Manual Therapy and Tuina are hands-on techniques to treat musculoskeletal problems and related conditions
Manual Therapy involves muscles and joint manipulation and mobilization. The goal of mobilization and manipulation techniques is to relieve pain and tension, decrease muscle spasms, loosening tissue, and increase joint mobility.
Manual Therapy differs from Massage Therapy. The latter treats tight muscles, but it doesn’t address the root cause. Through Manual Therapy, the practitioner can assess the reason behind the complaint and treat muscle and joint problems.
Both Manual Therapy and Massage Therapy reduce tension in soft tissue. However, Manual Therapy also utilizes joint manipulation and mobilization techniques intended to increase joint movement without pain.
Tuina is part of the Oriental Medicine practice. Imbalances in the body’s energy force (“Qi”) can cause blockages, such as poor circulation, leading to different symptoms, such as pain and illnesses.
Like Acupuncture, Tuina massage stimulates the flow of energy to promote balance and harmony within the body. It also targets specific acupoints. Instead of needles, the practitioner uses his/her fingers to apply pressure to stimulate these points.
The Acupuncture Physician uses oscillating and pressure techniques that differ in force and speed. Some methods are more gentle and passive. Some are more dynamic and faster to stimulate deeper knots and blockages.
Tuina uses massage techniques such as acupressure and myofascial release. Some of the techniques used in Tuina are: lifting, pressing, kneading, pushing, holding, etc. Other methods include rolling (used for injuries such as sprains and strains), one-finger techniques (used to stimulate acupressure points), and full-body manipulation techniques.
Manual Therapy and Tuina improve muscles and joints function through passive movements. Both can address acute and chronic pain-related conditions.
Hands-on treatments, such as Manual Therapy and Tuina, can restore mobility to stiff joints and reduce muscle tension. These pain management treatments can be very beneficial for patients with back pain or joint problems, including sacroiliac joint (SI) dysfunction.
- Relieve pain and tension
- Decrease muscle spasm
- Improve blood flow
- Reduce inflammation
- Decrease swelling
- Relax tight muscles
- Improve joint alignment and mobility
- Improve posture
How Do Tuina And Manual Therapy Work?
Tuina uses similar techniques used in Western massage (rolling, gliding, kneading, rocking, friction) and manual therapy. The practitioner applies pressure to the affected area and moves the soft tissues to promote healing. Often Tuina uses the acupuncture points and pathways to create effects that can go deeper into the body than with Traditional Western massage.
Utilizing these pathways, also called channels, we create balance within the body as a whole (holistic approach). One technique of Tuina, Nei Gung, is used to improve alignment and movement of the spine and joints.