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Chinese Medical Massage (Tui Na): Pain Relief for All Ages

04 Jan 2017

Are you a massage or shiatsu therapist or student who would like to offer a very specific type of bodywork for pain relief? Coming this February at our Minneapolis massage school is a continuing education class in a bodywork therapy that has been found to be very effective for pain management: Tui Na, or Chinese medical massage.

Pain is something that affects all of us – from the moment of our birth until we take our last breath.  Here are some statistics to consider*:

  • 1 in 4 Americans report having had pain that has lasted more than 24 hours at a time
  • Pain relief is the #1 reason people schedule a therapeutic massage
  • Millions experience acute, or sudden onset, pain
  • More in the U.S. suffer from pain than the combined total of those who have diabetes, heart disease, or cancer
  • Pain is the most common reason people seek out medical treatment
  • The most common reason for long-term disability is chronic pain

Traditional approaches to pain management most often involve some sort of medication, whether over the counter or prescription. But these drugs have undesirable side effects, and in some cases can even make the pain worse. For example, scientists have recently discovered that a class of drug commonly used for acute pain relief, kappa-opioids – is effective in relieving pain in women, but it causes an increase in pain among men. Certain NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) such as aspirin, acetominophen and ibuprofen may even damage the stomach, kidneys, or liver.

But living with the pain is not the answer. Unrelieved pain can cause other health issues such as sleep deprivation and elevated blood pressure, among others.  

Many therapeutic bodywork techniques have been found to be at least as effective in pain relief as drugs. Coming in February we’ll be presenting a continuing education class in a specialized modality, Tui Na, or Chinese medical massage. This technique has been used in China for over 2,000 years on people of all ages, including infants and the elderly. Tui Na combines manual massage with strokes similar to Western massage with other modalities such as acupressure (or in some cases, acupuncture), moxibustion, or herbal medicine, depending on the practitioner. In our class, we will combine massage with acupressure.

The purpose of this therapeutic medical massage is to enhance the flow of the body’s vital energy, or qi by removing an obstructions that may exist along the body’s energy meridians. When the qi flows freely and is in balance, the body is more able to heal itself and remove the condition causing the pain, often inflammation.

This class is open to grads and current students of any bodywork therapy program, whether Eastern or Western based. (Students must have completed at least 120 hours of instruction in techniques.) Tui Na can be a wonderful addition to your bodywork toolkit, because its purpose is to focus on relief of a specific condition. Interest in this modality is growing!

For more information on this class as well as registration details (due by January 26th), click here.  





(Source:  NIH Fact Sheet.)

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