Oriental Body Work

Tuina helps muscles and tendons loosen up!

Tuina helps muscles and tendons loosen up! Pinon Tree at Canyon de Chelly National Park, AZ

Tuina is a type of oriental body work. Tui means “push” and Na means “pull.” The two words together mean you push and pull to massage the body. Bodywork in Japan is called An Ma which means “pressing” and “rubbing.”

Tuina is distinct from other body work because it is part of Chinese Medicine. Tuina uses the same diagnosis and treatment principles from Chinese Medicine.  I treat the pattern of imbalance in your body, not just the symptoms.

Tuina techniques focus on balancing the meridian system and the sinew channels.  The sinew channels follow the meridian pathways and have similar energetic functions but comprise the sinews and muscles of the body. When I press on certain spots on your body, my knowledge of acupuncture point functions and actions on the meridians can make body work seem magical.

Tuina Techniques

Tuina includes techniques similar to Rolfing, deep tissue massage, cranial sacral treatments, sports massage, Swedish massage and energy work. Since Chinese medicine is over 2500 years old, guess where these current bodywork techniques come from!


This raven at Arches National Park is an expert at pecking, an ancient Tuina technique!

Tuina techniques include pushing, grasping, pressing, round rubbing, kneading, dotting, scrubbing, rolling, plucking, pinching, rectifying, nipping, pulling and rotations.  These techniques can be aggressive or quite gentle.  The depth of the treatment depends on the constitution of the client and the patterns of imbalance.

Tuina also includes passive movements of the neck, spine, legs and arms. A gentle stretch to the arms or legs can complete a tuina treatment.  I especially like passive stretches of the low back for back pain. Maybe we would have fewer back aches if we were all just a little taller!

The Healing Touch of Tuina

I often include Tuina within a Japanese acupuncture treatment. With the special emphasis on structural balance found in Japanese acupuncture, tuina is a natural adjunct to these treatments.