is fully dressed, whereas other practices require the client to undress. 

What do you wear to a tui na massage?

Sweat pants, yoga pants, or athletic pants paired with a long-sleeved shirt can be the ideal outfit to wear to a Tui Na session. Avoid wearing heavy accessories for greater comfort and movement.

Tui Na massage, unlike other forms of massage therapy, allows the client to remain fully clothed during the session. You should opt for loose-fitting clothes that would enable the therapist to easily access the areas of concern. 

What is Tui Na used for?

In the same way as acupuncture helps manage fibroids, Tui Na is used to address a wide variety of health concerns including musculoskeletal disorders, chronic pain, digestive issues, and stress-related problems. It can be used:

  • to relieve muscle tension and spasms.
  • to lower stress and pain levels.
  • to improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
  • to support the body’s natural healing system.


The research team at FindItHealth.com has found that Tui Na massage is the ancient healing art of Traditional Chinese Medicine, used to promote physical healing and improve the quality of life. It restores the balance of energy flow through important meridians within your body. It can be used alongside other TCM techniques like acupressure and cupping for optimal health. 

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