Acupressure & Tuina

Acupressure is derived from the traditional Chinese form of massage, tuina. Acupressure utilises some of the main manipulations of tuina and uses them to help regulate the flow of energy in the body. By applying pressure to specific acu-points a practitioner is able to release blockages and harmonise the internal organs to improve health.

Acupressure has become quite popular in the West offering an alternative way of directly stimulating acu-points in much the same way as acupuncture. For those a little apprehensive about needles, acupressure offers a non-invasive solution.

As mentioned above acupressure originates from Tuina, a style of Chinese massage that forms part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). By following TCM theory, manipulation of the body can help to regulate the flow of energy, alleviating pain and regulating disharmony.

Tuina originated in China over 2000 year ago, with some of its techniques able to be traced as far back as 1700 BC. By 600 AD, it had become fully integrated with TCM and had been dedicated its own department in the Imperial Medical College. Since that time the techniques have been refined and built upon forming the art we now recognise as tuina.

Tuina and acupressure are suitable for a variety of different disorders. By utilising the TCM understanding of the body and energy flow, it is not limited to just musculo-skeletal problems. By regulating the bodies’ organs through stimulation of specific acu-points, they can help disorders involving the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems. They are also effective at releasing tension from muscles helping to alleviate the stresses of everyday life.

Like many parts of the TCM system, tuina and acupressure are not necessarily used in isolation but can be combined with any of the other modalities to help treat the whole person. You may encounter tuina used along side acupuncture or your practitioner may suggest some herbal remedies that will support the action of the bodywork. TCM’s main aim is to help the body reach a stage where it can regulate itself and prevent disease occurring, tuina and acupressure are just two ways in which to achieve this.


by Alex Owen

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