Tuina – Chinese Massage


On the integration of traditional chinese medicine, traditional chinese orthopedics and chinese manual therapy into health care systems in western societies

Traditional chinese medicine encompasses a number of different fields and techniques. Apart from acupuncture as the main technique to become widely known in the western hemispherem, there are various therapeutic measures, one of them is tuina traditional chinese manual medicine. Traditional chinese medicine has undergone professional specialization, especially in the recent decades, acupuncture, traditional chinese orthopedics and traditional chinese manual medicine are all examples for this.

If we aim at an integration of traditional chinese medicine and traditional chinese manual medicine into our health care, we need to look closer at its techniques but also its professional standards. A transfer of methods from traditional chinese medicine is difficult at times, because its concepts are rooted deeply in a long standing cultural context and tradition.

Therefore this workshop will deal with:

a) The professional standards of manual medicine in the east and west

b) The concepts underlying traditional chinese manual medicine

c) The techniques involved

a) The professional standards of manual medicine in the east and west

There professional structure of delivering tuina has to be considered more carefully, both for the country of origin and for the European situation. In China tuina is both one of several therapeutic measures of medical doctors, particularly those dealing with the locomotor system as specialists, and the main task of professionals in their own right just like physiotherapists.

As a consequence there are issues of professional responsibilities involved, including the question, who defines diagnoses, indications and contraindications.

Tuina is often translated as chinese massage. If tuina were merely massage a lot of issues might be dealt with more simplistically. But the range of manual techniques tuina is much broader than this. It has techniques that we know in the west from chiropractitioners, osteopaths, osteopathic medicine, physiotherapy and last not least massage. Manipulative treatment methods however are not altogether without any hazards, so medicolegal considerations are necessesary.

b) The concepts underlying traditional chinese manual medicine

The elements of theory will be different according to the profile of diseases treated, the therapeutic setting chosen, therefore there are several types of tuina for different applications.

The workshop will also highlight some of the theoretical foundations traditional chinese manual medicine and especially focus on the links between tuina and acupuncture. For example, acupuncture and tuina have in common, that they seek to influence the organism through an external treatment.

c) The techniques involved

The manual techniques of different schools of tuina are not identical, yet there are a number of basic techniques that are common ground. Looking at some manoeuvres in detail and experiencing them oneself will help to make it possible to compare them to western massage, physiotherapy and manual medicine.

The workshop will also teach a few manual skills, that may be integrated into the work of a medical doctor working in a western society