“Qi” is the essence of life that flows through nature and our bodies. Most of Chinese medicine is fixated at realigning the flow of Qi to restore health. One type of massage that is very popular, and very soothing is called “Tui Na.”
First, a quick look at the concept of Qi. Meridians are the energy channels that the Qi flows through. There are 12 main primary meridians in the body and they are connected to organs such as the lungs, kidneys, heart, and liver. Visualize a stream with rushing water (this is a healthy body with free flowing Qi); imagine that the water stops gushing. Perhaps there is a dam in the stream and now the water is at a standstill (this is a body with blocked Qi). This water is more easily contaminated because whatever falls in just sits there (this is a body vulnerable to illness caused by toxins and pollutants).
In order to get the water flowing again, perhaps the riverbed or what is underneath the stream has to be stimulated (the riverbed is like a meridian: invigorating it will help to get the energy back and moving). With careful manipulation of the bed, over time the water starts rushing again.
One of the best manipulations is Tui Na. It sort of resembles the Swedish style of massage most of us are familiar with. It starts the same way, with the person being treated facedown on a massage table. But here, practitioners use their hands, arms, fingers, elbows and knees to work on the body. You are usually fully clothed. In addition to typical massage moves, Tui Na brings deep tissue manipulation, so it is a much more focused and rigorous massage. It may be painful, but it shouldn’t be excruciating. To help ease any discomfort that may come from this medicinal massage, warm poultices of Chinese herbs are sometimes applied to different areas of the body.
Tui Na works on the principle that the body has the power to heal itself. All Tui Na can help to do is unblock the Qi. Once the Qi is free flowing, the body is balanced and free to heal itself. Tui Na has been successful in treating a wide variety of ailments and conditions, including insomnia, hypertension, migraines, constipation, sciatica, joint pain, and fatigue, to name a few.
Whether you’re looking to rebalance your ailing body, or keep your healthy body balanced and full of vitality, Tui Na is well worth looking into.