Tuina dates back to the Shang Dynasty of China (1700 BC). Oracle bones show that Tuina massage was used to treat children's diseases and digestive complaints in adults, and was included around 600 BC in the Imperial Medical College as a separate department.
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 heal itself naturally.
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.